Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Lynn Goldman, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Martha Hill, Michael Klag, Thomas Louis, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, E. William Spannhake, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Steven Knapp, Marie Diener-West, David Holtgrave, Robert Lawrence, Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Sheila Fitzgerald and Sharon Krag; Prof. Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Senior Associate Dean James Yager convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 908th and 909th Advisory Board meetings of May 18 and May 23, 2006 were approved.
Remarks by the Senior Associate Dean
Dean Yager commented on the recent retreat, where a number of interesting topics were discussed, including strengthening the School's MHS programs and professorial faculty titles. The retreat and CEPH self study have set the stage for the School's next strategic planning process. He then reported on the June 28, 2006 visit of the Indian Minister of Health that demonstrated the impressive depth and breadth of our faculty's collaboration with colleagues in India. The commitment of the Indian government to starting and identifying funds for a new school(s) of public health seemed sincere, and some of the substantial number of Indian graduates of the Bloomberg School of Public Health may help develop the school's capacity.
Dr. Yager reported that comments on the self study had been received from CEPH and were relatively minor. An executive summary is now being prepared. He noted that one of the concerns raised by CEPH was a lack of documentation of the process for selecting and evaluating professional MHS program internships. He will be in contact with the departments to obtain this information and will work with them to provide or develop the appropriate documentation.
Dr. Yager and the Advisory Board then recognized Dr. Lawrence for his many years as a member of the Advisory Board. Dr. Lawrence is stepping down from his deanship but will remain a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and director of the Center for a Livable Future.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Louis commented that the faculty quality of life survey has received close to 200 responses. While it is unclear how representative of the faculty the results will be, the results will be helpful to identify issues of concern to the faculty. The Senate is continuing to better understand the School's policies for document backup and storage. The Senate will also find out the process for providing access to alumni for on-line courses. The Senate also understands that a change in the Faculty PPM will be recommended, based on discussion at the retreat.
Faculty Reappointments for 2005 - 2006
The list of faculty appointments was approved, including two additions that did not appear on the list.
Self-study of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. McMacken reviewed the vision of the Department since its founding, and the research interests of the former chairs and current faculty. The major administrative changes within the Department have been the formal merger with the Division of Biophysics in the 1980's and the more recent addition of the Division of Reproductive Biology from the former Department of Population Dynamics, which has had a very positive impact on the Department. The academic programs of the department include the PhD, which is critical to the Department's research program, the ScM, and the MHS. The Department also participates in the Molecular Epidemiology program. Three training grants help support research and training; however a major NCI-mandated change in the required proportion of post-doctoral to doctoral students on the Department's primary training grant may pose a problem for the Department's doctoral training program. The Department is also interested in expanding its interdisciplinary training opportunities and its faculty now teach several service courses aimed at non-laboratory science-based students.
The principal constraint faced by the Department is that it is in a deficit situation due principally to an increasingly competitive NIH environment, which is adversely affecting faculty grant support. The deficit also makes it difficult to conserve the substantial resources needed to recruit new faculty. The optimal size of the Department is 16-17 professorial faculty, with a minimum critical mass of 13-14. Dr. McMacken acknowledged that substantial renovations have already been completed on much of the Department's laboratory and office space; however renovation of some additional spaces is needed. Because so many students are supported on training grants, it can be a challenge to recruit international students, and the impact of increased emphasis on post-doctoral training is not yet known.
The MHS program in Reproductive Biology is being revamped and broadened and will expand in size in Fall 2006, at which time all BMB faculty will be expected to take a greater role in advising master's level students.
Dr. Black commented on the critical role post-doctoral fellows can serve and Dr. Yager suggested developing shared or common marketing for postdoctoral training in the basic sciences of public health to help recruitment and increase visibility of basic science post-doctoral opportunities in the School. Dr. Krag is working on a developing a system to coordinate and communicate about post-doctoral opportunities across the School. She is on the agenda of the Committee of the Whole in September to begin this process.
Dr. Yager then thanked Dr. McMacken for his comprehensive presentation of the state of the Department and noted that the Committee to review the Department will be formed in the next month.
2005 - 2006 annual faculty salary analysis
Dr. Fitzgerald, chair of the Committee on Affirmative Action, joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Zeger reviewed the objective of the analysis, which is to look for potential salary differences between otherwise similar men and women or minority and non-minority faculty. Dr. Zeger reviewed the data included in the analysis and noted that the proportion of non-tenure track professorial faculty has continued to increase modestly.
The critical results were that the women professorial faculty are paid on average 1.2 percent less than otherwise similar male counterparts, approximately $1,110 per faculty member. While the salaries of male and female faculty had been close to convergence, in the past year or two they have drifted apart slightly. The differences are smaller than one standard error. Dr. Zeger noted that the differences in distributions of male and female salaries were most acute at the middle and upper expected salary ranges, rather than all along the distribution. Differences between minority and non-minority faculty declined markedly in the past several years although they did not further decline in 2005-06, and the differences were also less than one standard error.
Dr. Zeger then reviewed the analysis of scientist-track faculty, which revealed that women scientists are paid significantly less than otherwise similar male scientists (on average 8.8 percent less). Due to the small numbers of senior scientists, only assistant and associate scientists were included in this analysis. Minority scientists were found to be paid the same as non-minority scientists, on average.
Dr. Fitzgerald then commented on the earlier discussion by the Committee on Affirmative Action, which initiates the salary analysis on an annual basis. The Committee was most concerned about the differences between the salaries of male and female scientists; each will be reviewed with the Dean on an individual basis. Also, it is not clear if salary differences are most pronounced at the time of hire or may result from differences in annual increases. A number of suggestions for additional analyses were offered. Individual salary data will be provided to the Dean, who will review them with the chairs; corrections will be made as appropriate. Dr. Yager and the Advisory Board then thanked Drs. Zeger and Fitzgerald for the presentation and discussion.
Request from the Department of Mental Health for new faculty position
Dr. Eaton reviewed the Department of Mental Health's need to recruit a tenure-track faculty member to teach and conduct research on the social epidemiology of mental disorders. The position would replace a faculty member who recently departed. The Department hopes to begin the recruitment shortly.
Request to change the name of the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences
Dr. Blum reviewed the rationale for changing the name of the Department to the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. He noted that much of the Department's work involves reproductive health. The Advisory Board agreed with the request. Dr. Yager commented that the Department will develop a communication plan to effect the necessary changes; changes in publications and websites will need to be phased in over time.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
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