Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, Marie Diener-West, William Eaton, John Groopman, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Robert Lawrence, 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, Robert Black, Lynn Goldman, Diane Griffin, Martha Hill, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Kelly Gebo and James Goodyear; Professor Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 903rd Advisory Board meeting of December 15, 2005 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported that Adam Falk has been named dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences following a national search. Dr. Falk is a theoretical physicist who has been serving as interim dean for the past year. The search for the director of the Peabody Institute is continuing and the search for the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations is beginning. Dr. Knapp commented positively on Mr. Lindgren's tenure during the successful fund-raising campaign, and noted the continuing need to increase the University's endowment with a focus on student financial aid and capital projects.
Dr. Knapp then reviewed the status of State support for the University. While the State general funding in the coming year will be at the expected level, Hopkins did not receive funds requested for some of its building projects for the Health System. This comes at a challenging time as the NIH and other federal health and science budgets will also face serious constraints. Dr. Knapp noted that the "hit rate" on many grants has decreased, which can translate into decreased support for junior faculty and graduate students.
Dr. Knapp commented that the University's goal is to preserve funding for all scientific research including NIH and NSF, with a minimum "floor" and incremental increases. Dr. Knapp then reported on the status of HopkinsOne, the implementation of which has been postponed to insure adequate testing and training. Dr. Knapp noted that Dr. Steinwachs chairs a HopkinsOne faculty committee to raise awareness and enhance communication about this ambitious undertaking.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag is looking forward to increased collaboration with Dean Falk and the School of Arts and Sciences. He announced that Dr. Lawrence will head the search committee for the director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT). CAAT is at a critical juncture; it has had a significant impact on the external scientific community but will need to become more engaged with the University and School to help insure its long term success.
Dr. Klag commented on new University fund-raising activities that will include closer involvement with alumni and a greater number of regional meetings with donors across the U.S. He also noted that the School is engaged in preliminary discussions with a vaccine manufacturer to create a public/private partnership. He reported that he would be out of town in February to meet with donors and for a visit to some of the Hopkins research sites in Africa.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Spannhake reported that the Senate is working on a survey on faculty quality of life. The draft survey will be reviewed at the joint Faculty Senate/Committee of the Whole meeting on February 2. Survey implementation and integration with departmental faculty surveys will also be discussed.
Update on Undergraduate Public Health Studies Program
Drs. Gebo and Goodyear joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Yager commented that the Undergraduate Public Health Studies (PHS) program has been in existence for many years, but that Public Health faculty were involved only more recently. The program has become a model for universities interested in providing undergraduate education in public health.
Dr. Gebo presented a comprehensive overview of the PHS program. It is a pre-professional program and includes a required core and electives taken by undergraduates during their first three years, followed by a year of elective courses taken at the BSPH during their senior year. It is the second largest undergraduate major in the School of Arts & Sciences, with 92 students expected to graduate in May 2006 and approximately 250 students declared as majors. Based on a survey of 2005 graduates, approximately 40% take jobs upon graduation, while 30% proceed directly to graduate school in medicine, public health, business, law, etc. Among PHS graduates who initially work, many indicate they plan to pursue advanced degrees in public health within two years. Eight 2005 graduates directly entered a Master of Health Science program in the BSPH.
Dr. Gebo then presented enrollment trends in the required core courses, most of which have shown substantial increases from 2001-2005. She noted that the size of undergraduate courses tend to be larger than graduate level courses. Dr. Knapp commented that class sizes tend to be large on the Hopkins undergraduate campus in general.
The PHS program is governed by an advisory board chaired by Dr. Cherlin with membership from the Schools of Public Health and Arts & Sciences. There is also an academic program committee to help coordinate the undergraduate core courses. When students come to the BSPH as seniors, they are excited to take any courses but seem particularly interested in those offered by the Departments of Health Policy and Management and International Health, and in becoming involved in public health research activities.
Dr. Gebo reported that practically all advising of the undergraduate public health majors in the first three years is handled by Dr. Goodyear, without the broad engagement of Arts & Sciences or Public Health faculty. Dr. Gebo provides advising support for seniors and for students seeking research internship opportunities. Members of the Advisory Board expressed appreciation to Dr. Goodyear for his commitment to the students, but also expressed concern about the low level of resources allocated to one of the most popular undergraduate programs. Increased investment in the PHS program will facilitate the development of advising relationships and facilitate student engagement in research with a larger group of faculty.
Dr. Gebo teaches an "honors" course for a small number of undergraduates that helps pair students interested in public health research with volunteers from among the public health faculty, however this program is not systematized. The Advisory Board discussed the support that would be needed to form a core group of faculty who could advise and/or provide linkages to research activities for the students. Dr. Gebo then referred to "Epidemic Proportions," the undergraduate public health journal published by a group of undergraduate PHS majors. The journal has been well received within and outside of Hopkins; it will soon be available electronically. In addition, a number of PHS students have received academic accolades.
Dr. Gebo again commented that PHS is a liberal arts, pre-professional program and is not preparing undergraduates students for entry level positions in public health fields. She reviewed recent program achievements including development of the PHS program's first website, faculty and student awards, and identification and recent award of external funds to support students doing research over the summer. PHS goals over the next two years include developing new courses, in particular a course in global health, and identifying research and internship opportunities for students.
The Advisory Board then engaged in a brief discussion about ways to enhance interactions between Public Health faculty and PHS majors. Among the suggestions were continued development of combined BA/MHS programs, student recruitment into our ScM and doctoral programs, and providing internship or work experiences in local public health agencies. Contact with Dr. Sharfstein and the Baltimore City Health Department to develop internship opportunities will need to be coordinated with a number of related efforts. After further discussion, the Advisory Board thanked Drs. Gebo and Goodyear for their excellent presentation. A small group including Drs. Gebo and Goodyear will convene to think through methods to broaden interactions between PHS student and the Public Health and Arts & Sciences faculty.
Request for faculty positions in the Department of Epidemiology
Dr. Samet reviewed his request for one or two junior faculty positions to affiliate with the Center for Clinical Trails and one position at a more senior level in cancer epidemiology, a recruitment that will be coordinated with the Oncology Center.
Revisions of the Academic Ethics Code
Ms. Fox reminded the Advisory Board that all revisions of the Academic Ethics Code have been reviewed and approved by the Academic Ethics Board, Student Assembly, Faculty Senate and department chairs. The Advisory Board than voted to approve the revised Academic Ethics Code.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
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