Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Ron Brookmeyer, Laura Caulfield, William Eaton, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, David Holtgrave, 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, Robert Black, Robert Blum, Martha Hill, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Val Culotta, Sharon Krag, and Susan Michaelis; Dr. Rafael Irizarry; Professor Stephen Teret; Messrs. Herbert Hansen and Philip Tang; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 917th Advisory Board meeting of February 22, 2007 were approved as submitted.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp introduced Mr. Philip Tang, who has joined the Provost's office as "executive specialist" to help provide continuity and act as a repository of institutional memory during Dr. Knapp's departure from the University and subsequent transition to a new provost.
Dean Klag is chairing the search committee for the new provost; final candidates will be interviewed by the deans. Nominations of candidates for provost should be forwarded to Dean Klag. Dr. Knapp reported that the search for the inaugural dean of the Carey Business School has also begun. The Carey School is expected to be very collaborative and develop combined programs with other University divisions, including the successful MPH/MBA combined degree program with the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
While the present State legislative session has been a successful one for the University, the 2008 session is expected to be difficult with respect to funding priorities as a result of a new structural deficit in the State. Provost Knapp remains hopeful that the State will continue to provide support to Johns Hopkins in the form of funds for capital projects and the Sellinger program.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag reported that a position description has been drafted by the provost's search committee. The search committee is working with a search firm and nominations are being collected. Dr. Klag hopes to complete the search process by the end of June 2007.
Dr. Klag then updated the Advisory Board on a number of recent announcements and changes. Dr. Diener-West will be awarded the Stebbins medal at the 2007 Convocation ceremony. Dr. Krag recently announced her retirement in June; her departure will be an enormous loss to the School. The search for the position of associate dean for professional practice has been put on hold due the School's current financial situation; the possibility of reopening the search will be revisited in the fall. Mr. Hansen reported that the searches for the associate deans for external affairs and research administration are continuing; both search committees will meet over the next several weeks.
Deans Klag and Yager will travel in May to visit the United Arab Emirates to investigate building collaborative relationships and to Singapore to discuss executive MPH and DrPH programs. Dr. Klag would like to see such programs develop initially with minimal capital investment; faculty support will be critical to the success of such programs.
Dr. Zeger asked about our confidence in the financial projections for the remainder of the fiscal year based on information in HopkinsOne. Mr. Hansen noted that all information has to be carefully tracked and that more confidence in the projections will develop over time. HopkinsOne is still adding capabilities, a number of corrections are being made, and additional features are being added.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Louis commented that the Faculty Senate wishes to continue to understand the impact of HopkinsOne on the School's faculty and support staff. Dr. Spannhake noted that alternatives to a number of long-established practices that previously allowed tracking of the ordering and delivery processes will need to be established; several faculty who have laboratories remarked that the present system for ordering materials and paying vendors is exceedingly slow. Dr. Louis indicated that while all new systems require adjustment by users, he wants to assure the trajectory is toward increased responsiveness and efficiency for faculty and staff. Mr. McGill will be invited to hear directly from several senior faculty in the School regarding some of the HopkinsOne issues that faculty are continuing to deal with.
Dr. Louis has asked Mr. Hansen to discuss negotiations for indirect costs from non-NIH funders at the next Faculty Senate meeting. Presently, faculty can feel they are on their own during these negotiations; he asked the University to develop a policy or standard to avoid confusion among faculty applying to these funders. Dr. Knapp suggested that Dr. Krag and the University research deans consult with the University Foundation Relations staff by way of providing guidance to resolve this concern.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Griffin introduced the other members of the Committee to review the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Review Committee - Drs. Culotta, Irizarry, Michaelis and Yager; Dr. Hart was not present. Dr. Griffin noted that the review, using the newer procedures, was comparatively rapid and efficient. Faculty, administrative staff and students were interviewed in groups but also could meet individually with members of the Review Committee on request. Dr. Griffin remarked that BMB is the only biochemistry department in a US school of public health. She briefly reviewed the history of the department. Several of the recommendations from the previous review of BMB, in 1999-2000, have been achieved, including integration of the Reproductive Biology group into the Department, development of a strategic plan, and adding courses to the curriculum, however development of a solid financial plan has been less successful.
The department has been under Dr. McMacken's stable and consistent leadership since 1990. However, with the deaths of 2 prominent faculty members, several recent or imminent faculty retirements, and the recent or imminent departure of two more faculty, the Department's morale has been adversely affected. The size of the Department has fallen below a critical mass, with 10-11 professorial faculty and is now at a critical point for maintaining its teaching and research programs. Dr. Griffin noted that some of the issues raised as part of the Review have already been addressed by the Department, including institution of periodic faculty meetings, creation of a faculty committee to explore and identify new external resources, and expansion in the size of the MHS program to bring additional income.
Dr. Griffin then summarized the recommendations of the Review Committee, including; initiation of a search for the position of department chair; identify resources to recruit 4-5 junior faculty over time; better elucidate to the rest of the School the relevance of the Department's work to public health; and better engagement of BMB faculty in collaborative activities with faculty outside the Department. Dr. Griffin also remarked that a number of issues raised by BMB students should be quickly and relatively easily resolved. Dr. Griffin also asked about reinstituting an informal setting for junior faculty to come together across the School.
Dr. Knapp thanked Dr. Griffin and the members of the Review Committee. Drs. Michaelis and Culotta, acknowledging the unique nature of the Department within the School, were highly supportive of an increase in the size of the faculty to return it over time to its historical level of research-active faculty. Dr. Irizarry indicated that many new scientific technologies need to be taken into account as new faculty are recruited.
Dr. McMacken thanked the Committee for their careful consideration. He then reviewed in greater detail the accomplishments of the Department since the 1999-2000 review, the recent changes the Department is making as a result of the recommendations of the present review, and plans for future changes. He then announced his plans to step down from the BMB chair position. Drs. Knapp and Klag thanked Dr. McMacken for his long service and leadership of the Department of BMB. Dr. Klag is committed to the continued success of BMB and will work with the faculty to identify new resources for its support. A committee will be convened as soon as possible to begin the search for Dr. McMacken's replacement.
Part-time DrPH Program in Epidemiology
Dr. Samet introduced the part-time program DrPH Program in Epidemiology, which was developed to attract local working professionals. The only differences between the full-time and part-time DrPH programs in Epidemiology are in the residency requirement and the time to complete the preliminary and final oral examinations. The program content and all other requirements are the same.
The Advisory Board approved this program, which will be forwarded to the Provost's office.
Recruitment of new faculty position in cancer epidemiology
Dr. Samet noted that the Department is already conducting a search for a faculty position in cancer epidemiology. Recently, the Oncology Center asked the Department to also recruit a cancer epidemiologist at the junior level who will work in the area of health disparities. The Advisory Board was supportive of the second position.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
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