Tuesday, November 30, 1999 / 3 p.m. / 830th Meeting
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, John Breitner, Margaret Ensminger, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Edward Miller, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, James Anthony, and Jonathan Samet.
Guests: Drs. Terri Beaty, Patrick Breysse, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Joanne Katz, and KungYee Liang; Ms Diane Glover; Mssrs. Thomas Etten and Herbert Hansen.
Meeting Convened: Dean Sommer convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 829th meeting on October 26, 1999 were approved.
Remarks by the Dean:
Dean Sommer commented that as a result of the recent meeting of the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), ASPH will be reorganized with a new staffing model. A senior academic public health leader will be recruited and will report to the president of ASPH and its executive committee, while the position of executive director will oversee the many functions of the ASPH office. A position description for the senior academic leader is being developed and will be followed by a search.
Dr. Sommer remarked that at the recent joint ASPH/American Public Health Association meeting, both groups expressed interest in developing tools to credential public health professionals. A joint committee was formed to further research and develop recommendations.
Dr. Sommer then reported on the recent deaths of Mrs. Phoebe Berman, a friend and supporter of the School (in particular the Johns Hopkins University Bioethics Institute and the Department of International Health), Dr. Philip Sartwell, past chair of the Department of Epidemiology, and Sir John Wilson, international figure in blindness prevention and keynote speaker at the School's 75th anniversary celebration.
The School-wide strategic planning retreat will be held on December 8, 1999 and is open to all faculty, staff and students. It is hoped the retreat will generate some important and creative ideas. Members of the Advisory Board are asked to encourage their faculty, staff and students to attend.
Revised PPM on Master of Science Degree
Dr. Patrick Breysse presented the recommendation of the School-wide Committee on Academic Standards to change the residency requirement for the master of science program, presently one year of full-time study, to be consistent with the MHS program in that departments and programs can decide what proportion of credits must be taken in full-time residence. The Advisory Board made several additional changes to the wording of the PPM to be consistent with the proposed change, and then voted to approve the revised PPM with several minor wording clarifications.
The Advisory Board asked the Committee on Academic Standards to reconsider the Master of Science requirement that students take at least 12 credits outside of their primary department, with at least 2 courses of the 12 credits in one department.
JHU Office of Governmental Affairs
Dean Sommer introduced Mr. Thomas Etten, Executive Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Governmental Relations. Dean Sommer briefly described the relationship between the School and it's public health-oriented lobbying group.
Mr. Etten provided his personal background, including service at several universities and as a Congressman's staffer, and noted his current responsibilities include oversight of all Hopkins lobbying functions at the federal, state and local level. His staff includes Maggie McIntosh (federal relations), Jane Stanek (medicine), Annie Kronk (state relations), and Janet Sanfilippo (local relations). He hopes to improve coordination of Hopkins' external relations for the University and Hospital/Health System as a whole, while being cognizant of the targeted needs of the different divisions. He proposed the ongoing tobacco initiative as a positive example of recent interdivisional cooperation and coordination.
Mr. Etten has discussed with Dean Sommer the needs and priorities of the SHPH and will carry out some of them in partnership with needs of other segments of the University. He noted that while NIH funding is strong, he has concerns about other sources of federal funds, the emphasis put on earmarks to universities, and the future of the tobacco funding stream. In response to a question, Mr. Etten remarked that the highest University priorities at the federal level include sustaining health research funding from HHS, restoration of funds for graduate medical education for teaching hospitals, funds for basic research, and defense funding for APL. Mr. Etten asked to be kept informed of faculty visits to the Maryland delegation in Washington, D.C.
The ramifications of the planned delay in 2000 federal spending is not yet known, although it is likely to affect many of the School's sponsored projects. The impact of almost any change in health-related federal spending will impact the School due to its reliance on sponsored funds.
After further discussion, Dean Sommer thanked Mr. Etten, who indicated that he welcomes contact from all members of the University.
Update from the Center for Quantitative Genetics
Drs. Beaty and Liang joined the group. Dr. Sommer reminded the Advisory Board that the School made a deliberate decision to support the activities of the Center for Quantitative Genetics as the work of the Center represents an important future direction for the School as a whole. Dr. Beaty commented that negotiations for a senior faculty member to direct the Center are presently underway. She reported on several meetings where genetics is being incorporated into public health and health policy, including one the School is cosponsoring. She noted that the Department of Biostatistics has recruited a new junior faculty member to work in statistical genetics and that the Department of Epidemiology is also trying to recruit new faculty in the genetics area.
Dr. Liang reported on efforts to develop a new curriculum in quantitative genetics that will lead to either a masters' degree or a certificate and will include training in molecular biology, genetic counseling and new courses in quantitative genetics that will be offered in 200001. A training grant is also being proposed. The presence of strong basic science components in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, plus the unique interdisciplinary strengths of the SHPH are seen as great advantages of the new program. An internal steering committee and a scientific working group are in place.
After further discussion, Dean Sommer thanked Drs. Beaty and Liang for leading this exciting and important initiative.
Distance Education/Internet MPH Update
Dr. Sukon Kanchanaraksa joined the group. He circulated the MPH program core requirements and indicated which of the core areas have been adapted to internet-based technology. He noted that, except for the Social & Behavioral Science Core and the Management Science Core, there were adequate numbers of courses in other core areas already converted or being converted/delivered in internet-based format. While approximately 40 credits of MPH coursework are now available on the web, another 28 credits (56 courses) must be developed. The first year of the iMPH program is now available on the web, and efforts are now being directed to completing the second year. Dr. Lawrence remarked that the interests of students in the Graduate Certificate Program in Public Health are currently being used as a guideline for developing iMPH courses, and he requested further discussion and input about that assumption. Dr. Kanchanaraksa also presented information on course offerings in three areas of interest commonly taken by MPH students (international health, health program management, and population and family health), and reviewed which of the courses in these areas of interest are now using or are in the planning stages for web-based technology.
Onsite offerings will always be more varied than those offered on the web, but with the core requirements in place, tracks and clusters of courses in specific areas can be developed according to departmental priorities. Dr. Lawrence suggested that identification of these priorities can be developed as part of the educational segment of the School-wide strategic planning process, while Dr. Black felt that development of such priorities should be determined by the School's leadership and followed by appropriate course selection. He suggested a meeting with selected chairs to discuss how to define and support areas of concentration within the iMPH program.
Dr. Zeger proposed developing a problem-based case study-oriented curriculum with modules, rather than translating traditional courses to the web. The modules can be matched to different areas of interest or built upon each other. He acknowledged the time needed to think through and develop such modules. Dean Sommer noted that we have 40 iMPH students who will need new courses in less than a year, and that the senior leadership of the School must make decisions about which areas and courses should be developed for the web in the next several months. Dr. Guyer requested that we seek input from potential students/customers about the courses they would find helpful for their professional development, although the interests of many new students change once they enter the School. After further discussion, Dr. Sommer thanked Drs. Kanchanaraksa and Lawrence.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
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