Public health school may be in KSU’s future

Maria Nann

Faculty Senate to discuss proposal at today’s meeting

Kent State may become one of two schools in Ohio to serve the state in public health.

The Educational Policies Council voted Oct. 20 to send a proposal to Faculty Senate regarding the possibility of establishing a college of public health.

Senate Chairman Tom Janson said faculty will discuss the proposal at today’s senate meeting and at the Dec. 8 meeting. Senate bylaws require at least two meetings to debate important proposals, such as the creation of a new college.

“EPC unanimously endorsed the proposal,” Janson said, “and I expect similar support from the senate.”

Provost Robert Frank, who presented the proposal to the EPC, has been looking into developing such a school since summer, when President Lester Lefton asked him to prepare a proposal regarding the topic by April 2009.

Janson said the spring deadline will still be necessary for follow-up proposals for degrees and curriculum, but he said it was too early to think about such establishments.

“Without approval of a new college, discussion of new degrees are premature,” he said.

During the summer, Frank said a public health school would address five key areas:

&bull Epidemiology: the study of factors affecting health and illnesses of populations.

&bull Social and Behavioral Sciences: the study of social and behavioral factors affecting the population’s health.

&bull Biostatistics: statistical methods for populations and health.

&bull Health Administration: studying health care systems.

&bull Environmental Health: studying environmental health and populations.

The senate passed a proposal to develop a new academic unit within the College of Arts and Sciences at its Oct. 13 meeting. The department of applied social and behavioral research will focus on community health issues such as violence, mental health and aging. It is a department, Frank said, that would link to a college of public health, if established.

Contact academic affairs reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].