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College Combines Departments to Create Synergies

Posted Nov. 12, 2013

Effective this semester, the college has merged two of its departments, representing three of the five disciplines of public health, to create the new Department of Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences and EpidemiologyMark James, Ph.D., is the chair.
“A variety of different advantages dictated the reorganization,” James explains.  Most importantly, the restructuring will enhance student success efforts, according to James.  “We want to really focus on fostering our student-friendly atmosphere, to achieve even greater student academic success and retention,” says James.  “The combined faculty resources in the new department will be better able to monitor and guide MPH and doctoral students toward their degrees,” he says.
“The former departments were relatively small,” he explains.  The new department now has 15 faculty members and is the biggest of the college’s three departments.  “With a larger mass of senior faculty, we’re now able to establish a departmental Faculty Advisory Committee, which is important for managing the reappointment, tenure and promotion processes.  In addition, this critical mass will give us resources to better mentor junior faculty,” James says.  The college can also more effectively manage its budget across a combined organization, James notes.