Message from the Dean

Winter 2019

Craig Blakely photoSome characterize winter as a time for slowing down in response to shorter days and colder weather. Nevertheless, we have been in high gear here at SPHIS with the start of a new year and looking forward to an eventful 2019. 

SPHIS began the semester with our largest group of spring students on record enrolled at both the undergraduate and graduate program levels. We have introduced several new “Cardinal Core” courses (UofL’s general education requirements) that are gaining substantial enrollment numbers. We also have a few new programs just about to launch. For example, we will offer a “4+1 program” that will allow public health undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree in only five years. Formal documents are advancing through central administration now; we will officially present this opportunity to our undergraduates in the coming weeks. 

Campus is still buzzing with excitement because of UofL’s new leadership team. President Bendapudi, now in her second semester on campus, has her bearings and has made several huge strides already. She is also leading a new strategic planning process for the university. Our overarching mission and vision as the state’s premier urban research institution are likely to remain unchanged, with the president’s emphasis of making UofL a “great place to learn, great place to work and great place to invest.” Dr. Bendapudi gathered a number of university leaders and took the first steps toward establishing our new strategic plan mid-January. Work groups will soon be formed to flesh out the details in key priority areas. The intent is to have a formal plan in place by mid-to-late summer. Keep an eye on our progress here:

This timing is perfect for the public health school. As most of you know, we are entering into our final self-study year as our regular seven-year cycle of Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) reaccreditation is in play. We will submit our formal self-study documents this fall and host a CEPH site visit team March 25-27, 2020. Consequently, we will be retooling our own strategic plan concurrently with the university’s calendar. All of this will point toward a new array of metrics that we will use to monitor the success of our efforts as a school.  We look forward to gaining input from our alumni and partners, as well SPHIS faculty, staff, and students, as this process moves forward.

I look forward to meeting more of our current students in the coming weeks as well as connecting with prospective students at Public Health Preview Day on Saturday, Feb. 23. Of course, the highlight will be shaking hands with many on-stage at graduation in a few short months. Baseball is right around the corner. Manage the next few weeks and spring will be here before you know it. As always, I encourage all of you to pay attention to current events, become involved when you can, and vote if you are eligible. 

Have a great semester!

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Dr. Craig Blakely

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