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University Presidents Examine Schools’ Roles In Global Health

Five university presidents came together on Monday at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s inaugural annual meeting to examine universities’ role “in the rapidly-emerging arena of global health and how global health fits into the well-established set of departments, centers and schools” at each university, Inside Higher Ed reports. Participating presidents included: Richard Brodhead of Duke University, Robert Brown of Boston University, Ronald Daniels of Johns Hopkins University, Mark Emmert of the University of Washington and James Wagner of Emory University.

Rather than hiring new faculty and relying on new investments, all five of the universities have created interdisciplinary global health programs drawing on resources from their professional schools and arts and sciences faculties. Duke’s Brodhead said, “If global health is only an add-on, it’s never going to survive. It has to be drawn from the passions that are already there.”

Inside Higher Ed notes that “the structure of large research universities is dependent on disciplinary departments and schools, whereas global health reaches across many subject areas.” The panel discussed the challenges of dealing with a program that reaches across different subject matters. They also discussed the recent rise in the popularity of global health programs and other topics (Epstein, 9/15).