To the YSM and YSPH Communities:
Earlier today, President Salovey, Provost Strobel, and I met with the faculty, students, and staff of Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) to share the plans for the search for a new dean and the decision to transition YSPH to become an independent, self-supporting school. We anticipate this transition will occur within a year of the appointment of the new dean.
To launch YSPH as an independent school and replace the current annual Yale School of Medicine (YSM) subsidy to YSPH, Yale University is providing YSPH with a one-time increment to its endowment. At the same time, the University is making available $50 million each in matching endowment to YSPH, YSM, and Yale School of Nursing, a remarkable investment in health care education and in the advancement of human health. We will leverage these matching funds as we raise philanthropy to support scholarship and training.
Yale School of Public Health was founded in 1915 as the Department of Public Health under the leadership of Charles-Edward Amory Winslow. In 1946, the school was accredited as a School of Public Health. Since then, YSPH has existed as both an accredited school with a dean who reports to the president of the university and as the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health within Yale School of Medicine.
For more than 100 years, YSPH has contributed to the field of public health through innovation and collaborative science, learning, and action. From groundbreaking research on infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and Ebola, to a myriad of contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic including test development, vaccine hesitancy messaging, contact tracing and policy development, and modeling and forecasting, the school has helped to shape Yale’s—and the world’s—public health response.
The experience with COVID highlights the value of cross-disciplinary collaboration not only within the university but across our community. Our efforts to combat this common enemy has led to new collaborations among the schools of engineering, medicine, arts and sciences, and law, among others. Going forward, faculty in YSM and YSPH will continue to collaborate extensively and share resources to avoid duplication or competition. We will have opportunities to create structures that cross school boundaries, as exemplified today by the Yale Institute for Global Health.
Over the last several months, the university has solicited input from members of the YSPH community. I have also had the opportunity to speak with deans of schools of public health and schools of medicine around the country, and with chairs of departments in both YSPH and YSM. The deans carefully outlined the pros and cons of an independent school of public health. “It will enhance Yale’s ability to recruit the highest caliber of new leadership.” “Your NIH ranking may drop as NIH funding for YSPH is no longer attributed to YSM.” To a person, however, our chairs recognized that both YSM and YSPH will grow stronger together as independent partners. Advancing human health through scholarship, education, and care is not a zero-sum game. Please join with me as we celebrate a milestone in the history of our sister school.
Nancy J. Brown, MD
Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine
C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine