January 21, 2021
To the School of Public Health Community,
As we begin the Spring term, I wanted to share an exciting update. In my first five months as Dean, I have been struck by how hard everyone across the School of Public Health is working to advance teaching, research, and to improve the School’s operations and infrastructure. Our staff, our faculty, and our students have taken on tremendous efforts to elevate us to new heights.
To date, the many worthy priorities, projects, and committees to which our people are devoting their time have been largely diffuse. Today, I am pleased to announce that we will be consolidating, organizing, and simplifying these ongoing efforts under the banner of Operational Planning. Through Operational Planning, we will identify and implement existing and new projects through which the School can realize its ambitions.
Operational Planning will be led by three co-chairs: Sara Walsh, Executive Dean of Finance and Administration; Ira Wilson, Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice; and Natalie Kopp, my Chief of Staff. These co-chairs will oversee Working Groups devoted to Research, Education, and Operations, and several subcommittees. In the coming days, many of you will receive invitations to join these subcommittees, which will be kicking off over the next month. The membership of these subcommittees will include staff, faculty, and students across all levels—we believe it is essential that these subcommittees are truly representative. For those who receive invitations to join an Operational Planning subcommittee, please keep in mind that participation is meant to simplify and subsume work you are already doing, not to add more to your already full plate. For those who are not on an initial subcommittee, there will be additional opportunities to participate in Operational Planning in the coming months.
As Operational Planning takes flight, I commit to providing regular updates on our goals, signature projects, and status. It is my belief that Operational Planning can provide a renewable, ongoing structure for aligning our activities across the School. We hope that this initiative can help to move us towards a culture of shared vision and collective action. Notably, simultaneously with this rollout of Operational Planning, we are steadily filling vacancies across the School. We have successfully hired four new employees in the dean's office who will all have started by February 1st, and we expect to finalize two additional hires in the coming weeks.
Please feel free to reach out to me or the Operational Planning co-chairs for any questions about this exciting initiative. You can expect additional details and communications in the coming weeks.
Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health