The Yale School of Public Health will transition from a department to an independent school

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The Yale School of Public Health will transition from a department under the Yale School of Medicine to an independent school. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Yale University leaders announced that the Yale School of Public Health would become an independent school, moving from a department under the Yale School of Medicine.

YSPH offers fifteen different joint degree programs with other fields of study. Yale will provide a $150 million endowment to the school in hopes of bolstering its public health impact. $100 million of the endowment is allocated to ensure the school’s financial stability, while the remaining $50 million is for endowment funds raised by the school over the next five years.

YSPH has played a role in advancing the field of public health by stimulating initiatives, such as the development of saliva-based COVID-19 tests, and by providing research on health and disease equity. like Ebola, HIV/AIDS and tick-borne diseases, Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in the announcement.

The endowment will be paid to YSPH after a new Dean is appointed – the search for which will begin this week.

The new dean will be determined by Yale’s president and a search advisory committee and they will both lead the school through its transition and have ultimate responsibility for the school’s budget, Salovey wrote.

The decision comes after YSPH students and faculty called on Yale to grant school autonomy, following the COVID-19 pandemic that sparked conversations about public health and the controversy surrounding the possibility that the former dean of the School of Public Health has been forced out of his role.

“We have lived through a historic crisis that underscores the need for public health for the well-being of communities in this country and around the world. We also know that other public health threats require immediate attention, including those resulting from climate change, food insecurity, water scarcity, health inequalities and the growth of infectious and non-communicable diseases, Salovey wrote in the announcement.

Yale expects the transition to take place over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the Yale Daily News.

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