UW School of Public Health E-news
August 2009  |  Return to issue home

From the Dean

Dean Pat Wahl
Dean Pat Wahl

We had a lot of good feedback on our first issue of SPH E-news, and I hope you were among those who enjoyed reading news of the School in our new format. If so, please help us spread the word to other alumni and friends. We need your support and your e-mail address to communicate electronically. It’s easy to subscribe to E-news. Simply go to our home page, click on E-news in the upper-right corner, then click on subscribe. We’ll take it from there.

This issue is devoted largely to telling you about the award winners we celebrated at our School’s annual ceremony in June. Reading about the amazing work our students are doing is a wonderful reminder of why we’re here and the importance of giving our students the skills to make a real difference in the world. Plus our ceremony allows us to recognize the many ways our staff and faculty support our mission as a school of public health.

Speaking of missions, our School has been taking the lead at the University on preparedness training. We sponsored a remarkably well-timed tabletop exercise in March on the University’s readiness to handle pandemic flu. That session identified gaps in our preparedness that we have been acting on ever since, especially given the very real threat posed by the H1N1 flu outbreak. We are focusing on maintaining continuity in our business and academic operations and need to have plans in place so decisions can be made in response to new information as it becomes available.

Prevention is always a tough sell. As is only too obvious in our health care system, it’s much easier to rally support for treatment than for prevention. Preparedness is no different. But despite the difficulties inherent in focusing on something that hasn’t happened, we continue to develop plans we hope will be helpful to our School and the University in an emergency.

It’s also challenging to maintain momentum during a very real budget crisis. You have undoubtedly read about the unprecedented cuts in state funding for the University—we lost one-quarter of our state funds. And due to the global economic downturn, payout from our endowment funds has been cut 50%, at least for the next couple of years. The University is looking hard at new funding models as we struggle to deal with these reductions in support. And throughout the School we are looking at ways to reorganize and streamline our processes and bring in more revenue while maintaining the excellent education we offer our students. Ironically, student applications are up, which means we will have to do even more with less.

Stay tuned!

Dean Pat Wahl



Pat Wahl, Dean
UW School of Public Health

Photo by Dan Lamont

August 2009  |  Return to issue home

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