College of Public Health students graduating

Strategic Plan

The Planning Process

This plan covers the five-year period beginning with the academic year 2009-2010 (Year One) and ending after the year 2013-2014 (Year Five), the same as the University’s strategic plan.

Within the Plan, references to years are as follows:

  • Year One = Academic/Fiscal Year 2009 – 2010
  • Year Two = Academic/Fiscal Year 2010 – 2011
  • Year Three = Academic/Fiscal Year 2011 – 2012
  • Year Four = Academic/Fiscal Year 2012 – 2013
  • Year Five = Academic/Fiscal Year 2013 – 2014

The planning process began with review and revision of the Mission Statement in academic year 2008-2009. At the same time, the College completed a comprehensive self-study, with input from the faculty and a broad base of college constituents.

The University of Kentucky College of Public Health Self-Study Report and the UK 2009-2014 Strategic Plan were used by the college’s administrative leadership in developing the first draft. The draft was reviewed by the six academic departments (July and August, 2010) and the Faculty Council (September-October, 2010) before being finalized.


The College of Public Health will support the University of Kentucky’s Strategic Plan Goal I by offering students opportunities to acquire the knowledge necessary to contribute professionally to public health, to become leaders in public health and healthcare organizations, to assess the quality of public health interventions, and to identify interventions most likely to be successful.

Objective 1.1 The College of Public Health and its programs will meet the standards of accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


  • Maintain accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health in each year of the Strategic Planning Period.
  • Maintain accreditation of the Master of Health Administration program by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education in each year of the Strategic Planning Period.

Strategy 1.1.1 Complete a self-study and a successful site visit by the Council on Education for Public Health in Years One and Two.

Strategy 1.1.2 Complete a self-study and a successful site visit for the Master of Health Administration program by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education in Years Two and Three

Objective 1.2 Ensure that each degree program successfully imparts to its students a set of core competencies specified by the program and essential to professional success.


  • Convene at least annually a focus group or other structured occasion for feedback from public health employers and/or the practice community about competencies needed for public health practice.
  • Maintain an annually updated curriculum map for each degree program showing the relationship of that degree’s required competencies to the courses in its core curriculum.
  • Survey alumni of each degree program at least twice during the five-year period to determine the adequacy of the program’s core competencies and of instruction leading to them.
  • Have processes for each degree program to assess the readiness of each new student and the progress of each graduating student in achieving learning outcomes.
  • Ensure that 40% or more of regular faculty members are trained in one of the five core public health disciplines.
  • Achieve a mean score > 3 for all questions related to quality of instruction and course in standard teacher/course evaluations.
  • Develop and implement tools that provide each degree program feedback from alumni about achievement and relevance of competencies addressed in the curriculum.

Strategy 1.2.1 Review and clarify MPH core competencies, articulating their relation to the College’s mission and goals and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) core competencies.

Strategy 1.2.2 Compare DrPH core competencies to ASPH competencies and determine whether revisions should be made.

Strategy 1.2.3 Review the process and findings of the pilot MPH core competency test and determine its usefulness as a program assessment tool.

Strategy 1.2.4 Articulate and implement program assessment activities for the DrPH program.

Strategy 1.2.5 Begin offering a gerontology concentration in the DrPH program.

Strategy 1.2.6 Begin offering a gerontology concentration in the MPH program.

Strategy 1.2.7 Decide to continue or discontinue the environmental health concentration in the DrPH program, considering both community need and the availability of appropriate college resources.

Strategy 1.2.8 Participate in the pilot of the “pre-graduation certified in public health examination” developed by the National Board of Public Health Examiners and determine its feasibility as a tool for ongoing program assessment.

Strategy 1.2.9 Articulate student and program assessment activities for each degree program in a written college assessment plan.

Strategy 1.2.10 Seek diverse candidates with terminal degrees and expertise in one of the five core public health disciplines, as faculty positions arise.

Strategy 1.2.11 Replace the recurring student exit survey with an instrument that enlists alumni assessment of the educational program and additional competencies needed in the workplace.

Objective 1.3 Support the MHA program by integrating it fully into the College of Public Health.


  • Survey recent MHA alumni to determine the adequacy of their preparation in each of the program’s core competencies in Year One.
  • Develop a written comprehensive work plan to guide its transformation of the MHA program in Year Two.
  • Complete successfully the re-accreditation process of the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education in Year Three.
  • Strategy 1.3.1 Develop and implement a comprehensive work plan for the integration and transformation of the Master of Health Administration program.
  • Strategy 1.3.2 Prepare for and complete the re-accreditation process for the MHA, including the interim site visit, self-study and the full re-accreditation process.

Objective 1.4 Enroll in each degree program annually a cohort of diverse new students with high potential for success.


  • Enroll annually 65 new students in the MPH program. Increase to 75 by Year Three.
  • Enroll annually 12 new students in the DrPH program.
  • Enroll annually 4 new students in the PhD program in Gerontology. Increase to 5 by Year Three.
  • Enroll annually 5 new students in the PhD program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
  • Enroll annually 25 new FTE students in the MHA program.
  • Recruit in each year a new cohort of MPH, MHA, and PhD students with a mean GRE score that is above the 50th percentile of scores nationally and a mean undergraduate GPA > 3.4.
  • Recruit in each year a new cohort of DrPH students with a mean GRE score > 1100 and a mean graduate GPA > 3.75.
  • Participate annually in at least three student recruiting events known to effectively reach African-American students.

Strategy 1.4.1 Use historical yield rates each year to extend a sufficient number of offers of admission to meet enrollment targets.

Strategy 1.4.2 Use Centralized Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) to achieve a sufficient number and diversity of student applications.

Strategy 1.4.3 Plan and use early and frequent personal contact with admitted students to secure timely enrollments from desirable candidates.

Strategy 1.4.4 Conduct onsite recruiting activities at locations/occasions known to draw a racially and ethnically diverse pool of potential students.

Strategy 1.4.5 Develop new targets for standardized test scores of entering class consistent with the changed GRE scoring system.

Strategy 1.4.6 Market the MHA program externally so that increasing numbers of non-UK students are enrolled.

Strategy 1.4.7 Establish criteria and procedures for awarding financial assistance to students to increase the yield on new admissions and ensure diversity of the student body.

Objective 1.5 Ensure that students have the opportunity to complete their degrees within a reasonable time from initial enrollment.


  • Maintain a 6-yr. graduation rate of at least 80% for each Master’s level degree program for all student cohorts beginning in 2004 and after.
  • Maintain an 8-yr. graduation rate of at least 80% for each doctoral level degree program for all student cohorts beginning in 2004 and after.
  • Maintain an 8-yr. graduation rate of at least 80% for each degree program for all student cohorts beginning prior to 2004.
  • Maintain a maximum student/faculty FTE ratio of 10/1 in each discipline each year.

Strategy 1.5.1 Develop and use an instrument to monitor and manage student progress to graduation for each cohort in each degree program.

Strategy 1.5.2 Make high quality academic advising accessible for every student in each degree program.

Strategy 1.5.3 Ensure the availability of sufficient faculty to meet the needs of students seeking degrees.

Strategy 1.5.4 Maintain academic advising programs that respond to the needs of students.

Strategy 1.5.5 Contact students who entered the programs between 2000 and 2005 but are not progressing toward graduation to offer planning assistance for degree completion.

Objective 1.6 Provide opportunities for undergraduate students to acquire a basic knowledge of public health.


  • Teach an undergraduate course in public health approved for the general education curriculum by Year Three.

Strategy 1.6.1 Prepare and seek approval to teach an undergraduate general education course that provides students with a broad understanding of theory-based approaches to research and practice as applied to protecting the health and well-being of the American public.

Objective 1.7 Evaluate and manage the quality of instruction in each class.


  • Mean scores on student course evaluations will be > 3.

Strategy 1.7.1 Evaluate each course section using a standard instrument.

Strategy 1.7.2 Counsel (through the department chairperson) the faculty member teaching any course that receives a score <3.

Strategy 1.7.3 Recognize excellence in teaching by developing awards to be given annually.


The College of Public Health will support the University’s Strategic Plan Goal Two by increasing basic and applied research to define health issues, test intervention strategies, and evaluate outcomes pertinent to the recognition, characterization, and resolution of health problems in human populations, both within Kentucky and in the broader population.

Objective 2.1 Maintain a growing research base, using extramural funding.


  • Equal or exceed $7.7M in annual primary awards (the annual average of the previous strategic planning period, 2007-2009).
  • Equal or exceed $21.3M in annual collaborative awards (the annual average of the previous strategic planning period, 2007-2009).
  • Submit at least one extramural funding proposal annually by each tenure track faculty member.
  • Meet the College standard of extramural funding of at least 35% of salary by at least 75% of faculty annually.

Strategy 2.1.1 Provide assistance in proposal preparation through a designated staff position.

Strategy 2.1.2 Provide incentives or rewards for grant productivity, consistent with university policies and financial conditions.

Strategy 2.1.3 Develop a pool of funds to assist in pilot studies that are likely to lead to eventual extramural support.

Strategy 2.1.4 Support and integrate the new Division of Cancer Biostatistics and the Division of Biomedical Informatics in order to promote a growing research base in the College and in the University.

Strategy 2.1.5 Explore and facilitate collaborative research efforts both among College departments and with other colleges and centers throughout the University and the nation in order to support a growing research base in the College and in the University.

Strategy 2.1.6 Develop and implement a research mentoring plan to assist junior faculty to be successful in promotion and tenure.

Objective 2.2 Disseminate research findings broadly to the most appropriate audiences.


  • Achieve a mean > 3.0 publications annually by primary faculty in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Produce annual lists of publications and presentations by faculty and by students.

Strategy 2.2.1 Publish research findings in appropriate peer-reviewed publications.

Strategy 2.2.2 Use College centers and conferences to disseminate research knowledge to researchers, practitioners, and communities, as appropriate.

Strategy 2.2.3 Encourage students to publish or present their own work to appropriate audiences.


The College of Public Health will manage its business organization and practices to accomplish its strategic plan.

Objective 3.1 Ensure a planned and systematic approach to leadership succession among department chairpersons and other leadership positions.


  • Initiate an evaluation and plan for new chair or renewal appointment before the expiration of the term of each chairperson.

Strategy 3.1.1 Develop and implement a chairperson evaluation questionnaire.

Strategy 3.1.2 Develop and implement a policy that describes the procedures and roles in departmental chairperson selection.

Objective 3.2 Plan for and support the continued professional development of faculty members.

Strategy 3.2.1 Offer a regularly occurring schedule of faculty development activities to assist in building and maintaining research activities, based upon the expressed needs of faculty.

Strategy 3.2.2 Begin using the Online Faculty Activities System (Digital Measures) to organize, track, and report on faculty accomplishments.

Objective 3.3 Manage the College’s fiscal affairs efficiently.


  • Show a positive fund balance at the end of each fiscal year.
  • Maintain annual institutional expenditures per student FTE within the range of $30K to $40K annually.
  • Maintain annual research expenditures (Start-up Funds + University-provided Research Support) between $10K and $18K per core faculty FTE.

Strategy 3.3.1 Explore and take advantage of teaching opportunities expected to yield additional tuition income for the college

Strategy 3.3.2 Consolidate the College’s policies and procedures in a comprehensive written manual.

Objective 3.4 Build a robust fund-raising program for the College.


  • Increase the number of contributors to the mail/phone appeal by 10% annually, beginning with 77 donors in Year One.
  • In each year identify and solicit at least ten major gift prospects.

Strategy 3.4.1 Conduct annually a coordinated mail/phone appeal.

Strategy 3.4.2 Support student scholarships and endowed professorships and the Summer Series on Aging through major gifts.

Strategy 3.4.3 Develop a 50th anniversary promotion and fund-raising plan for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Objective 3.5 Meet the needs of the College for physical space.

Strategy 3.5.1 Consolidate off-campus spaces to increase operating efficiency in the short term.

Strategy 3.5.2 Monitor, update, and report on the College’s long-term space needs in order to make responding to them a University priority.

Objective 3.6 Ensure that the College’s infrastructure and support services are optimized to meet its increasingly complex needs.

Strategy 3.6.1 Determine and implement the best college-wide approach to building and maintaining accurate complete alumni information for all degree programs to serve multiple college purposes in conjunction with other university offices.

Strategy 3.6.2 Articulate the role of the Assessment and Evaluation Committee in relation to other college structures to optimize its support for student and academic program assessment.

Strategy 3.6.3 Review the College Mission and Vision Statements at least once during the planning period to ensure that they continue to reflect the growing number and scope of programs and initiatives in the College.


The College of Public Health will value diversity among its faculty, students, and staff.

Objective 4.1 Maintain a climate of transparency and respect that welcomes and benefits from the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff.


  • Through biennial surveys of faculty, staff, and students, show levels of mutual respect at least as high as those when the survey was offered in 2007.

Strategy 4.1.1 Use surveys and open discussion of results to periodically assess the College’s environment of respect.

Objective 4.2 Ensure that recruitment activities for new faculty and students support goals of diversity and inclusion.


  • Equal or exceed university-wide diversity of faculty with respect to gender and racial minorities in each year of the planning period.
  • Participate annually in at least three student recruiting events known to effectively reach effectively African-American students.

Strategy 4.2.1 Use faculty recruiting practices explicitly designed to reach and attract a diverse pool of high quality candidates.

Strategy 4.2.2 Review student application, admission, and enrollment data annually to discover and manage trends related to diversity.

Strategy 4.2.3 Conduct onsite recruiting activities at locations/occasions known to draw a racially and ethnically diverse pool of potential students. (See also Strategy 1.4.4.)

Strategy 4.2.4 Attract and communicate with international student applicants by making direct international contact, through regional universities where they may be studying, and through the SOPHAS application process.


The College of Public Health will support UK’s Strategic Plan Goal 5 by creating opportunities for faculty, students, and staff to serve their professional and geographic communities and thereby advance public health practice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Objective 5.1 Increase the accessibility of public health academic education in the Commonwealth.


  • Begin an offsite Master’s of Public Health program to at least one cohort in an underserved community in the Commonwealth.

Strategy 5.1.1 Collaborate with existing organizations to maximize the reach of its academic programs in underserved areas of Kentucky.

Objective 5.2 Meet the needs of the public health workforce in the Commonwealth for ongoing professional development.


  • Complete a biennial public health workforce needs assessment in collaboration with other universities in the Commonwealth.
  • Establish in Year Two a method for annual measurement of its workforce development activities and a baseline and target for subsequent years.

Strategy 5.2.1 Collaborate with other schools and programs to identify workforce training needs in public health in the Commonwealth.

Strategy 5.2.2 Develop a process for measuring College workforce development activities and their impact.

Strategy 5.2.3 Seek funding to support continued growth in workforce development in the College’s priority areas of leadership and of gerontology.

Objective 5.3 Use the College’s professional expertise to improve the lives of Kentuckians.


  • Earn annually least $2,000,000 in new awards of extramural funding to support service. (Annual mean 2007 through 2009 was $2,550,088.)
  • Report > 10% of annual effort as service-related by at least 75% of regular faculty with primary appointments in the College. (Note: In 2008 and 2009, respectively, service comprised 12% and 18% of faculty DOEs. 44% and 69% of faculty had at least 10% of their effort in service,sponsored and non-sponsored combined.)
  • Report annually service activities by type and the number and percentage of faculty and staff providing service.

Strategy 5.3.1 Compete effectively for extramural funding to support innovative service activities

Strategy 5.3.2 Involve faculty, staff, and students in service to their profession, the community, and the university at the local, state, regional/national, and international levels in areas related to the mission and values of the College.