Program Update Fall 2017

Program Update
October 16, 2017

Dear students, alumni, and friends of the University of Montana’s School of Public and Community Health Sciences.

After a hot and smoky summer, it is hard to believe we are now halfway through the Fall semester. I know everyone is busy, but we wanted to give you a few updates on our School:

MPH / CPH / PhD programs (as of beginning of Fall 2017)
• Our enrollment continues to grow, with 121 students in our programs, including 40 MPH students, 74 Certificate students, and seven PhD students.

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accreditation
• The CEPH Board of Directors met on Oct 7-8. We are now patiently awaiting their decision, but we expect to get our MPH/PhD programs re-accredited for the maximum seven year period.

Changes in Faculty and Staff
• We are happy to formally welcome the following staff members into our program: Kelli Lutz (Research Assistant III), Alan Swanson (Research Analyst), and Heidi Wellenstein (Research Assistant).

• I am pleased to announce that Patrick Dye has been promoted to Program Manager within our School.  As all of you have had interactions with Patrick in some way, shape, or form, you know how valuable he is to our program.

• Our search for an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology has been narrowed to nine candidates. The Search Committee will be conducting phone interviews over the next several weeks, and will invite the top three candidates to campus for more intensive interviews in November. There will be opportunities to meet these candidates and attend their seminars (in person and remotely), so stay tuned.  We are still aiming for a January 1, 2018 start date for this new faculty member.

New Initiatives – Fall 2017
• We have entered into a formal agreement with the Community Health program within UM’s Department of Health and Human Performance. This will result in the development of a new undergraduate degree in Population Health (2019), as well as bringing their existing undergraduate degree in Public and Community Health under our CEPH accreditation umbrella by 2020.

• In collaboration with our partners in UM’s Department of Political Science, we will be developing a The initial paperwork will be submitted in May 2018.

•Every two weeks, we will feature a staff/faculty member and a student/alumni on our website. We will randomly select “volunteers” every two weeks. If/when you are contacted, we’d love to get a brief bio and a picture of you that will go on the main panels of our home page:

Finally, contact us anytime if you have any suggestions on ways we can continue to improve our program. From all of our faculty and staff, we hope you have a happy, healthy, and productive fall semester and holiday season.


Tony Ward, PhD
Professor and Chair
School of Public and Community Health Sciences University of Montana
Skaggs Building Room 176 Phone: 406-243-4092