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Trustees Approve Master of Public Health, Academic Facility Renovations

Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees has approved a new 42-credit-hour Master of Public Health degree for its College of Health Professions and other items at its regular meeting, held via conference call, on Tuesday, July 15.

The new master’s program features a multidisciplinary, inter-departmental, and inter-collegial curriculum that is designed to provide opportunities for graduate studies in public health.

“This degree is distinctive in that it focuses on providing preventive health care services to populations, especially in rural areas,” said Paul Blake, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Since West Michigan is classified as an under-served population region, our graduates will be well prepared to enhance the health needs in local communities as well as in underrepresented groups throughout the United States and globally.”

Program graduates will have the ability to gain more knowledge in the core areas of public health and work in the fields of health services administration, biostatistics, epidemiology, biomedical laboratory units, health and behavioral science education, environmental health, global health, nutrition, public health practice and program management. Master of Public Health degree holders often work for private and public organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, federal, state, and local health departments, food safety agencies, university systems in teaching and research, international health and social organizations, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc.

“The degree was designed to strengthen recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented student populations,” said College of Health Professions Dean Matthew Adeyanju.

The Master of Public Health is the second graduate degree program offered by the College of Health Professions, which also features the online Master of Science in Nursing, a nationally high-rated program.

In other items, the trustees approved:

  • classroom, laboratory and other academic renovations in an amount not to exceed $1.55 million. This will cover projects in the Starr Building, Pharmacy Building, FLITE Library, Arts, Sciences and Education Commons, and Bishop Hall;
  • candidates to serve on The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. The candidates include Kurt A. Hoffman, of Wayland and Dennis W. Nickels, seasonally of Grand Haven and Fort Myers, Fla. Hoffman is a 1983 College of Engineering Technology graduate. He is vice president at IRCO Automation Inc., in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and executive vice president at RoMan Manufacturing, in Grand Rapids. Nickels is a 1969 graduate of Ferris’ College of Pharmacy. Recently retired from Deloitte and Touche LLP, where he worked as a consultant with commercial and public sector clients, Nickels now provides strategic counsel to corporate and governmental clients in the areas of healthcare and government;
  • the Ferris Department of Public Safety’s participation in the Central Michigan Mutual Aid Reciprocal Law Enforcement Agreement. Police agencies within a seven-county area participate in the agreement. Participants include the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department. Also signed on to the agreement is the Central Michigan University DPS. The agreement structures law enforcement response, relative to mutual aid, as an event or events that would require immediate action to protect property and to ensure public safety. The counties included in this agreement are Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland and Montcalm;
  • the appointments of eight new members to the boards of directors of Ferris-authorized charter school academies;
  • a one-year contract with Northwest Evaluation Association to help the Ferris Charter Schools Office make well-informed decisions about improving student achievement as well as guide decision making; and
  • a continuing professional services contract with Rick Kress, president and CEO of Gift Planning Associates to provide for planned giving consultation services and to conduct a new student scholarship campaign feasibility study.

The next regular full meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids. Board of Trustees committee meetings commence at 10 a.m.