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UT will help chart the direction of academic public health education, thanks to membership in a newly formed organization that launches today.

UT has signed on as a founding member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The organization connects public health schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The council is recognized by the US Department of Education as the accrediting body for public health schools and programs.

The new organization is the successor to the Association of Schools of Public Health, which represented fifty council-accredited public health schools and eight associate members. The new organization aims to bring under one umbrella the 101 accredited public health schools and programs nationally.

“Membership in the association gives us an equal voice in shaping the future of the public health academic enterprise,” said Paul Erwin, director of the UT Department of Public Health. “It also provides UT with visibility and reputation building, as it gives us a seat at the same table with Johns Hopkins University; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Harvard; University of California, Berkley; and now also with Vanderbilt, Washington University, and the University of Pennsylvania.”

The decision to create a new association came after a two-year listening campaign that included focus groups and in-depth conversations with representatives of schools and programs.

Benefits of becoming an association member include having a strong representation on policy and advocacy, and sharing data resources.

“This is a seminal moment in accredited public health education,” said Harrison Spencer, president and CEO of the new association. “Representing both accredited schools and programs of public health gives the association and our members an opportunity to strengthen public health education, research, teaching, and practice.”

For a list of founding members, visit the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health’s website.

To learn more about the UT Department of Public Health, visit the website.



Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,