About our School
The Boston University School of Public Health aspires to provide the best possible environment for its faculty to engage in their work towards the school’s core purpose: Think. Teach. Do. For the Health of All. To that end, the Faculty Handbook is intended to collect in one place the policies and procedures that apply to all at the School, and that shape the context in which we all operate. The School’s work aspires to advance our core mission and to live by our core values:
SPH Mission. To improve the health and well-being of populations worldwide, particularly the underserved, through excellence and innovation in education, research, and practice
SPH Values.We are committed to igniting and sustaining positive change that leads to health and well-being around the world. We strive for a respectful, collaborative, diverse, and inclusive community within our School of Public Health. We aim to promote justice, human rights, and equity within and across our local and global communities.
Founded in 1976, SPH confers master’s degrees and doctoral degrees and is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. SPH is ranked the top eighth School of Public Health according to US News and World Report. With this ranking, SPH is in the top five private schools of public health and in the top 5 percent of the nation’s 183 schools and programs of public health. We are a school that strives for excellence in all we do.
About our Community
The School of Public Health has over 300 faculty and 250 staff in six departments and two centers. The departments are Biostatistics; Community Health Sciences; Environmental Health; Epidemiology; Global Health; Health Law, Policy, and Management. The centers are the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Data Analytic Center (BEDAC) and the Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights (CLER). The work of the departments and centers is facilitated by the school’s central support offices: Administration and Finance, Admissions, the Career and Practicum Office, Communications, the Dean’s Office, Development and Alumni Relations, Education Office, Graduate Student Life, the Registrar’s Office, and Research and Faculty Advancement. The BUSPH bylaws outline the organization and governance structure of the School.
We have over 1,000 students and over 9,500 alumni. Our alumni are spread across 115 countries, and we continue to engage them through annual tentpole events regionally, through alumni mentoring, and through BU Giving Day, among others. Orientation and graduation are our happiest days of the year. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the days. Our students go on to do inspiring work in both the public and private sectors.
In addition to world-class research and education, SPH is committed to translating that work and meaningfully engaging communities. The Activist Lab serves as the nexus for the School’s engagement with communities near and far. The Population Health Exchange, a lifelong learning portal, allows people of all ages to continue their public health education—at any stage. Public Health Post seeks to elevate the public conversation on health and posts daily articles by our Public Health Post Fellows and guest contributors.
All faculty and staff are invited to the monthly School Assembly, and all members of the community are invited to our Public Health Conversations, which are free, open to the public, and accessible to all. The Dean’s Office hosts several all school celebrations, including the annual SPH Holiday Party in December and the annual SPH Spring Celebration in May.
About this Handbook
The Faculty Handbook is a ‘living document’ and will change and evolve over time as the school’s policies and procedures evolve. Changes to the contents of the handbook will follow the “Procedures for Reviewing and Approving Major Policy and Planning Initiatives” described in Section VIII. The most up-to-date policies and procedures are in the electronic version of this handbook at bu.edu/sph/facultyhandbook. A physical handbook is provided to new faculty when joining SPH for ease of reference, however all faculty are encouraged to keep sections up to date as they are communicated to the community.
The School’s most recent Strategic Plan, articulated in 2019-2020, is in Section II and at bu.edu/sph/strategymap. This informs central action by the school in support of its core purpose. Additionally, each member of the faculty and staff is listed in the SPH directory: bu.edu/sph/directory. Faculty members also have BU Profiles, which details their research and publications, profiles.bu.edu. At heart, we are convinced that a school is only as great as its community and this handbook aims to be part of an effort to create the best possible environment for our faculty to work.
Welcome to the Boston University School of Public Health. We are glad to have you here.