June 14, 2019

Purdue trustees approve new department, realignment for College of Health and Human Sciences

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue University’s Board of Trustees on Friday (June 14) approved the establishment of a new Department of Public Health as part of a realignment in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

The new Department of Public Health will be formed by combining the undergraduate public health program that is in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and the Master of Public Health program that is administered by the college. Additionally, the Department of Consumer Science will now become a division of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. HHS will continue to have six departments and three schools. 

“We are proposing these changes to serve our students even better by bringing the right faculty experts together to help these programs thrive and flourish,” said Marion K. Underwood, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “This realignment will provide great teaching, research resources and experiences for our students in Public Health, Consumer Science, and Hospitality and Tourism Management.”

Richard Mattes, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science and director of the Public Health Graduate Program, will serve as the new department head.

“The risks to health by chronic and infectious diseases are substantive and require strong and innovative responses. Public health approaches targeting root causes and emphasizing prevention over treatment are preferred. Our program will train professionals to address current and future challenges to population health in our communities across Indiana, the U.S. and around the world,” Mattes said. 

Richard Ghiselli, professor and head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said Consumer Science and HTM have been working together on certain departmental activities over the years.  Also, HTM students take some consumer science and retailing classes, and vice versa.

“This realignment is perhaps expected as there are many curricular and research commonalities. In many instances there are economies of scale that will allow students in Consumer Science to have more faculty support and resources. The realignment raises the quality and visibility of CSR majors as well as offer HTM students greater opportunities,” Ghiselli said.

 The College of Health and Human Sciences was formally launched on July 1, 2010, as a realignment of several disciplines and schools at Purdue. The Public Health Graduate Program, which was recently accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, was added in 2014.

In addition to Public Health, the College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the departments of Psychological Sciences; Human Development and Family Studies; Health and Kinesiology; Nutrition Science; Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; and the schools of Nursing, Health Sciences, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. 

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Sources:  Marion Underwood, 765-494-8210, underwood@purdue.edu                  

Richard “Rick” Mattes, 765-494-0662, mattes@purdue.edu 

Richard “Rich” Ghiselli, (765) 496-2636, mailto:ghiselli@purdue.edu 

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