Eric Wang

The University plans to formally announce the new Yale Institute of Global Health on Monday, according to Rosalind D’Eugenio, a spokeswoman for the new institute.

The Yale Corporation first must vote to approve the initiative, but Yale administrators, including D’Eugenio and Vice President for Global Strategy and Deputy Provost for International Affairs Pericles Lewis, are confident the institute will pass the vote as they prepare to announce the initiative early next week. The board’s Education Policy Committee, chaired by former Vassar College President Catharine Bond Hill GRD ’85, will vote to approve the initiative at the Corporation’s last meeting of 2017 this weekend.

A joint effort coordinated by the School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, the new institute will unite global health work across academic units under one roof. The institute will prepare grant applications, coordinate between schools and offer advice to faculty who develop an international project in fields in which the University already offers programming. In a September email to the News, Dean of the Yale School of Public Health Sten Vermund said the institute would likely cost the University around $2.5 million in its first three years.

Dean of the School of Nursing Ann Kurth declined to comment on the institute until the University formally announces the initiative on Monday.

According to Lewis, the new institute will host one senior faculty member leader along with several staff members. A search for the institute’s director is currently underway.

The institute’s announcement arrives six months after the Global Health Leadership Institute was integrated into the School of Public Health. Following the departure of former Head of Branford College Elizabeth Bradley, who founded the institute in 2009, the Office of the Provost opted not to fund the institute for the next fiscal year. Several staff members, whose only affiliation with the University was through the GHLI, were given layoff notices after the University elected not to renew the independent institute.

The GHLI, a part of the University’s Global Health Initiative, served a similar purpose to the new Yale Institute of Global Health, but specialized in global health leadership development. Bradley, who is now president of Vassar College, led the initiative and served as the faculty director of GHLI throughout the entirety of its programming.

Former University President Richard Levin and then Provost Peter Salovey introduced the Global Health Initiative in 2009 as the first offshoot of the newly created Jackson Institute of Global Affairs.

As the University announces the new institute for global health, a committee chaired by School of Management professor Judith Chevalier ’89 is working to formulate potential expansion plans for the Jackson Institute. Dean of Social Sciences Alan Gerber is similarly investigating how the University can develop its empirical research with applicability to public policy.

According to Lewis, the new institute for global health will contribute to Salovey’s mission to promote public policy in order to inform policymakers.

Yale’s new Institute of Global Health will largely mimic those at many of the University’s peer institutions. Founded in 2010, the Harvard Global Health Institute similarly formed to unite global health research across Harvard’s schools. According to the institute’s Faculty Director Ashish Jha, the institute houses between 15 and 20 staff members and works with between 30 and 40 faculty members across the university’s schools — including its law school, school of public health and school of government. Rather than grants, funding for HIGH comes almost exclusively from the university and private philanthropy. Jha estimated that the institute’s annual operating budget is between $3 to $5 million compared to the $2.5 million three-year operating budget for Yale’s new institute for global health.

“An institute can also highlight topics that no one is working on as a way to motivate faculty to work on something,” Jha said. “Institutes can try to get the university to tackle really big complicated topics that no single faculty can take on.”

Jha said he has advised universities planning similar institutes but has not spoken with Yale faculty or administrators about their global health project.

The Center for Global Health at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Brown University’s International Health Institute similarly unite global health scholarship and research across entire universities.

Hailey Fuchs | hailey.fuchs@yale.edu