Contact: Kathy Quirk
The Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has reached an important milestone in its efforts to become the first accredited school of public health in Wisconsin.
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the nationally recognized accrediting body for schools of public health, informed the school June 25 that it is approved to formally begin the accreditation process, which may take up to two years to complete.
“This opportunity to become the state’s first nationally accredited school of public health, possibly as early as fall 2016, is thrilling,” said Magda Peck, founding dean of the Zilber School. “We have a great deal of work in front of us before the process is complete, but this is an important step in realizing a dream that so many have held for so long. Among the Zilber School’s goals in its work ahead is to expand and ensure innovative education and research programs, and strong community engagement.”
State officials approved the opening of the school in 2009, following three years of effort by local and university officials. Many UWM faculty and community partners participated in creating the foundation of what the Zilber School is today. The City of Milwaukee has been a long-time advocate. “I am proud to have been a champion for a school of public health in Milwaukee since day one,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Thanks to the dynamic leadership of Dean Peck and a great faculty, the Zilber School has taken a big step toward becoming the first accredited school of public health in the state. We should all see the school as an asset not only for our city and state, but our entire region as well.”
“Zilber School of Public Health faculty and staff members have been working extremely hard to prepare the groundwork for the accreditation process,” said Mark Mone, interim chancellor of UWM. “New programs and tracks are up and running, the first graduates have already completed degrees and joined the workforce, and faculty members are receiving national attention for their research. We are excited about this important step in moving toward accreditation.”
Accreditation is a rigorous process, giving schools of public health the opportunity to reflect on how they can best serve their stakeholders through instruction, research and service. Accreditation ensures that schools meet certain standards of quality and excellence. Schools are reviewed by their peers during extensive site visits. There are now 52 CEPH accredited schools in the world.
As Wisconsin’s premier public urban institution, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enjoys a growing national reputation for excellence in research, teaching and community engagement. On an operating budget of $700 million, it educates nearly 30,000 students and is an engine of innovation for Southeastern Wisconsin. The 104-acre main campus and satellite sites are located in the economic and cultural heart of the state. Expansion projects now underway include creation of the UWM Harbor Campus, the 80-acre Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa, and the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex on the university’s main campus. Recent program expansion includes the founding of the nation’s only School of Freshwater Sciences and the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, the only comprehensive, dedicated public health school in Wisconsin.