Accreditation awarded to IU schools of public health in Indianapolis and Bloomington

  • June 22, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University schools of public health in Bloomington and Indianapolis have been awarded full accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health for five years, the maximum for an initial accreditation by the accrediting body.

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today that accreditation had been granted to both the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“The achievement of full accreditation is a testament to the extraordinary work being carried out by leaders and faculty of both these schools,” McRobbie said. “Excellence in health sciences and health care is a key principle of the Indiana University Bicentennial Strategic Plan, and the success of these innovative and complementary schools is of vital importance to the state of Indiana.”

McRobbie gave particular credit to Edwin Marshall, professor emeritus of optometry and public health and former IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs. Marshall chaired the Public Health Coordinating Council, which oversaw planning for creating the schools.

"Ed has been instrumental in the successful launch of IU's two schools of public health,” McRobbie said. “His vision and leadership have been essential to this important initiative.”

Accreditation is the culmination of a rigorous multiyear process involving an extensive self-study and a site visit by an accreditation team. The IU schools join a prestigious cadre of schools of public health to have earned accreditation.

“Schoolwide accreditation is a true milestone,” said Mohammad Torabi, founding dean and Chancellor's Professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. “Many thanks go to Indiana University leadership, whose vision made the founding of our school possible in 2012. The dedicated team that helped shepherd us through this process did an amazing job. And of course we wouldn’t be here without the many dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends whose hard work and loyalty have supported our effort every step of the way,”

“I could not be more proud of the Fairbanks School of Public Health faculty and staff for the hard work they have done to help us achieve full accreditation,” said Paul K. Halverson, founding dean of the school in Indianapolis. “Not only did the council grant full accreditation on our first application, but it was awarded for five years. As a relatively new school, we had a lot to prove. With this accreditation, our students and community partners can feel confident that our programs meet the highest standards.”

Accreditation includes a process of peer review to assess and verify the quality of schools and programs and to ensure continuous improvement. Schools are required to conduct a self-evaluation and submit a lengthy report detailing how they meet a variety of criteria, including curricula, student learning outcomes, resources, research opportunities and student-faculty interaction. An on-site visit by peer reviewers is then conducted to validate the findings of the self-study.

The Council on Education for Public Health is an independent accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure the quality of education and training in public health.

IU administrators say accreditation will open the doors to additional funding and will assist in recruiting the best students, faculty and staff. In addition, graduating from an accredited school will better position students to compete successfully for the best career opportunities.

Both IU schools of public health were established in 2012 in response to a need for public health education. According to the United Health Foundation’s most recent “America’s Health Rankings,” the state of Indiana ranks 41 out of 50 states in overall health. The American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index for 2015 ranks Indiana at the bottom. Further, the state needs more students in the pipeline to replace public health and health administration workers who are entering retirement.

The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is known for its expertise in a number of areas, including biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer research, community health, environmental public health, health policy and health administration. It offers multiple bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, including the state’s only CAHME-accredited Master of Health Administration, as well as dual degrees in partnership with IUPUI schools including the IU School of Medicine and the IU McKinney School of Law.

The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington is known for its multidisciplinary approach, community engagement, behavioral and community health, kinesiology and recreation, as well as emerging strengths in epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental health. It also offers multiple bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Its history includes the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, established at IU Bloomington in 1946. The school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual fitness opportunities.

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Mohammad Torabi

Mohammad Torabi

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Paul Halverson

Paul Halverson

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