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The Yale School of Public Health will transition from a department under the Yale School of Medicine and become an independent school. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Yale University leaders announced that the Yale School of Public Health will become an independent school, transitioning from a department under the Yale School of Medicine.

YSPH offers fifteen different joint degree programs with other fields of study. Yale will provide a $150 million endowment to the school in hopes of strengthening its impact on public health. $100 million of the endowment is allocated towards ensuring the financial stability of the school, while the remaining $50 million matches the endowment funds raised by the school in the next five years. 

YSPH has played a role in advancing the field of public health through spurring initiatives, such as the development of saliva-based COVID-19 testing, and providing research on health equity and diseases like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and tick-borne illnesses, Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in the announcement. 

The endowment will be provided to YSPH following the appointment of a new dean – the search for which will begin this week.

The new dean will be determined by Yale's president and a search advisory committee and they will both lead the school through its transition and have ultimate responsibility for the school's budget, Salovey wrote.

The decision comes after students and faculty at YSPH called for Yale to grant the school autonomy, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic prompting conversations about public health and controversy surrounding the possibility that the former School of Public Health dean had been pushed out of his role.

"We have experienced a historic crisis that underscores the necessity of public health to the well-being of communities in this country and around the world. We also know that other public health threats require immediate attention, including those resulting from climate change, food insecurity, water scarcity, health inequities, and growth in infectious and non-communicable diseases," Salovey wrote in the announcement. 

Yale plans for the transition to occur over the next 12-18 months, according to the Yale Daily News