About the College

College of Public Health History

The founding of the College of Public Health blended new initiatives with long-established programs at The University of Iowa. The college's roots originate in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration, both formerly based in the UI College of Medicine. On July 1, 1999, these units were transitioned into the new College of Public Health. Today the college is composed of five departments: biostatistics, community and behavioral health, epidemiology, health management and policy, and occupational and environmental health.

The college builds on a rich tradition of public health teaching, research, and service that dates back to 1885 at The University of Iowa. Over the years, University entities such as the State Bacteriological Laboratory (now the University Hygienic Laboratory) and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health helped to address many of the most pressing public health needs in Iowa, including the control of communicable diseases, the safety of water and milk supplies, the health and safety of farmers and others living in rural areas, surveillance of cancer and birth defects, and emergency sanitation needs.

The training of graduates for leadership roles in all types of health care settings also has been part of the University's commitment to public health, a role fulfilled by the four health science colleges as well as specialty training programs like the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration.

The College of Public Health provides an educational and research focus to the many public health efforts taking place at the University. Building on these traditions and forging new collaborative arrangements on campus and throughout Iowa, the College of Public Health seeks to become a leading state-supported school of public health and to promote global leadership in the area of rural public health.

Notable Events

July 1, 1999 College of Public Health founding day. James Merchant appointed first dean of the college.
October 5, 2000 Three-year pre-accreditation awarded by Council for Education in Public Health
October 2000 The Department of Health Management and Policy (formerly the Graduate Program in Hospital Administration) celebrates 50 years of history as an academic unit.
June 2002 Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Occupational and Environmental Health mark 25 years as academic units
January 2003 Four academic departments and College of Public Health administrative offices move to General Hospital; the Steindler Building, former home of many collegiate and departmental offices, demolished.
October 2003 The Council on Education for Public Health grants the College of Public Health seven years of full accreditation—the maximum length possible.
December 2005 The University of Iowa successfully concludes a seven-year, $1 billion comprehensive campaign. College of Public Health raises $12 million for endowed chairs and professorships, student support, and other collegiate programs as part of the UI campaign.
April 2006 Iowa General Assembly approves $2 million in planning funds for The University of Iowa to develop an academic home for the College of Public Health.
October 2007 Iowa General Assembly approves $18.7 million in capital appropriations and Academic Building Revenue Bonds to finance the new College of Public Health Academic Building. Board of Regents grants final approval to proceed with development of the new facility. Groundbreaking ceremony held at the site of the former UI College of Law and former International Center.
May 2008 Site development work begins on the location of the new College of Public Health Academic Building.
August 2008 Susan Curry appointed dean of the College of Public Health.
July 2009 The College of Public Health marks its Tenth Anniversary. View information related to the Tenth Anniversary activities and events.
June 2011 The Council on Education for Public Health announces its decision to accredit the College of Public Health for a seven-year term, extending to July 1, 2018.
April 2012 The College of Public Health celebrates the dedication of its new building.