A 1988 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Public Health, characterized the current public health system as fragmented, particularly with regard to relationships between public health agencies and academic institutions. As one response to the report, the Health Resources and Services Administration established the Center for the Development of Public Health Practice at the University of Illinois to advance linkages between schools of public health and public health agencies. Surveys of schools of public health and of state health agencies were conducted in 1992 to collect baseline data on the practice links between the two. Responses reveal that there is a substantial amount of informal collaboration between them. Formalization of collaborative activities between schools and agencies is beginning to occur and is expected to expand owing to increased focus on public health practice at schools of public health.