BILL BRODY TO RETIRE DEC. 31 AS JOHNS HOPKINS PRESIDENT
William R. Brody, who has led The Johns Hopkins University to a deepened commitment to undergraduate education, diversity, the community, and research that advances human society, and who has directed a transformative renewal of its facilities, will retire as president on Dec. 31, he informed the board of trustees today.
Brody, 64, will have led the university for more than 12 years, the fifth-longest tenure among Johns Hopkins’ 13 presidents. His retirement will coincide with the conclusion of the $3.2 billion Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World campaign.
"I simply love this job," Brody said in a message to students, faculty, staff and alumni. "But leaving is inevitable. And I feel, moreover, that there comes a point when leaving is most natural, least disruptive and, in a way, most constructive. I feel we are about to reach such a point."
"Twelve years is a great run," he said, "and stepping down at the completion of my second campaign will allow the trustees to recruit a highly talented and able leader who will take Johns Hopkins to the next level."
Pamela P. Flaherty, chair of the board of trustees, said that Brody has the university in "excellent shape" and well-prepared for a presidential transition.
"Bill Brody has been an extremely successful leader at Johns Hopkins University," Flaherty said. "We’re fortunate to have had him for more than a dozen years."
Morris W. Offit, a trustee emeritus who was chairman of the board when Brody was elected president in 1996, agreed.
"When the search committee identified Bill as its candidate for the presidency, we obviously thought he would rank among the finest Johns Hopkins presidents," Offit said. "Our expectations were exceeded beyond our fondest dreams."
In his message today to the campus community, Brody expressed his gratitude to the university’s students, faculty and staff and to the trustees, alumni and friends of the university from the public and private sectors who support its work.
"When I started as president in 1996," he wrote, "Wendy and I made building a better sense of community among all of us at Johns Hopkins a top priority. I wanted to focus on the undergraduate experience. I wanted to make real and significant progress on ensuring that our campuses are diverse and inclusive. I wanted to reposition Johns Hopkins Medicine with a new governance structure so that it could continue to provide excellent, compassionate service to the sick in an era of managed care.
"I hope and believe that we have made great strides in all these areas," he wrote. "I hope and believe that, together, we have enhanced Johns Hopkins’ ability to teach and to mentor, to discover and to heal, and to share the gift of knowledge with the world."
During Brody’s presidency, the university has:
* established the Carey Business School, the School of Education and numerous interdisciplinary centers such as the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, the Center for Africana Studies, the Center for Global Health, the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, the Information Security Institute, the Institute for Cell Engineering and the Malaria Research Institute.
* focused attention on the undergraduate experience both in and outside the classroom, by building new residential, art and recreational facilities; enhancing programs aimed at building a sense of campus community; inaugurating popular academic programs such as museum studies, theater, and entrepreneurship and management; strengthening security measures on campus and in adjacent neighborhoods; and creating new opportunities for undergraduates to take part in original research.
* created and largely built out a master plan for its Homewood campus in northern Baltimore that emphasized a serene outdoor environment; modern, interdisciplinary research facilities; and a welcoming new entrance and visitor center.
* expanded and modernized the research and education facilities of the health professions schools on the East Baltimore campus as part of a master plan that also has led to the construction, now under way, of two new clinical towers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
* revitalized the aging Mount Vernon campus of the Peabody Institute, creating one of the finest music conservatory facilities in the world.
* expanded its presence in locations from Rockville, Md., to Washington, D.C., to Nanjing, China.
* celebrated Nobel Prizes to two full-time faculty members and three graduates; also celebrated NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse championships in 2005 and 2007.
* made significant progress in the diversification of its student body, faculty and administration; committed to aggressive continued improvement in the recruitment of women and underrepresented minorities.
* completed a $1.52 billion campaign (original goal: $900 million) in 2000 and raised more than $3.1 billion to date in the Knowledge for the World campaign (original goal $2 billion; current goal $3.2 billion; closing date Dec. 31).
"The accomplishments of my time as president have truly been a team effort," Brody said, "involving scores of thousands of faculty, staff and students. And they could not have occurred without the generous support of alumni and friends and the wonderful partnerships Johns Hopkins has forged with the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, a number of foundations and many agencies of the federal government."
Under Brody’s direction, the university, often working in close partnership with its sister institution the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, also has focused financial support, time and talent on solutions to problems in the neighborhoods surrounding its campuses and in the Baltimore region in general.
Johns Hopkins has contributed significantly to the New EastSide project, an urban revitalization effort initiated by a team of institutional, philanthropic and governmental partners and now under way north of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions campus in East Baltimore. Brody established the Urban Health Institute to focus Johns Hopkins resources on community health problems in East Baltimore. To support the Baltimore public schools, he created the Baltimore Scholars Program, which now invests more than $2 million a year in tuition waivers for graduates of city schools. The university supports community and civic organizations, provides community health services and in numerous programs provides mentoring and other support for Baltimore youth.
"Bill Brody has not only given Johns Hopkins a better future, he’s given Baltimore a better future," said Martin O’Malley, governor of Maryland and former Baltimore mayor. "All of us who love the city are very fortunate that at a critical time in Baltimore’s comeback, a man of such vision, integrity, and courage was leading Johns Hopkins."
Brody became president of The Johns Hopkins University on Sept. 1, 1996, returning to Baltimore from the University of Minnesota, where he had served for two years as provost of the Academic Health Center. From 1987 to 1994, he had been the Martin Donner Professor and director of the Department of Radiology, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, and radiologist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Brody was professor of radiology and electrical engineering at Stanford University from 1977 to 1986. He has been a co-founder of three medical device companies, and was president and chief executive officer of Resonex Inc. from 1984 to 1987. He has more than 100 publications and two U.S. patents in the field of medical imaging and has made research contributions in medical acoustics, computed tomography, digital radiography and magnetic resonance imaging.
A native of Stockton, Calif., Brody received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 and 1966. He earned his M.D. in 1970 and Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1972, both from Stanford University.
Brody was the first Johns Hopkins president to live in Nichols House on the Homewood campus since 1971. He and his wife, Wendy, are often seen on campus, notably at basketball and lacrosse games and other student events. They also have made it a point each year to greet incoming freshmen and their parents during move-in days, variously using in-line skates, scooters and — one year — Segway Human Transporters to move quickly from one residence hall to another.
Wendy Brody has been a force for change within the university and in the Baltimore community. She has spearheaded the work of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Club to renew the library at the Barclay School and helped to spread the Experience Corps model in the public schools. She is deeply interested in the arts, serving on the advisory council of Homewood Museum and founding the Friends of the Peabody to better connect the Baltimore community with the talented student musicians of the Peabody Institute. She has also worked to strengthen the bonds between Johns Hopkins and the Walters Art Museum.
"She has been my true partner at Johns Hopkins," Brody said in his message to the campus community. "She has done so much in so many ways to better unite the university with those it serves. … I cannot say how grateful I am to her."