Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

November 11, 2008
CONTACT: Dennis O'Shea or Tracey Reeves
dro@jhu.edu or treeves@jhu.edu

Quotes from President-Elect Ronald J. Daniels

On Johns Hopkins: "From the first moment that I met with the search committee, I was attracted to the research eminence of the university and the many, many instances of international excellence that pervade and define it. When the call came from Johns Hopkins [asking me to be a candidate], there was no hesitation on my part. I simply said, yes, I would be honored to be a candidate for the presidency of an institution that is a leader in so many fields of scientific and social inquiry."

"I have been inspired by the aspiration and commitment that each component of Johns Hopkins shares for the university. It will be a privilege to be a part of that, and to lead an institution with that kind of ambition and devotion."

On visiting Johns Hopkins unannounced during the summer. "I hadn't told anyone other than my wife. I just walked the Homewood campus and the hospital complex. I was moved by the sheer energy of the campuses — and this was the summer."

On his priorities when he becomes president: "As an external appointment, my first task will be to spend time learning Johns Hopkins — its history and aspirations, its achievements, and what each of the university's core constituencies hopes to contribute to, and gain from, this magnificent institution in the years to come."

On his predecessor, William R. Brody: "Bill Brody has, by any measure, been an extraordinary leader at Johns Hopkins and in higher education more generally. As strong as Johns Hopkins was before Bill started, it is that much stronger now. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to build on the foundation that he has forged in concert with so many others."

On challenges and opportunities:

The economic climate. "The current crisis confronting the global economy is doubtless a compelling immediate challenge. But it is a challenge that we will be able to surmount by diligently focusing on our highest academic priorities. My experience in higher education leadership has reinforced my belief, perhaps counter-intuitive, that opportunities for growth and achievement arise more often in times of challenge than in times of tranquility. Johns Hopkins is an institution with a glorious and inspiring history. It has been through tough times before, and it will emerge from these current challenges stronger than before. Of that, I am confident."

Life sciences. "The pace and content of research advances in biology are having a profound effect on so many different areas of intellectual inquiry. Whether one looks to our rapidly developing understandings in genomics, regenerative medicine, or neuroscience, there is little doubt that these advances are shaping not only our understanding of who and what we are, but also how we understand human rationality, motivation and, ultimately, behavior. Because of its formidable strength in the health and life sciences, Johns Hopkins is well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities."

Interdisciplinary research. "The great universities are those that are able to marshal perspectives from an array of disciplines so that problems can be considered in their broadest frame. Johns Hopkins has a proud history of innovative interdisciplinary collaboration, and there is little question that there will be very significant opportunities for the university to do even more."

On undergraduate education: "Great universities must offer an undergraduate experience that challenges, inspires, and educates students, and allows them to develop and hone their powers of analysis, reason, and judgment. Ideally, the opportunity to do advanced research under the supervision of faculty and graduate students would be part and parcel of this experience. Yet it is important to recognize that students yearn for more than intellectual growth; they look to our campuses for opportunities to experience moral growth, cultural understanding, and leadership development. Johns Hopkins is perfectly positioned to offer this experience, because of the breadth of its academic programs, its commitment to interdisciplinary research, and its deep and enduring ties to local, national, and international organizations.

"For example, I introduced [at Penn] an innovative program that provided upper-year students the opportunity to tackle a concrete policy problem that a local, national, or, in some cases, international policymaker brought to the university. Students relished the opportunity to exercise research skills in the service of an applied problem, the resolution of which had a concrete impact on how governments behaved."

On the health professions schools on the East Baltimore campus: "For so many people, Johns Hopkins is synonymous with excellence in medical education and research. And for good reason. There are few institutions in the world that can rival Johns Hopkins when it comes to the health sciences. Despite this already high level of achievement, I am struck by the firm determination on the part of Johns Hopkins' health sciences leadership to resist any instinct for complacency. I look forward to working hand-in-glove with the leadership of the East Baltimore campus as we double and redouble our efforts to strengthen the quality and scope of our vast health sciences enterprise."

On the significance of research universities: "The research-intensive university is simply the most important social institution that exists today. By virtue of our ideas and our values, we are uniquely positioned to contribute to social progress and scientific understanding. This is why I have devoted my life to higher education leadership and why I am so passionate about the cause of higher education."

On access to higher education: "Universities are important because of their contributions to basic and applied knowledge, to commercial innovation, to the arts and humanities, and to the development of sound and humane policy. Yet there is another role that I find deeply inspiring: their power of social transformation. No other institution is more effective in promoting merit-based social mobility. The modern university at its best can be a very powerful engine for social transformation."

"I am the son of a father who was born in Europe and came to Canada as a young child. His generation was the first of our family to receive a higher education. For my father and his siblings, everything changed as a consequence of the university education they received. It opened so many doors. I was the beneficiary of that, and I have never lost sight of how much changed for me and my siblings as a result of that experience.

"I know that Johns Hopkins has long been committed to the ideal of access. Given the role that the university can play in social transformation, I intend to work closely with Johns Hopkins alumni and friends in enhancing our resources in this area."

On university-community engagement: "Universities must not be remote and insular institutions. They should stand at the fulcrum of society's most important debates and issues, and should seek to connect the university's many strengths with the public at large."

"For me, some of the most rewarding aspects of higher education leadership have been the many opportunities I have had to convene diverse constituencies, both within and outside of the university, to collaborate on finding solutions to economic, social, and political challenges. I am well aware of the extraordinary work that Johns Hopkins has done with communities in Baltimore, Maryland and further abroad to contribute to the public weal. I am excited to become a part of that effort."

On his scholarship in law and economics: "My most recent work involves the role of the state and markets in developing countries. The monumental moral challenge of our lifetime is to think about how we deal with the disparity in levels of wealth, education, health, political freedom, and violence between the first and third worlds. Along all these dimensions, the disparities are quite staggering. Thinking about how those gaps are ameliorated is a daunting but fundamental challenge."

"Corresponding with the growing interest in development issues is a growing chorus of enthusiasm for the role that institutions can play in promoting and supporting prosperity and freedom. In my recent book with my colleague Michael Trebilcock, Rule of Law Reform and Development: Charting the Fragile Path of Progress (Elgar Press, 2008), we investigate the claims in favor of legal institutions as an instrument for development."

Related Web Sites
> www.jhu.edu/newpresident
> Daniels Elected 14th President of Johns Hopkins
> Ronald J. Daniels, President-Elect, The Johns Hopkins University — Biography
> Ronald J. Daniels — Curriculum Vitae
> Quotes from President-Elect Ronald J. Daniels
> Quotes about President-Elect Ronald J. Daniels
> The President-Elect's Family
> Joanne D. Rosen — Curriculum Vitae