President Brody to Retire
President Brody congratulates a
newly minted graduate at the 2006 undergraduate diploma
Photo by Homewood Photographic
Will step down Dec. 31 after 12-plus years at the helm of
By Dennis O'Shea
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
"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
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
During Brody's presidency, the university has:
Established the Carey Business
School, the School of Education and numerous
centers such as the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Center
for Africana Studies, Center for Global
Health, Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response,
Information Security Institute,
Institute for Cell Engineering and Malaria Research
"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."
Focused attention on
undergraduate experience both in and outside the classroom,
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 the Homewood campus in northern Baltimore
that emphasized a serene outdoor environment; modern,
interdisciplinary research facilities; and a
welcoming new entrance and visitor center.
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
Revitalized the aging
campus of the Peabody Institute, creating one of the finest
music conservatory facilities in the world.
Expanded its presence
from Rockville, Md., to Washington, D.C., to Nanjing,
Prizes to two
full-time faculty members and three graduates; also
NCAA Division I men's lacrosse championships in 2005 and
progress in the
diversification of its student body, faculty and
committed to aggressive continued improvement in the
recruitment of women and underrepresented
Completed a $1.52
(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).
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 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
A native of Stockton, Calif., Brody received his
bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical
engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in 1965 and 1966. He earned his medical
degree in 1970 and doctorate 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
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."
Information on the formation of a search committee to
replace Brody is expected to be
For a look back at Brody's presidency, with videos, a
photographic slide show and timeline, go to
Selected highlights of President Brody's
♦ Brody created a universitywide
Commission on Undergraduate Education and focused the
university's decennial accreditation self-study on
♦ Under Brody's leadership, the
university created the position of Homewood campus dean of
undergraduate education and vice provost to implement the
commission and self-study
♦ During Brody's tenure, the
university has built new residential, art and recreational
enhanced programs aimed at building campus community;
inaugurated popular academic programs such
as museum studies, theater, and entrepreneurship and
management; strengthened security measures
on campus and in adjacent neighborhoods; and created new
opportunities for undergraduates to take
part in original research.
♦ Brody's administration also
appointed a campus task force on the arts, leading to
the first vice provost for the arts and implementation of
many new arts-related initiatives.
♦ During Brody's tenure,
applications for the freshman class at Homewood have grown
in 1996, the year he arrived, to 15,950 for the fall of
Academics and Research
♦ The Carey Business School and the
School of Education were established.
♦ Awards and honors for full-time
faculty during Brody's tenure include two Nobel Prizes,
MacArthur "genius grant" fellowships, three Albert Lasker
Medical Research Awards, one National
Book Award, one Kennedy Center Honors Award, three National
Medals of Science, one National
Humanities Medal, one National Medal of Technology and
several Grammy nominations.
♦ New interdisciplinary academic and
research centers include, among many others, the Whitaker
Biomedical Engineering Institute, Center for Financial
Economics, Brain Science Institute, Human
Language Technology Center of Excellence, Institute for
NanoBioTechnology, Center for Africana
Studies, Center for Global Health, Office of Critical Event
Preparedness and Response, Information
Security Institute, Institute for Cell Engineering and
Malaria Research Institute.
♦ The university's research and
development work in science and engineering grew almost 95
percent, from $798.5 million in fiscal year 1996, the year
before Brody became president, to $1.554
billion in fiscal 2007. Through fiscal 2006, the latest
year for which national rankings are available,
Johns Hopkins has led U.S. academic institutions in total
R&D spending for 28 straight years.
♦ During the past eight years, APL,
working for NASA, has landed a spacecraft on an asteroid,
sent one probe toward Pluto and another toward Mercury, and
launched the two STEREO satellites to
get measurements of the Sun in three dimensions.
♦ Under Brody's direction, Johns
Hopkins has been one of the lead partners in the New
project, an urban revitalization designed to provide
housing, jobs, commerce and schools and build a
diverse mixed-income community in a formerly blighted area
north of the JHMI campus. Johns
Hopkins already has contributed more than $20 million in
cash and made significant noncash
♦ Brody established the Urban Health
Institute to focus Johns Hopkins resources on community
health problems in East Baltimore.
♦ To support the Baltimore public
schools, Brody created the Baltimore Scholars Program,
already invests more than $2 million a year in tuition
waivers for graduates of city schools. That
figure will increase as the program grows.
Finance and Economic Impact
♦ The university's endowment has
grown from $982.6 million in 1996, the year Brody arrived,
$2.8 billion in 2007.
♦ Johns Hopkins University
employment of Maryland residents increased nearly 43
1996 to 2006.
♦ In 2006, the Johns Hopkins
Institutions generated $10 billion in income for the
economy, a 43 percent increase in just four years from the
2002 level of $7 billion.
♦ The university's fiscal year 2008
budget is $3.39 billion, up 124 percent from the $1.51
budget in fiscal 1996, the year before he arrived.
♦ Under Brody, Johns Hopkins
completed a $1.52 billion campaign in 2000; the original
♦ The Knowledge for the World
campaign now under way has raised more than $3.1 billion to
its original goal was $2 billion. Its new goal is $3.2
billion by the end of 2008. The campaign's
priorities are endowment for student aid and faculty
support; research, academic and clinical
initiatives; and the building and upgrading of facilities
on all Johns Hopkins campuses
♦ Nine of the 10 largest gifts in
Johns Hopkins history have been made during Brody's
A few examples of the many university facilities completed
or extensively renovated during Brody's
time in office:
♦ At the Homewood campus: Student
facilities such as Charles Commons, the Mattin Center, the
Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith and Community Service Center
and the Ralph S. O'Connor Recreation
Center. Research and academic buildings such as Hodson
Hall, New Chemistry, Clark Hall and the
Computational Science and Engineering Building. Outdoor
amenities such as the Decker Quadrangle and
the "Great Excavations" landscaping project. A new
admissions and visitor center, Mason Hall.
♦ At the Johns Hopkins Medical
Institutions campus in East Baltimore: The Anne M. Pinkard
Building (home of the School of Nursing), the multibuilding
Bloomberg School of Public Health
expansion, the Broadway Research Building, the
Bunting-Blaustein and David Koch Cancer Research
♦ A $27 million makeover
transforming the aging physical plant of the Peabody
Institute into one
of the best music conservatory facilities in the world.
♦ Expansion of the Montgomery County
Campus to three buildings; a new, larger Downtown Center
in Baltimore; the 11-story Samuel Pollard Building at the
Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and
American Studies; the Bernstein-Offit Building in
♦ Brody appointed the Diversity
Leadership Council as one of the first major acts of his
♦ The university has adopted a goal
of gender equity in composition of the faculty and senior
leadership positions. At present, three of seven vice
presidents and four of nine vice provosts are
♦ The representation of
underrepresented minorities in the universitywide
population has increased 64 percent, from 9.2 percent in
the year before Brody arrived to 15.1
percent today. At Homewood, the representation of
underrepresented minorities in the freshman
class has more than doubled since 2001, from less than 7
percent to more than 14 percent.
♦ The university's admissions
offices have adopted a wide range of strategies for
reaching out to
potential minority students and have made recruitment of
underrepresented minorities a high priority.
♦ Brody's universitywide Commission
on Equity, Civility and Respect will have recommendations
soon on a comprehensive universitywide diversity education
program, building on success in the School
of Medicine and recent new initiatives on the Homewood
Advocacy on National and Global Issues
♦ As co-chair of the National
Innovation Initiative (with Intel Chairman Craig Barrett),
helped shaped the debate on competitiveness and innovation
that culminated in 2007 with the passage
of the America COMPETES Act.
♦ Brody advocated strengthening the
nation's science, math, engineering and technology talent
base through strong federal support of basic research in
the physical and life sciences.
♦ Believing the United States should
have access to the best talent in the world, Brody has been
an advocate for immigration reform. Serving on the
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
and the FBI National Security Higher Education Advisory
Board, he has promoted the importance of
keeping the United States a welcoming place for
international students and scholars.
♦ Brody has written extensively
about U.S. health care and become a leading voice on reform
an outspoken advocate for a better, safer, more
cost-effective system. Brody has worked to broaden
the dialogue on health care reform and focus the debate on
issues such as quality and consistency of
care, the complexity of the health care system and the need
to focus on chronic illness.
♦ Brody chaired the NIH Working
Group on Construction of Research Facilities (2000-2001),
charged with recommending how the nation's biomedical
infrastructure could be updated to make the
most of the then recent federal commitment to doubling of
the NIH budget.
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