Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 8, 1996

William R. Brody Named Hopkins' 13th President

Former Hopkins Professor 
Leaving Post at Minnesota

Dennis O'Shea
Homewood News and Information

     William R. Brody, provost of the University of Minnesota
Academic Health Center and a former Hopkins professor, was
elected Monday as the 13th president of The Johns Hopkins

     Brody, 52, a physician and electrical engineer, will take
office no later than Sept. 1.

     "Johns Hopkins is, obviously, an extraordinary university
with an extraordinary past," Brody said. "The opportunity to lead
it into the 21st century is an exciting one indeed."

     Brody called Hopkins "well-positioned" to address what he
said is the critical issue facing all American research
universities: "How to provide a high-quality education, with a
strong research component, in an era of increasing competition
for resources."

     "Hopkins has got to face that issue squarely," he said.

     The lessons learned in recent years by academic medical
centers like those at Hopkins and Minnesota are important for
their parent universities and all of higher education, Brody

     "The issues of cost, quality and access--which is what
healthcare reform is supposedly all about--are going to hit
higher education," he said.

     The rate of tuition increase, an issue already under study
at Hopkins, threatens to price private universities out of the
market, Brody said.

     "People say, 'We love your education, but it's too costly,'"
he said. "'We want lower cost, the same quality if not better,
and we want access to it in different ways, different locations.'
I think that's a major challenge that's going to be facing all of
higher education."

     Morris W. Offit, chairman of the board of trustees and of
the search committee that recommended Brody to the board, said he
was influenced by Brody's commitment to addressing these

     "Cost of delivery is critical for education, just as cost of
delivery has made managed care critical for health care," Offit
said. "With new technology, how are you going to educate more
effectively and efficiently in the future? What is a classroom
going to be? What is a campus?

     "Bill Brody really understands these issues. He understands
delivery systems and the application of technology."

     Brody's election Monday by the trustees ends a search that
began in December 1994, when President William C. Richardson
announced he would leave Hopkins to become president of the W.K.
Kellogg Foundation. Daniel Nathans, who has been interim
president since June, will return to the School of Medicine,
where he has been a member of the faculty for more than 30 years.

     Brody has been at the University of Minnesota since 1994,
responsible for 5,000 students and 14,600 faculty and staff in
two medical schools, five other health professions schools and a
hospital and health system. He oversees a combined budget of $750

     He has been a vocal and active advocate for the "radical
change" necessary to resolve the serious financial problems of an
academic health center, highly dependent on patient revenue, in a
market more heavily penetrated by managed care than any other in
the country.

     Brody has commissioned a faculty-led re-engineering of the
university's entire health and medical enterprise. While
continuing to emphasize innovative education and leadership in
research, he said, it must focus much more precisely on the
communities it serves.

     In terms of "what we do and how we do it ... everything is
on the table for change," he told colleagues in Minnesota. "There
are no sacred cows." 

     Johns Hopkins has been grappling with the same issues as
Minnesota, and over the past year has created a new governance
structure that will soon lead to the appointment of a chief
executive officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine. The CEO will report
to the university president, with authority over both the School
of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, a
corporation separate from the university.

     "That's very positive," Brody said, "because it will align
the health system and the medical school in order to address
marketplace needs."

     But Brody also said the situation at Hopkins is very
different from what he found at Minnesota. Managed care is not
yet as pervasive in Baltimore as in Minneapolis, giving Hopkins
more time to adjust. Johns Hopkins Medicine is in far better
shape financially than the Minnesota Academic Medical Center was
when he arrived, Brody said.

     "I suspect that the need for change (at Hopkins) is every
bit as great, but the magnitude of change in many areas is
probably going to be different," he said. "That does not mean,
however, that the change will be any less painful.

     "I think it's important," he said, "to recognize that all
academic health centers in America are being subjected to the
same set of challenging issues. The changes required are very,
very painful, because they challenge the very core mission of
academic health centers, which have in some sense been deemed
irrelevant by healthcare reform.

     "This is a very unfortunate and very shortsighted
consequence of healthcare reform, but one cannot ignore the power
of market forces ... even if they are not necessarily moving in
the appropriate direction."

     Brody graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in 1965 and earned a master's degree in electrical engineering at
MIT a year later. He received his medical degree from Stanford in
1970 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the same
university in 1972.

     He trained in cardiovascular surgery at Stanford and in
radiology at the University of California at San Francisco. He
served in the Radiology and Electrical Engineering departments at
Stanford and was founder of Resonex Inc., a medical imaging
company. At Hopkins, Brody was director of the Department of
Radiology in the School of Medicine from 1987 to 1994, with a
joint appointment in the Whiting School of Engineering. His
research focus was on cardiovascular imaging and minimally
invasive therapy and on non-invasive imaging methods such as
computerized imaging and MRI.

     He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National
Academy of Sciences and a founding fellow of the American
Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He also is a
fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American
College of Radiology, and the Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers. He served from 1991 until this year on the
MIT Corporation, the institute's board of trustees.

     He and his wife, Wendy, have two children, a daughter, 21,
and a son, 15.

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