Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 8, 1996

From Thoughtful Investigation to Hands-On Implementation

Dennis O'Shea
Homewood News and Information

     Almost two years ago, as he prepared to leave Johns Hopkins
for a new position at the University of Minnesota, Bill Brody
helped put the finishing touches on a study charting a course for
the university's future.

     Little did he know that he'd be back to navigate Hopkins
along that course.

     Brody was Martin Donner Professor and director of the
Department of Radiology at the School of Medicine from 1987 to
1994, and also held a faculty appointment in the Whiting School
of Engineering.

     In 1992, President Bill Richardson and Provost Joe Cooper
appointed him to chair a university-wide faculty group called the
Committee for the 21st Century, or C-21. He was asked to guide a
critical, thoughtful look at the major problems facing Johns
Hopkins--problems raised by both internal and external forces--
and to recommend how the university should respond.

     C-21 issued 23 detailed recommendations for action on such
issues as information technology, undergraduate education,
part-time and nontraditional study, interdivisional cooperation,
and globalization.

     Some were nuts-and-bolts items like the adoption of a
university-wide academic calendar and the appointment of a chief
information officer. Others were more fundamental, such as a move
toward a more personal, coherent, international and flexible
undergraduate experience, and the creation of broad,
cross-divisional graduate programs in some disciplines.

     But all were alike in challenging the university to take a
fresh look at itself at a time when, with resources becoming more
scarce, doing things the same old way might no longer suffice.

     Some of C-21's recommendations already have resulted in
significant change; others have not. Two years later, Brody--now
president-elect--says the C-21 report is still a "very good
blueprint for where we need to go."     

     Though he said he needs to know more about some areas of the
university and to learn how things have changed since he left,
Brody said he wants to "work with the faculty and staff at
framing an agenda for change that will certainly draw on the work
of C-21."

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