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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