Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 27, 1995

Administration Formalizes Management Policy

By Mike Field

     Research, education and service are the university's
fundamental tasks, and it is administration's chief function to
enhance those goals and then stay out of the way, according to a
new policy statement released last week. (See Policy, below.)
     The brief 750-word document is intended to give senior
administrators and managers a concise theoretical framework from
which to base management decisions, said university sources. Part
of the nature of those decisions, according to the document,
should be to work "as unobtrusively as possible" within the
greater context of the university's overall mission. 
     In the statement's preamble, administration is charged with
supporting and enhancing the mission of the university "while
granting to faculty and students what really is the defining
quality of academic life--freedom of thought, freedom of speech,
freedom of criticism and freedom from unreasonable intrusions and
     "I think we always have to beware of creating a bureaucracy
that ultimately exists only to serve itself," said President
William C. Richardson, who actively participated in the creation
of the university's new statement of management philosophy. "I've
visited places where this has been a real problem. We have to
make sure in our zeal for order and harmony and administrative
efficiency we don't erode the independence of the faculty and
     The new statement of Hopkins management philosophy was
carefully reviewed and revised by the President's Administrative
Council before its release. 
     According to Human Services director Richard Kilburg, who
worked with the PAC in creating the document, the intent was to
formalize in writing a tradition of management style that is as
old as the university itself.
     "I don't think this statement is startlingly new," Dr.
Kilburg said. "In fact, the underlying philosophy can be traced
right back to the inaugural statement made by President Gilman at
the university's founding. What is new is that we have put down
succinctly--in only a couple pages--exactly what that philosophy
is, and have promulgated it to the rest of the university."
     "What we have done is to make explicit what I have always
considered to be implicit," Dr. Richardson said. "We thought it
would be helpful for those in leadership positions across the
university to have a clear statement of policy. This defines the
way in which we expect leadership to be exercised. It is a
contemporary statement of a philosophy that has been evident at
the university from the outset, and in particular it supports
those responsible for carrying out the primary roles of the
     After laying out the basic values and beliefs of the
university's administration, the document defines core principles
of management philosophy, endorses continuing professional
development at all levels and affirms the practice of performance
management. In particular, it emphasizes strategic focus,
fairness and equality, humane values, civic-mindedness, personal
and professional integrity, and managerial effectiveness as the
foundations of successful administration.
     "I think if you read the document carefully you begin to
appreciate the effort to balance the traditions and values of the
academy with the demands and requirements of operating a large
institution," Dr. Kilburg said. "This represents a real
recognition of the desire to manage the institution competently
while keeping the core values intact. It touches on important
issues that will continue to be important in the future."

Policy: A Management Philosophy for the University

I.   Basic Values and Beliefs

     Johns Hopkins is one of the foremost institutions of higher
education in the world, and our responsibility is to help sustain
it in a challenging time and assure that it is always looking and
moving forward. We are guided by the recognition that change is
as essential as it is difficult to accomplish, and also by the
maxim: First, do no harm. 
     The fundamental task of university administration is to
sustain and enhance the activities of research, education and
service that are carried out in the university's classrooms,
laboratories, libraries, health care facilities and other
settings. The most successful administration will provide clear
leadership, but also will perform its supporting staff functions
as unobtrusively as possible, while granting to faculty and
students what really is the defining quality of academic life--
freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of criticism and
freedom from unreasonable intrusions and regulations.

II.  Core Principles and Approaches in Our Management Philosophy

     Within the above framework, there is room for any university
administration to promote principles, qualities and values that
will serve to make our institution as humane as possible. 
     Areas in which the administration can and should properly
play a decisive role are:

Strategic Focus:  helping to keep the enterprise focused on its
core missions--teaching, research and service--by encouraging the
highest possible levels of achievement and quality in all the
activities undertaken by the university, by integrating the
creative efforts of individuals with the support of groups and
organizational units and, finally, by facilitating collaborative
effort across such units.

Fairness and Equality:  ensuring full equality of opportunity
with respect to race, ethnic origin, gender and other dimensions
of diversity in the recruitment, retention and promotion of
faculty, staff and students.

Humane Values: developing an organizational culture that is
inclusive, facilitates collaboration, and accepts and rewards
individuals' particular strengths, talents and experiences. The
culture should encourage individuals to balance their work and
personal lives, and be supportive to them both developmentally
and interpersonally.

Civic-mindedness:  being mindful of the institution's public
responsibilities and privileges, and helping to find ways for it
to be appropriately responsive to the needs and interests of
society as a whole, and continuously to earn the public trust.

Personal and Professional Integrity:  promoting methods of
operation that emphasize honesty in our interactions with each
other, adherence to legal and ethical standards, and the wise
applications of university policies.

Managerial Effectiveness:  providing effective leadership of the
various organizational units of the university through the
application of sound principles of management, efficient
utilization of resources, reasoned judgment and strategic vision.

III. Professional Development

     Each member of the senior leadership is encouraged to be
involved in activities and service groups that will acquaint them
with the state of practice nationally in their field of
responsibility. We assume that they will have received
appropriate academic training prior to achieving their current
positions. However, if anyone should wish to participate in short
courses, workshops or other programs to extend or deepen their
professional competencies, we would encourage them to do so. In
administration as in the academic disciplines and in the
professions, we must be receptive to the need for lifelong
learning. Each member of the senior leadership group should work
within his or her own organizational unit to create opportunities
and expectations for developing their faculty and staff.

IV.  Performance Management

     We support the concept and practice of performance
evaluation. The methods used for faculty evaluation are
well-developed. With regard to staff performance, we would look
to the professionals in Human Resources for guidance in
constructing an appropriate methodology. 
     Our performance management practices should reflect and
reward congruity with the principles and values outlined above.

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