Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 27, 1995

Provost Steps Down, Plans To Teach

Dennis O'Shea
Homewood News and Information

     Now that he's stepping down after more than four whirlwind
years as provost, Joe Cooper may get a chance to catch his

     But there is that article on congressional leadership he's
been chafing to write.

     And there are those two book contracts to fulfill.

     On second thought, maybe catching his breath will have to

     Cooper, provost and vice president for academic affairs
since 1991, has announced he will resign effective Jan. 1. He
will spend a sabbatical year on his research and writing projects
and then will teach in the Political Science Department at
Homewood, where he holds the rank of professor. He said he
decided to step down as chief academic officer because Hopkins is
in the process of completing its search for a president to
replace William C. Richardson, who left the university last

     "It's a time of transition and it seems to me an appropriate
time," Cooper said. 

     Cooper came to Hopkins after 24 years at Rice University,
where he was, at various times, chairman of political science,
dean of the School of Social Sciences and president of the
Institute for Policy Analysis.

     "In his nearly five years at Hopkins, Cooper has made
significant contributions to the university," interim president
Daniel Nathans said in a letter to the faculty. "I know that I
speak for our entire community when I say that we will miss Joe
Cooper and we wish him well as he embarks on his sabbatical

     Nathans cited Cooper's organization and leadership of the
Committee for the 21st Century, a recent university-wide faculty
effort to identify and tackle the major challenges facing Hopkins
and other research universities.

     "We're in a decade of great change and a decade in which
there are so many opportunities as well as problems that are not
just divisional anymore," Cooper said. "In a sense, that was the
lesson that the C-21 process succeeded in getting over to the
university finally, that in the area of technology or part-time
education or partnerships, that there needs to be an
interdivisional agenda, to everybody's benefit."

     The committee's 23 recommendations have already led to major
initiatives in information technology, including the appointment
of a chief information officer, the construction of a
university-wide high-speed network and a provost's office program
to encourage the development of new classroom applications for
computer technology.

     "I think there was some initial skepticism toward the C-21
process," Cooper said. "Initially, people thought that there was
no need for it or that whatever it proposed wouldn't be

     "Over time, the whole terms of conversation and expectation
have changed," Cooper said. "The leading thrust of it has been
information technology, because that's the case where it's
clearest, where the interdivisional necessities are the

     Follow-up work is under way, he said, on other C-21
recommendations, in areas including international academic
initiatives, undergraduate education and part-time education.

     Nathans also commended Cooper for heading searches that led
to the appointment of "outstanding deans and directors" in the
five Hopkins schools that had turnovers in leadership during
Cooper's years as provost and at the Eisenhower Library and the
Johns Hopkins University Press.

     Cooper said he enjoyed promoting research opportunities at
Hopkins, both for students--he started a program to fund original
research projects for 40 undergraduates a year--and for the

     "I think that this is an excellent faculty," he said. "I
have really enjoyed getting to know this faculty, personally,
getting to know their research. I've taken some pleasure and some
pride in working with them. I think they know that, too."

Arts and Sciences Dean Steven Knapp 
to Serve University as Interim Provost

     Steven Knapp, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, will
serve as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs 
beginning Jan. 1, interim president Daniel Nathans has announced.

     Knapp will remain as dean, filling both jobs until a new
president is in office and decides how to configure his or her

     Knapp said he will continue outgoing provost Joseph Cooper's
work in implementing the recommendations of the C-21 report and
encouraging cooperation and collaboration among the university's
traditionally independent schools and divisions.

     "The C-21 report itself is a tribute to the work of Joe
Cooper," Knapp said. "I certainly will be following up on that
work to ensure that the university continues to benefit from the
opportunities it presents."

     Knapp said he has begun consulting with Cooper on how both
the provost's and dean's offices staffs should be organized to
make most efficient use of his time while he holds both posts.
"I'm confident it can be done," Knapp said.

     Knapp--recruited to Hopkins in a national search led by
Cooper--joined Hopkins in 1994 after 16 years on the faculty at
the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a member of
the English Department. A 1973 graduate of Yale University, 
he earned his doctorate in English from Cornell University in

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