Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 20, 1997

McGill Named To
Succeed Sunshine

Dennis O'Shea
News and Information

It's not in Jim McGill's nature to sweep a problem under the rug.

"I am very open in my communication," said McGill, the university's next senior vice president for administration. "I think it's very important for the university's constituents to understand the condition of the institution."

That is why McGill, whose appointment was announced last week, expects to continue predecessor Gene Sunshine's practice of producing a new five-year financial plan along with each year's university budget. The plan, though not as detailed as the annual budget, enables each division or other unit to scan the financial horizon, look for potential revenue or expense problems in the distance, and begin planning to avoid those problems before the crunch hits.

"I think the look-ahead financial document can be very helpful to the various Hopkins constituencies in understanding the financial status of the university," said McGill, now executive vice president of the University of Missouri System. "Are there some fiscal problems in a unit? What's being done to address them? What remains to be done? And so on. Having that kind of a document is part of good management, and I certainly would want to continue that presentation."

McGill will begin work Jan. 1 as the university's chief financial and business officer and as President William R. Brody's lead adviser on non-academic matters. He succeeds Sunshine, who left Hopkins last summer after more than nine years in the job for a similar position at his alma mater, Northwestern University.

"Jim has demonstrated, at Missouri and elsewhere, an exceptional ability to apply sound, prudent business principles in the context of a university," said Brody, who recommended McGill's appointment by the board of trustees. "He understands the academic mission and values as well as he understands administration and management, and he is committed to their support."

McGill, 54, has been the chief administrative and financial officer of the four-campus, 53,000-student University of Missouri System since 1986. He is responsible, as he will be at Hopkins, for finance, budgeting, facilities, endowment investment, human resources and other administrative functions. In 1995, he was promoted to executive vice president and designated next-in-line to the president in the day-to-day operation of the university.

He is credited with improving the university's business operations and helping to draft and execute a strategic plan to overcome its problems with deteriorating physical infrastructure and uncompetitive faculty salaries. Over the plan's five-year term, ending in 1996-1997, the Missouri system reallocated resources so it was able to bring faculty salaries up to the median of public research universities, eliminate a deferred maintenance backlog, and budget adequately for maintenance and other capital spending.

"Johns Hopkins is one of the premier universities in the country, without question," McGill said. "The chance to join an institution of its quality is an extraordinary opportunity."

"I see the role," McGill said, "as, first, being a member of President Brody's team of excellent administrative people who have the objective of supporting the superb faculty at Johns Hopkins." He said he also will work to ensure that the university's administrative operations are as effective and cost-efficient as possible. Having a deep interest and long experience with academic health centers, he said, he expects to contribute to the evolution of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the recent-ly formed joint administrative structure of the university's School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System.

McGill, a 1965 graduate of Oregon State University, earned a Ph.D. in operations research from Stanford University in 1969.

Before coming to the University of Missouri, he was vice president of Oregon Health Sciences University and associate vice chancellor of the University of Illinois medical center in Chicago. He has held academic appointments at all three universities and lectures in courses when time permits.

"I enjoy immensely interaction with the academic side of a university," McGill said. "I have made a point here [at Missouri] to be involved with faculty groups when possible.

"One of my first set of activities will be to spend a significant amount of time with each of the deans and their key staff," he said. "I will need to understand the key issues in each of the academic units. Doing so will allow me to be more productive in managing supporting services.

"I look forward to meeting the staff in the administrative areas, too. Clearly, I have much to learn about Johns Hopkins and expect to be very busy in the first few weeks getting acquainted."

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