Ron Daniels (Courtesy Photo)

The university’s board of trustees votes unanimously to add a new five-year term to Daniels’ presidency, a renewal that will make him the second longest-serving president in the university’s history

By AFRO Staff

Johns Hopkins University’s board of trustees has voted unanimously to add a new five-year term to the presidential tenure of Ron Daniels, an extension through June 2029 that “reflects the board’s full and unwavering confidence in the trajectory of our institution and its remarkable people, supported and sustained by President Daniels’ able leadership,” Lou Forster, the board’s chair, wrote in a message to the Hopkins community today. 

“Over the last 12 years, Ron has led our University with his signature dynamism, imagination and intellect,” Forster wrote. “In his inaugural address, and later in the Ten by Twenty—Johns Hopkins’ strategic plan—Ron charted several key priorities for the university: to foster the excellence of our faculty, staff and students; to increase accessibility for talented students from all backgrounds; to nurture collaboration in teaching, research and service across the university’s divisions as One University; and to deepen community engagement.  

“There is little doubt that in these priorities, the university has made great strides forward over the past decade.”

The new term, at its conclusion, will make Daniels—who became JHU’s 14th president in March 2009—the second longest-tenured president in the university’s history, surpassed only by the first president, Daniel Coit Gilman, who served from 1875 through 1901. Daniels’ current contract runs through June 2024.

“Johns Hopkins has set the standard for global research universities from its founding to the present, and once again during this historic time. I have been so fortunate to lead this remarkable institution and am humbled to continue to do so as we approach our 150th anniversary, ” Daniels said in a statement. “It is a privilege to work alongside our exceptional faculty, students, staff and alumni to advance our mission of discovery, welcome extraordinary students and scholars from all walks of life, and devote ourselves to the success of city we call home.”  

Daniels’s focus on enhancing student access—aided by a historic $1.8 billion gift from philanthropist, businessman, and three-term New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in support of undergraduate financial aid—has helped make Johns Hopkins one of the nation’s leading institutions in terms of undergraduate student diversity and academic excellence. Similarly, the recently announced Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative promises to bolster inclusivity and achievement among the university’s STEM PhD programs.

The university has also made unprecedented investments in its faculty over the past decade, including the Bloomberg Distinguished Professors program, which has resulted in the recruitment or promotion of more than 50 leading interdisciplinary scholars, and the Catalyst and Discovery Awards, which have supported the research of nearly 800 faculty members since their inception in 2015.

“Ron has always been a steadfast advocate for Baltimore, and I am pleased he will continue to lead Hopkins,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. “As president of Hopkins, he never hesitated to leverage university resources or rally area leaders to address Baltimore’s most pressing challenges. Ron is committed to building a better Baltimore, and I look forward to continuing our work to achieve this endeavor.”

During Daniels’ presidency, the university has created 320 new endowed professorships, an 89% increase, and its overall endowment has grown from just under $2 billion to $8.8 billion. 

Other signature achievements of Daniels’ tenure include:

  • Significant investments in endeavors that span multiple academic disciplines and bring together scholars from across the university’s nine academic divisions, including the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute, the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute, the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, the Precision Medicine Analytics Platform (PMAP), the Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, the Miller Department of Philosophy, the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, and the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute. 
  • The convening of colleagues from across the university to tackle challenging issues that go to the heart of the academic enterprise, including equity and inclusion, academic freedom, the undergraduate academic experience, university tenure processes, doctoral program reviews, the barriers confronting early-career scientists, and legacy admissions.
  • The creation of new buildings and facilities designed to advance the university’s mission, including the Undergraduate Teaching Labs, the Brody Learning Commons, and Malone Hall, as well as the forthcoming Hopkins Student Center, SNF Agora Institute building, and Henrietta Lacks building in East Baltimore, and the university’s future Washington, D.C., campus at 555 Pennsylvania Ave.

“As a lifelong Baltimorean and a Hopkins alum, I am encouraged by the announcement that Ron Daniels’ term as president of Johns Hopkins has been renewed,” said Bishop Douglas Miles. “From partnerships and investments to hire returning citizens, expand university contracts with minority and women-owned businesses, and provide food to communities in Baltimore hardest hit by COVID, Ron’s tenure at Johns Hopkins has chartered a path forward for the institution with a deep focus on and steady commitment to our city.  I look forward to continuing our work together to meet the needs of all Baltimoreans.”

Throughout his presidency, Daniels has made clear Johns Hopkins’ steadfast commitment to the success and well-being of Baltimore and its citizens, deepening the institution’s relationships across the city and supporting economic and educational opportunity by expanding collaborations with city schools; establishing the Henderson Hopkins School in East Baltimore; launching the HopkinsLocal economic inclusion program; investing in communities through the Homewood Community Partnership Initiative (HCPI), the East Baltimore Development initiative (EBDI), and the reinvigoration of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District in central Baltimore; and helping to cultivate an innovation ecosystem to bring startup companies and jobs to the city.

Forster wrote that in extending Daniels’ term, the board is fulfilling its responsibility “to chart a path for the next decade and beyond with the same ambition and ingenuity as the last. In fulfillment of this pursuit, the entire board of trustees and I applaud Ron and his leadership. We are enormously fortunate to have a president who brings principles, determination, collegiality and vision to build on the institution’s successes over the past decade and prior long history of accomplishments. We eagerly look forward to the next decade, to our 150th anniversary, and to the many achievements yet to come.”

“It has been a privilege to work with Ron Daniels as a close partner in our shared mission of expanding the circle of opportunity for Baltimore youth,” said Cassie Motz, executive director of the CollegeBound Foundation. “For as long as I have known him, Ron has been an enthusiastic advocate and committed champion of our City’s students. As a result of Ron’s vision of Johns Hopkins as an engine for broad and inclusive opportunity, the university established undergraduate scholarships for Baltimore City students and made the historic decision to end legacy admissions, setting a model for the nation’s higher education community. I am thrilled that Ron has been asked to extend his tenure and I am eager to continue and deepen our partnership.”

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