| Dear Friends of the Krieger School:
I am pleased to report to you that after a successful transition period this spring, the Krieger School is again moving forward toward an ambitious and diverse set of goals. As you know, former James B. Knapp Dean Daniel Weiss left in July to assume the presidency at Lafayette College. All of us in the Krieger School are grateful for Dan’s extraordinary leadership, and we wish him success in his new position.
The priorities Dan and I established, dating back to our work together on the 2001 Strategic Plan, remain my priorities, and the groundwork laid has strengthened all aspects of the Krieger School. I have agreed to serve as interim dean of the school as the university conducts a thorough, national search for permanent leadership. That search is well under way, and the University expects that by the end of the fall semester, a new James B. Knapp Dean will be identified, to arrive in July 2006.
In the meantime, we recently enrolled our largest freshman class at Homewood ever, 1,165 Krieger and Whiting students chosen from a record applicant pool of 11,277. Among them are 21 local public high school graduates awarded full-tuition scholarships through the Baltimore Scholars program. They and their classmates are exceptional in their academic abilities, achievements, and personal qualities, and I am thrilled to welcome them.
Those incoming students will soon see the fruits of years of planning and effort in the summer 2006 opening of Charles Commons, going up now on the east side of Charles Street. We expect it to have a transformative effect on the undergraduate community, as well as on the entire neighborhood of Charles Village. Seeing Charles Commons completed and filled with exciting programming will be top priorities for me this year.
The School will be focused also on increasing the number of undergraduate students and majors in the humanities, continuing to enhance programming for these students, and building resources to address their infrastructure needs. In particular, in the coming year I will work to develop a strategy for renovating Gilman Hall, the School’s flagship building and the home of our humanities departments.
As I reflect on these priorities, it is evident that much of what we are aiming at concerns community—nurturing it where it exists already and developing it where it may not yet be as strong as we would like. Our focus on community is reflected throughout this magazine, in stories that explore our ties to the Baltimore community (“Baltimore by Night”), the ways we’re meeting the mental health needs of our students (“College-Level Coping”), and more. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the Counseling Center staff and others who are helping students deal with stresses so serious that nationwide, experts say colleges and universities have a mental health crisis on their hands. This difficult problem is hardly unique to Johns Hopkins.
Finally, as this issue went to press, the nation found itself in the midst of another kind of crisis, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. In such times, we are reminded of our part in a larger community, and the University has moved to help those in need. For example, the Krieger School has joined other universities to assist displaced undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from Gulf Coast colleges and universities closed by the disaster. We’ll have more details to share about these and related efforts soon. For the latest, please visit the Krieger School’s website, krieger.jhu.edu