Johns Hopkins University

Spring 2008
Vol. 5, No.2


>William R. Brody to Retire from Presidency

Lattman to Lead Hauptman-Woodward Institute

A Learning Lab for Conservation

A Super Bowl He Won't Soon Forget

Student Standouts

Mellon Foundation Boosts Support for Humanities

The Financial Side of Economics

Writin' About a Revolution

Conversation in Bloom

Admissions by the Numbers

Moving a Mummy, Going Green

Faculty News

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William R. Brody to Retire from Presidency

William R. Brody, The Johns Hopkins University's 13th president, announced in March that he will retire on Dec. 31, at the conclusion of the university's $3.2 billion Knowledge for the World campaign.

When he retires, Brody, 64, will have led the university for more than 12 years, the fifth-longest tenure of Hopkins presidents. He is credited with deepening the university's commitment to undergraduate education, diversity, the community, and research that advances society, as well as directing a transformative renewal of the university's facilities.

"Bill Brody has been an extremely successful leader at Johns Hopkins University," says Pamela P. Flaherty, chairwoman of the board of trustees, adding that the university is in "excellent shape" and well-prepared for a presidential transition.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the New York City mayor who was chair of the board of trustees for nearly half of Brody's tenure, agrees.

"I've worked with a lot of schools in New York City and around the world, and I would be hard-pressed to find anybody who has had a greater impact and made more improvements than Bill has at Hopkins," Bloomberg says.

In his message to the campus community, Brody expressed his gratitude to the university's students, faculty, and staff and to the trustees, alumni, and friends of the university from the public and private sectors who support its work.

"When I started as president in 1996," he wrote, "Wendy and I made building a better sense of community among all of us at Johns Hopkins a top priority. I wanted to focus on the undergraduate experience. I wanted to make real and significant progress on ensuring that our campuses are diverse and inclusive. I wanted to reposition Johns Hopkins Medicine with a new governance structure so that it could continue to provide excellent, compassionate service to the sick in an era of managed care.

"I hope and believe that we have made great strides in all these areas," he wrote. "I hope and believe that, together, we have enhanced Johns Hopkins' ability to teach and to mentor, to discover and to heal, and to share the gift of knowledge with the world."

Martin O'Malley, governor of Maryland and former Baltimore mayor, says Brody brightened the city's future. "All of us who love the city are very fortunate that at a critical time in Baltimore's comeback, a man of such vision, integrity, and courage was leading Johns Hopkins," he says.

Brody became president of Hopkins on Sept. 1, 1996, returning to Baltimore from the University of Minnesota, where he had served for two years as provost of the Academic Health Center. From 1987 to 1994, he had been the Martin Donner Professor and director of the Department of Radiology, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, and radiologist-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He has been a co-founder of three medical device companies, and was president and chief executive officer of Resonex Inc. from 1984 to 1987. He has more than 100 publications and two U.S. patents in the field of medical imaging and has made research contributions in medical acoustics, computed tomography, digital radiography, and magnetic resonance imaging.

A native of Stockton, Calif., Brody received his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965 and 1966. He earned his MD in 1970 and PhD in electrical engineering in 1972, both from Stanford University.

Brody was the first Johns Hopkins president since 1971 to live in Nichols House on the Homewood campus. He and his wife, Wendy, are often seen on campus, notably at basketball and lacrosse games and other student events. They also have made it a point each year to greet incoming freshmen and their parents during move-in days, variously using in-line skates, scooters, and—one year—Segway Human Transporters to move quickly from one residence hall to another.