JHU President Ronald J. Daniels recognized for exceptional leadership by Carnegie Corp.

One of four recipients of biennial Academic Leadership Award, Daniels will use $500,000 grant to expand activities that make JHU more accessible to Baltimore public school students

Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels is one of four university presidents chosen by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to receive its 2015 Academic Leadership Award, given biennially in recognition of exceptional leadership in higher education, the corporation announced today.

Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels

Image caption: President Ronald J. Daniels

The award, established in 2005, is among the most prestigious in higher education. It honors individuals who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, demonstrate vision and a commitment to excellence and equity in undergraduate education, the liberal arts, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, reform of K-12 education, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities.

In addition to Daniels, this year's recipients are Patricia A. McGuire of Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., Diana Natalicio of the University of Texas at El Paso, and C.L. Max Nikias of the University of Southern California.

The honor includes a $500,000 grant to each of the winners' institutions to be spent at the honorees' discretion to promote their academic priorities.

Daniels said he would use the money to expand activities that make Johns Hopkins University more accessible to students and graduates of Baltimore City Public Schools, including increased support for low-income students through the Baltimore Scholars program, partnerships with local K-8 schools, and new initiatives aimed at college and career preparation.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized among the esteemed recipients of this award," Daniels said. "It is exciting to have the innovative work by our faculty and staff and Johns Hopkins' commitment to Baltimore recognized by the Carnegie Corporation, a great champion of higher education."

Added Jeffrey H. Aronson, chair of the university's board of trustees: "This is a truly special moment for President Daniels and the entire Johns Hopkins community. The honor is testament to President Daniels' leadership, his innovative academic initiatives, and his commitment to deepening Johns Hopkins' engagement with Baltimore."

Since becoming JHU's president in 2009, Daniels has focused on three overarching themes—enhancing collaboration among the university's nine academic divisions and the Applied Physics Laboratory, increasing student access, and strengthening community engagement.

In honoring Daniels, the Carnegie Corp. cited a number of the university's efforts and accomplishments during his tenure, among them:

  • Increasing undergraduate grant aid by nearly 40%; expanding the enrollment of minorities from 12% to 23% of the entering class; and broadening the "JUMP" program to support underrepresented students pursuing careers in health-related fields.

  • Launching a series of multidisciplinary initiatives to address fundamental societal problems, including the 21st Century Cities Initiative, the Science of Learning Institute, the Global Health Institute, and the Individualized Health Initiative; creating 50 interdisciplinary Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships to link university divisions; supporting innovations and entrepreneurship programs in undergraduate science and Ph.D. education; and increasing the university's activities in translating pure research findings into solutions for everyday problems.

  • Expanding the university's commitment to Baltimore by spearheading the $1.8 billion East Baltimore Development Initiative, including building and operating the first new K-8 public school constructed in East Baltimore in more than two decades; and leading a community partnership initiative among 10 neighborhoods near the university's Homewood campus that is focused on educational opportunity and economic growth.

"The United States is blessed with thousands of universities and colleges that enrich our society and our democracy and prepare the next generation of specialists, leaders, and citizens. This award recognizes some exemplary leaders of those institutions, who embody the best qualities of leadership—not merely managerial skills, but institutional vision and an abiding commitment to high quality, diversity, curricular innovation, and investment in their communities," said Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation. "I am extremely proud to count this year's recipients among the 20 college and university presidents the corporation has honored with the Academic Leadership Award over the past 10 years."

The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." The Academic Leadership Award was established in recognition of Carnegie's belief that education and knowledge are fundamental tools for strengthening democracy and creating a more vibrant civil society.

Past winners of the award are: Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern University; Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley; Leon Botstein, Bard College; Richard Brodhead, Duke University; Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University; Jared L. Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University; Scott S. Cowen, Tulane University; Michael Crow, Arizona State University; Matthew Goldstein, The City University of New York; Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania; John Hennessy, Stanford University; Freeman A. Hrabowski III, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; William E. Kirwan, University System of Maryland; Eduardo J. PadrĂ³n, Miami Dade College; Don M. Randel, University of Chicago; and Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman College.