A recent article in The Baltimore Sun offers an in-depth look at the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships and how Johns Hopkins University woos star professors from around the world.
The Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships—supported by a $350 million gift from businessman, politician, and JHU alum Michael Bloomberg—thus far have brought together 21 leading researchers, including 15 who are new to the university. The goal is to form a cadre of 50 world-class faculty members whose excellence in research, teaching, and service will be centered on interdisciplinary scholarship, encouraging collaborations across Hopkins that might lead to discoveries that wouldn't otherwise be possible.
"This is precisely where we believe that you can be very impactful in moving your field forward and contributing to the resolution of important social issues, economic issues and changing perspectives on the world," JHU President Ronald J. Daniels told The Sun.
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It can take an artful approach to attract candidates, many of whom have spouses and children to worry about uprooting, [JHU's vice provost for research Denis] Wirtz, said. The success rate is about 60 percent, with competition between Hopkins and a professor's home institution, and sometimes even a third or fourth institution, often heating up.
"It's not an interview, it's a sales pitch," Wirtz said. "You want to feel special. You want to feel you're the only one in the world for that department."