President Daniels unveils 10 goals for the university

President Ronald J. Daniels is inviting the university community to a conversation to share his hopes and aspirations for Johns Hopkins, and to chart together a common path forward.

Informed by conversations over the past several years with university trustees, deans, senior leaders, faculty, and many others, Daniels has developed a draft framework of 10 goals for Johns Hopkins as it marches toward 2020, a vision called Ten by Twenty that will be released online today.

"A university of firsts, with world-class achievement in numerous disciplines, Johns Hopkins must continue to cross boundaries and strive for greatness in order to maintain and enhance its pre-eminence among American institutions of higher learning," he says.

Daniels intends to build off the three overarching themes identified in his March 2009 inaugural address: one university, individual excellence, and a commitment to communities. And to this troika he adds a new theme—institution building—to underscore the importance of strategic prioritization and institutional resiliency.

The touchstones of the strategic vision's 10 goals are innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration, accountability, and engagement with the community. Daniels says that a clear and wide-ranging vision is needed to confront higher education's looming challenges:

  • In a world of complex problems such as health care delivery and global climate change, cross-disciplinary thinking is not only worthwhile but, in many instances, essential.
  • Student expectations for both the undergraduate and graduate experiences have evolved significantly, requiring constant vigilance to ensure that the academic and co-curricular experiences remain the best that we can offer.
  • In an ever-shrinking world, Johns Hopkins needs to compete not just with national peers but with institutions throughout the world, and also with the emergence of nontraditional online learning environments.
  • Funding for federal grants has declined, with the risk of more cuts hovering on the horizon, so how will the university's revenue model adapt?

Daniels says that he wants to build on what has come before at the university. In particular, he says, previous reports have fueled his thinking. As one example, he cites that of the Committee for the 21st Century, which was launched in 1994 to examine critically and imaginatively every aspect of the university's organization and programs in order to recommend ways in which Johns Hopkins could remain at the forefront of higher education through the year 2000 and beyond.

The draft Ten by Twenty document recounts the diverse and storied history of discovery and innovation at Johns Hopkins, describes the challenges that are confronting higher education in general and Johns Hopkins in particular, and details the 10 priorities for the university for 2020.

The priorities encompass a number of areas that include strategic investments in our core academic mission; strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration; deepening the integration of our pre-eminent academic health sciences divisions with cognate disciplines across the university; enhancing both the undergraduate and graduate experiences; driving innovation in PhD education; recruiting, recognizing, and retaining talented faculty, staff, and students; enhancing ties to the communities around us; building institutional resiliency; and augmenting our resource base to support our aspirations.

Daniels says that countless opportunities lie ahead and that now is the time to set a course and move forward together. These 10 goals, he says, are a work in progress, a starting point for a universitywide dialogue that begins now.

The conversations will include a number of meetings with representative faculty, students, staff, and alumni groups that will extend into the new year.

To view the complete Ten by Twenty plan and to offer your feedback and suggestions, go to