A message from JHU President Ronald J. Daniels

Ronald J. Daniels, president

Image caption: Ronald J. Daniels

Realizing our promise.

On March 11, I joined Katrina Caldwell, vice provost and chief diversity officer; Provost Sunil Kumar; Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland–Baltimore County; and nearly 400 Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff to launch Johns Hopkins' Second Roadmap on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This event marked the next step in a journey that began almost seven years ago.

I remember the moment well. In late 2015, student protests against racial inequity gripped colleges and universities across the country, including Hopkins. Our students, led by our Black Student Union, urged me to participate in an open forum about our lack of faculty, staff, and student diversity. As I was preparing for the forum, I delved into the Hopkins archives to better understand similar moments in our institution's history. Looking at my own planned comments against papers dating back to the 1960s, I realized they were virtually identical. Yet, sadly, our progress as a university had been only episodic. It was clear that we simply had to do more as an institution–and we had to do it differently.

This realization was how the first Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion was born. Since 2016, we have made meaningful and measurable progress on all our goals, including the creation of a new universitywide statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the admission of the most diverse and academically accomplished undergraduate class in our university's history. We have also laid a strong foundation of public accountability and transparency through regular reports documenting faculty, staff, and student diversity across all our divisions.

But sustained progress requires sustained effort. Thanks to the Roadmap 2020 Task Force and its working groups, which included many alumni, the Second Roadmap lays out an ambitious set of 24 goals designed in consultation with individuals across Johns Hopkins and among our community partners. These goals include a commitment to deepen and expand faculty and student diversity efforts, focusing keenly on areas that have shown recalcitrance (especially STEM disciplines); to enhance our DEI work by elevating the role of the chief diversity officer and expanding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; to strengthen and extend our partnerships with our Baltimore community; and to become a truly world-class employer where each member of our staff can thrive personally and professionally.

As I said at our kickoff event, we do this work not simply because it is a moral imperative. It is critical to achieving our aspirations for research and teaching excellence, as well as fulfilling our obligation to be a model of pluralist democracy.

Thank you for supporting your alma mater as we take this next step together. The work isn't over, but we are on our way to realizing our promise.

Signed, Ronald J. Daniels

Ronald J. Daniels