The Committee for the 21st Century was chartered by President William C. Richardson and Provost Joseph Cooper to examine critically and imaginatively every aspect of the University's organization and programs in order to recommend ways in which Johns Hopkins can remain at the forefront of higher education through the year 2000 and beyond. The charge was to put forward proposals that would strengthen academic quality, enhance organizational effectiveness, and increase financial self-sufficiency. Strategic Study Groups were established to pursue in depth the challenges and issues in eight different areas. More than 100 faculty, students, and staff were involved in these planning discussions. Additional community input was obtained from open forums, survey data, and meetings with representatives of the Alumni Council.
The Committee envisions the University in the 21st century as an interactive institution, broadly connected externally, and highly focused and collaborative internally. To achieve that vision, the Committee suggests a set of institutional imperatives and 23 specific recommendations to strengthen Hopkins' capacity for excellence:
Increasing collaboration by creating a University Faculty Advisory Council; providing central support for interdivisional academic programs; removing administrative barriers to interdivisional and intradivisional collaboration; adopting a single academic calendar; exploring formal partnerships with a small group of peer institutions; examining the establishment of cross-divisional graduate programs; and integrating professional education programs.
Sharpening institutional focus by instituting a process for regular external review of academic programs; recognizing the integral role of part-time and nontraditional programs and developing mechanisms to ensure their quality; and assessing Hopkins' graduate programs.
Improving the information infrastructure by investing in a substantial upgrading of Hopkins' information resources and technological infrastructure; and establishing a Chief Information Officer for the University and appropriate interdivisional coordinating councils.
Expanding international dimensions by promoting a Hopkins international network of scholars and institutions; and strengthening the international dimensions of undergraduate education.
Enhancing the undergraduate program by devising tangible ways to encourage and reward excellence in undergraduate teaching and advising; and by making the undergraduate experience more personal, building educational coherence over the term of study, increasing flexibility in the length of programs, and involving faculty from all divisions in undergraduate education.
Increasing attention to community and to citizenship by intensifying University-wide efforts to increase diversity and to improve the campus climate; defining the commitment of the University to its faculty and the general responsibilities of the faculty to the University; implementing a post-tenure review process; improving the University as a workplace by addressing issues of child care, security, and wellness; and enhancing and extending the University's community relationships.
Enhancing institutional effectiveness and efficiency by reviewing and upgrading divisional and central administrative support systems; and establishing a Center for Educational Resources to enhance teaching and learning skills, to promote the application of technological innovations, and to advance interactive and distance education.
Securing the University's financial future by moving the University toward greater financial self-sufficiency for its core activities of education and scholarship. Of critical importance is a major development campaign to build an endowment worthy of Hopkins' academic aspirations.
We conclude that Johns Hopkins is well-equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We need only to confront these challenges with bold thinking and creative vision.
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