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Daniels Named University President

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Ronald J. Daniels, the legal scholar and academic administrator elected on Nov. 11 to become The Johns Hopkins University’s 14th president, has built a reputation for bold and visionary academic ideas and projects. But the 49-year-old provost of the University of Pennsylvania says he hadn’t envisioned his own career taking the trajectory it has.

“I wanted to lead, and hoped to lead, and dreamed about leading a university that would have a great medical school,” Daniels told an audience that day in Turner Auditorium. “I didn’t think for a moment that I would end up at a university that just so happens to have the world’s leading medical school, nursing school and school of public health.”

Daniels emerged from an international search involving nearly 300 nominees and interviews with academic leaders from the nation’s most important research universities. He will take office March 2, succeeding William Brody, who is stepping down after nearly 12 years. Brody, who originally had planned to depart Dec. 31, will remain president through February.

As Penn’s provost—a post he has held since 2005—Daniels serves as that university’s chief academic officer, holding responsibility for undergraduate and graduate education, faculty affairs, research and technology transfer, global initiatives, student life, athletics, admissions, arts and culture, and libraries. The deans of Penn’s 12 schools report to him on academic and budget matters.

Before joining Penn, the Canadian-born lawyer served 10 years as dean of the University of Toronto’s law school, where he cut the faculty-student ratio in half, grew the faculty’s endowment from $1 million to $57 million, and improved diversity among the student body.

Daniels and his wife, Joanne Rosen, a human rights lawyer, are the parents of four teenagers. He will be the fourth Johns Hopkins president to live among the university’s undergraduates, at Nichols House on the Homewood campus.

 

 

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