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WSE Dean Search: Communications


May 21, 2013

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, Dean Nicholas P. Jones will leave Johns Hopkins on June 30 to serve as the next executive vice president and provost of Penn State University. I am pleased to announce that Andrew Douglas, who currently is vice dean for faculty in the Whiting School of Engineering, will serve as the school’s interim dean effective July 1.

With Nick Jones at the helm, over the past nine years the Whiting School has distinguished itself as a model for innovation and collaboration across our great university. In the weeks ahead, we will celebrate Dean Jones’s many outstanding accomplishments and successes at Johns Hopkins. In the meantime, we honor his legacy by moving forward with all due haste to find the right leader to succeed him, a leader with the knowledge, skills and experience to build upon the foundation of excellence in the Whiting School that Nick has made possible. I have asked Interim Provost Jonathan Bagger to lead a search committee, with broad representation from across the university, to assist me in identifying that individual.

Earlier today, I met with the search committee and charged it with working expeditiously to narrow the field of potential candidates and to present me with its recommendations before the end of summer. I am deeply grateful to Jon and each of the committee members for accepting this vitally important responsibility.

As the search process gets under way, I encourage you to share your thoughts and confidential nominations directly with the search committee. You may email them to the committee at


Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University


April 19, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Good news often comes with a downside, and this is one of those times.

The good news: The Pennsylvania State University has just announced that our own Nicholas P. Jones has been appointed Penn State’s executive vice president and provost.

The bad news, of course: To accept this outstanding opportunity, Dr. Jones will leave his position as the first Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering on June 30. Johns Hopkins will miss him greatly.

Penn State is one of our great public universities, and the provost is its chief academic officer, reporting directly to the president and acting as chief executive officer in the president’s absence.

A provost, among many other things, brings different parts of a university together, combining their expertise in pursuit of excellence. As dean since 2004, Nick Jones has been adept at finding and promoting collaborative opportunities within the Whiting School and across divisions; he has been particularly skillful in navigating past obstacles and in converting opportunities into accomplishments.

Just a few examples established during his tenure: the Institute for NanoBioTechnology; the Institute for Computational Medicine; the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics; the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute; the Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute; the Global Water Program; and the Systems Institute. The Whiting School also is playing a leadership role with the schools of Medicine and Public Health in establishing the Johns Hopkins Individualized Health Initiative.

Nick Jones will leave the Whiting School in wonderful shape. He has built a strong and capable leadership team, and together they have done an outstanding job of recruiting and retaining faculty members of the highest caliber. The school’s undergraduate, graduate and part-time student bodies are talented and diverse, and interest in admissions is very strong.

Research funding has grown an average of 6 percent a year, led by an acceleration of support from the National Institutes of Health. The recently built Hackerman Hall is a center of important activity, Malone Hall is rising rapidly out of the ground and the school has attracted very significant philanthropic support for faculty and students.

Nick generously shares the credit for all this success with the women and men of the Whiting School, and he is right that they are exceptional. But every team needs a captain and Nick has discharged this role with great aplomb.

Penn State’s announcement is available online. I know that everyone at Johns Hopkins joins me in offering Nick congratulations and best wishes. I thank him most sincerely for everything he has done for our university as dean for the past nine years and, since he first joined us in 1986, as a member of the faculty.

I will be back to you in coming weeks with information on interim leadership for the Whiting School and a search for Dean Jones’ successor.


Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University

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