Durham, NC - I am writing to confirm that I have accepted the position of Provost at Johns Hopkins University effective September 1, 2007. As you know, this was not an easy decision for me, given my affection for the Pratt School of Engineering and Duke University. Like Duke, Johns Hopkins University is blessed with strong academic leadership and considerable institutional ambition. You can appreciate the attraction for me of the personal and professional growth that will come with being the senior academic officer at a great university like Johns Hopkins and working with a terrific President, such as you have enjoyed working with Nan Keohane and Dick Brodhead.
The Pratt School is in a very strong position, given the foundation that has been established over the past eight years. So while there never is an ideal time to leave a job I have truly loved, for me this is a good time to take on a new and exciting responsibility and the challenge of institution-wide leadership.
It has been my great privilege and honor to serve as the Dean of the Pratt School during a time of unprecedented expansion and growth.
During the past eight years, with the strong support of both Presidents Keohane and Brodhead and your office, the faculty and staff of the Pratt School have carried out the goals and the objectives of Duke's Building on Excellence strategic plan, including:
â¢ Establishing cross-disciplinary initiatives in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment;
â¢ Carrying out the academic planning, design, construction and funding of the 322,000 sq. ft Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences, including the newly completed Shared Materials Infrastructure Facility (SMIF), Memorial Garden, and Twinnie's CafÃ©;
â¢ Recruiting 60 new faculty, including several who garnered Young Investigator Awards;
â¢ Expanding the size of our undergraduate student population by 20%, while measurably increasing the quantity and quality of the applicant pool;
â¢ Doubling the size of our strong graduate programs;
â¢ Building a vibrant Master of Engineering Management Program;
â¢ Creating an entrepreneurial culture as evidenced by the success of several competitive awards, including the Coulter Grant, Duke Startup Challenge, CERC, DEVIL Fund, The Home Depot smart Home at Duke, and numerous startup companies:
â¢ Tripling Pratt's annual research expenditures to $60 million;
â¢ Increasing Pratt's endowment from under $20 million in 1999 to more than $200 million in 2007;
â¢ And recruiting outstanding staff in IT, Finance, Facilities, Outreach, Industry and Corporate Relations, and Communications.
None of this would have been possible without the extreme generosity and fierce loyalty of the School's alumni and friends. I note, in particular, Ed Pratt, Jr., Trustee Emeritus for whom the School was named in 1999, our Board of Trustees, The Duke Endowment, the Board of Visitors, friends and alumni whose support for endowed scholarships and professorships has been invaluable, and Michael and Patty Fiztpatrick, whose generosity and vision enabled the creation of the Fitzpatrick Center and Duke's leadership in photonics and related fields.
In the Pratt School's contribution to the second strategic planning process under your leadership, we envision a new kind of educational experience for our undergraduate and graduate students through the planned Experiential Collaborative Education Laboratory (EXCEL), and by continuing to hire outstanding faculty and improving the quality of our undergraduate and graduate educational programs.
Based on these achievements and a strong academic plan, I have every confidence that the Pratt School is poised to be an even greater leader in engineering education and research in the years ahead.
Peter, I have so enjoyed leading the Pratt School during this time of enormous growth and sincerely thank you and Dick for your consistent help and assistance. Duke University has been like a family to me, and I look forward to being lifelong friends and colleagues with the many outstanding individuals of this great institution.
With warm regards,
Kristina M. Johnson
Professor and Dean