December 8, 2004 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Arellano Theater, Levering Hall | Homewood Campus
[Minutes pending approval on 3/1/05 ]
The Steering Committee:
Dr. Matthew Roller (Chair) - present
Dr. Hilary Bok (Vice Chair) - regrets
Dr. Kevin Hemker (Secretary) - present
Meeting called to order by Steering Committee Chair Dr. Matt Roller who welcomed all faculty and introduced Drs. Hilary Bok and Kevin Hemker as fellow committee members. Dr. Roller then called for a review of previous minutes. Hearing no corrections, he moved for approval of the two sets of previous minutes — those of Dec. 2, 2003 and Feb. 3, 2004. The motion was seconded by Dr. Hemker. None opposed.
2. JHU President Dr. William Brody
President Brody announced that as of November 30, 2004 the Whiting School has raised more than $71,840,000 towards its $150 million campaign goal. Dr. Brody also announced that two $2 million commitments for new professorships in WSE have been received. One from Joe Reynolds, a 1969 graduate, to establish a WSE chair and a second from Louis M. Sardella, an engineering alumnus, to establish the Lou Sardella Professorship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Dr Brody also noted that one million dollars — a $500,000 challenge gift from National Advisory Council member Walter L Robb and $500,000 from eight WSE alumni — was raised to "create eight new engineering fellowship funds to support graduate students." Also, Alumnus Harold Taylor made a $1 million gift, half of it to renovate the Maryland Hall Auditorium.
Dr. Brody indicated that future challenges include raising funds for the new computational sciences building that will be built in the South Quad, around Garland Field and "raising unrestricted current-use money through annual giving and outright gifts" for WSE.
Dr. Brody said that the Krieger School's campaign goal is $250,000,000. As of November 30th,$109,000,000 has been raised in support of: "undergraduate student aid, the humanities initiative, faculty and academic departments, Brain Sciences, and capital projects". Dr. Brody announced that donors have made commitments this year that include two professorships: "The Charles D. Miller Professorship, dedicated earlier this fall, inaugurating Erin Chung, Ph.D. as the recipient, and an anonymously-created professorship, yet to be dedicated".
Dr. Brody also noted that the University has received multiple gifts of $1,000,000 to establish "named undergraduate scholarships", in particular, "three scholarships at the $1,000,000 level have been created to support members of the men's and woman's lacrosse teams". Brody noted two scholarship funds established by University Trustee Don Kurzand alums Joe Cowanand Buzzy Budnitz.Dr. Brody also mentioned that a $500,000 gift was received from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to create the Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences.
Brody went on to say that future challenges include "securing funds for the renovation of Gilman Hall" and said that the project would move forward as funds came in. Brody also said that "The Krieger School's continued priorities closely mirror those of the Whiting School". And said that Krieger will seek "further commitments for scholarships, faculty support through endowed professorships and research funds, the renovation of Gilman Hall, funding for the Center for Financial Economics, and unrestricted direct support through the Hopkins Fund".
Dr. Brody began the second half of his presentation: a discussion of the national "hot-topic" of stem cell research by recounting a recent discussion at a Board of Trustees meeting regarding stem Cell research being done by Dr. Joshua Hare, a Professor in the School of Medicine. Dr Brody relayed Dr. Hare's comment that stem cell technology is far from new and that many applications (such as bone marrow transplantation) have been used for over a decade.
Current controversies involve stem cells that are taken from a human embryo. Opponents of the research, Dr. Brody said, "believe that the human embryo is inviolable and that threat to its life and worth cannot be justified under any circumstances". Proponents, in contrast believe that "the potential for cures or treatments for suffering individuals outweighs any respect that might be due to nascent human life".
Dr Brody went on to compare the current ethical issues surrounding stem cell research with those that faced doctors during the early years of organ transplantation citing ethical issues which centered on the definition of death.
Dr Brody noted that our JHU Berman Bioethics Institute has "researchers looking into all of these issues, as well as additional moral questions that arise in the field of stem cell research" Dr. Brody said he personally spoke with Ruth Faden, executive director of the Berman Institute, and said that "Hopkins ought to sponsor a national or an international symposium on the ethics of stem cells and bring in people from the scientific community, from the religious community, people who are on different ethical sides of the issue, as well as people from the government, to openly discuss and debate these issues".
Dr. Brody said that supporters of the research believe that, "but for the administration's policy, stem cell cures for dread diseases would already be in hand". Opponents of the research, in contrast, believe cell treatment is "at least 10 years out".
Dr. Brody noted that because of the "lack of a coherent national policy and continued debate at the federal level, the states have stepped up big-time" and cited California's Proposition 71 which will "provide $3 billion of funding for stem cell research over the next 10 years".
Dr. Brody also spoke about an issue that Ruth Faden called "scientific tourism" — a patchwork of contradictory laws that differ from state to state: "we do the animal research in Virginia, but we'll get the stem cells from California, and we'll do the clinical studies in Minnesota, depending on which state has the right laws" said Dr. Brody.
Dr Brody said the issues are compounded by recent legislation. Dr. Brody pointed out that "If one of our stem cell scientists takes a group of cells from Maryland, that are legal, and happens to fly to a state where they're not legal, he could get off the plane and be arrested for a felony". Dr. Brody cited Kentucky's fetal homicide bill, passed in November that "confers human status on fertilized eggs at the moment of conception and imposes a penalty of capital punishment". Dr. Brody also cited five other states that prohibit therapeutic cloning.
Dr. Brody said that in the past, Hopkins has not "actively supported pro-stem cell legislation in Maryland, believing, as I do and continue to do, that this policy ought to be set at the federal level". However, Dr. Brody went on to say that since the federal support has not been forthcoming, JHU is in a position of having to "take a stand". Brody said that taking an ethical stand is difficult because of conflicting views within the university, citing "Dr. Paul McHugh, former chair of Psychiatry, who is on the President's Bioethics Commission and who has a very strong view on one side of the issue" and a number of university scientist who have "very strong ethical views on the other side of the issue".
Dr. Brody said one of his major concerns is the draw California's funding bill will have on East Coast scientists. Dr. Brody said the bill would not only draw the "best-and brightest" of the east coast researchers, but it would increase the salary of those already in the field, attracting older researchers.
Dr. Brody was asked "What is done or can be done with these controversial fetal embryos?" and he replied that there are currently 400,000 frozen embryos that can be used for research, but new cell lines are unavailable. The faculty member then asked "If there is nothing being done with them, what is wrong with taking the cells?" Brody offered that opponents of the research feel that harvesting of new cell lines might result in a "camel under the tent" effect that would spur the artificial insemination of women with the express purpose of harvesting the embryos for stem cell research and for use in therapeutic cloning. "The human body is inviolate and the idea of using human genes to change the body is an anathema to these people" Dr. Brody said of research opponents.
Dr. Brody concluded his stem cell discussion with two points: He said that current ethical debates "threaten to impede, rather than accelerate, the progress that we have been making". Dr. Brody said that "there are a number of issues about where we're ultimately going to get stem cells. Much of this may, in the end, be moot, as we figure out other ways to derive stem cells without having to use human embryonic stem cell tissue"
Secondly, Dr. Brody called JHU a "microcosm of the nation in that the views of our faculty and staff span the spectrum. It's difficult for us to take an extreme official university position on the issue." Dr. Brody went on to say that "the ethical issues are as important as the scientific ones, and I believe we should provide a forum for open debate and discussion of the issues. I mentioned in addition to Dr. Paul McHugh, we have Ben Carson and Frank Fukuyama from SAIS who are on the President's Bioethics Commission".
In conclusion, Dr. Brody spoke of the current fundraising campaign in general particularly regarding facility upgrades and new building. In response to a question from Dr. Hemker, Dr. Brody remarked that "Every dean believes there is an ability to direct donors", however, the issues surrounding research and medicine often lead donors to change their minds and to follow personal preferences. Dr. Brody also noted that it is more difficult to generate support for "bricks and mortar" projects and much easier to raise funds for scholarships.
3. Provost Dr. Steven Knapp
Provost Knapp updated the faculty on the University's situation regarding the various "homeland security" issues facing JHU. Dr. Knapp opined that the recent homeland security programs, particularly those programs and unfunded mandates set forth in the patriot act "threaten to change the way we work at JHU."
Dr. Knapp cited the importance of the Johns Hopkins Faculty Budget Advisory Committee, currently chaired by Dr. Hemker, and their work to help redefine business practices across the University. Dr. Dr. Knapp went on to speak about past consequences of the Congress' passing of the Patriot Act following 911.
One major concern of the faculty is immigration problems experienced by students, especially graduate students. Dr. Knapp said that the recent overhaul of immigration laws and policies has been creating visa problems for students — particularly the dissolving of INS into the USCIS under newly formed homeland Security office. As a result of this administrative change, Dr. Knapp said that many immigration officers that worked personally with JHU students have been lost in the system and are no longer accessible. Additionally, Dr. Knapp said that Immigration has changed its attitude toward the students and universities. Dr. Knapp said that since 2 of the 911 hijackers were here on student visas, Immigration has adopted a negative attitude toward students on visa's and is inclined not to let students with immigration issues back into the country. Dr. Knapp said "if we cannot bring in the graduate students who keep us at the forefront of technology, we cannot continue to thrive as a university." Dr. Knapp went on to speak of "horror" stories experienced by individual Hopkins graduate students. Students who were forced to return to their home countries because of a death in the family and then unable to return to Hopkins for over a year. Dr. Knapp noted that issues like these have resulted in a decrease in applications from foreign students.
Dr. Knapp went on to talk about JHU's continued issues concerning the recent re-instatement of the 1967 Vietnam era "sensitive but unclassified data" policies. Dr. Knapp said that many agencies are moving toward waiving public rights to free information. According to Dr. Knapp, the University is looking closely into unfunded mandates and policies, which regulate all unclassified research that could be used by foreign nationals for a nefarious purpose, including use of ancillary equipment (e.g. a centrifuge) that could, in theory, be exported to other countries and used for making weapons
Dr. Knapp said that these policies require that all equipment that could be used in any way to produce dangerous weapons, etc. must be licensed. However, many questions remain as to what the license covers: Must items be licensed for use by students of each individual country? What about last minute transfers between classes do professors have to scramble for new licenses when a new foreign national enters the class? Dr. Knapp said the most disturbing issue is the idea that these policies separate our students and make distinctions between those "who have and have not" regarding intellectual opportunities and in so doing create a "profound challenge to academic freedom".
Dr. Knapp said that unlike immigration officials, who have been working with the university, the agencies supporting these "sensitive abut unclassified" mandates have been much less sympathetic. Dr. Roller commented, saying that "the immigration authorities seem happy to get students into labs, but now the Commerce Department is not allowing them to do work in those labs". Another faculty member mentioned a rumor that students in technologically sensitive departments with engineering applications are flagged by the state department, which further holds up their applications.
Dr. Avi Rubin, Professor of Computer Science, asked how difficult it is to get the required licenses. Dr. Knapp replied that the delays have been and will continue to be costly and raise a number of further questions. What if class enrollment changes? What policing duties must the University take on? Etc.
4. Dean Daniel Weiss, KSAS
Dr. Daniel Weiss, Dean of KSAS, presented an update on matters before KSAS. Dr. Weiss said the Kreiger School is in "a good situation" saying that with 280 tenure track faculty, 12 offers have been accepted for new faculty and only 9 positions lost (7 to retirement). Dr. Weiss said the Faculty "continues to be strong"
Dr. Weiss highlighted the fact that Dr. Ed Latman, Dean of Education for KSAS, is currently studying the school's graduate education program and has formed a group to support graduate education since the school has "slipped behind the competition, not department to department, but we've slipped behind in cash", a problem Dr. Weiss said was facing all higher education institutions.
In particular, Dr. Weiss said that the school has "one vision" to help create resources in terms of graduate support. Dr. Weiss said the school is also working hard to stay on the NIH roadmap in order to "stay in the mix" for major funding initiatives. Dr. Weiss also said that he is looking across the humanities to find support for research. He went on to say that KSAS has greatly enhanced its African American Studies Program, and is actively seeking new faculty for both African American and the growing East Asian Studies Departments, with 4 to 9 faculty working exclusively in the field of East Asian Studies. Dr. Weiss said that both the African and East Asian Departments have "benefited wondrously" from outside donors and support from within. Dr. Weiss also noted that the Jewish Studies center is well funded and "off and running."
Dr. Weiss went on to say that the undergraduate environment continues to be a major focus of the school, noting that "classrooms are not enough" and that support must come in the form of new housing and increased services. Dr. Weiss said that Paula Berger, Dean of Undergraduate Education, is currently working with the faculty to build a stronger curriculum, improve academic ethics, and make school policies clearer to students and faculty.
Dr. Weiss went on discuss the state of the Charles Commons facility — a 600 unit housing complex that will feature a university quality bookstore and serve as an anchor for the redevelopment of the Charles Village area. Dean Weiss said the complex is slated to be finished by the summer of 2006.
Dr. Carl Christ, Professor of Economics, asked Dean Weiss to speak to the "space crunch that exists on the Homewood campus." Dean Weiss responded by saying that the university has been building "a lot more in the past few years" but agreed that the space crunch still exists in some older buildings such as Merganthaler. Dr. Weiss offered that once the Gilman Hall renovation is completed, renovating space or adding another wing to Merganthaler will be considered. The Gilman Hall renovation is the key to the space crunch "bottleneck", Weiss said.
5. Dr. John Latting, Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Dr. Latting spoke on admissions matters for WSE and KSAS, with emphasis on WSE.
Dr Latting issued a 7-page handout outlining the overall performance of admissions for WSE. He noted that over the long term, there has been an increased level of interest among applicants for both schools. Dr. Latting drew attention to one graph of the handout showing a double digit percentage increase in number of applications since 2002. The result, Dr. Latting said, was a more selective process of accepting students. Dr. Latting noted that in the early half of the 1990's, nearly 50% of qualified applicants were admitted versus less than 30% today.
Dr. Latting also pointed out that the Homewood schools are actively seeing a marked increase in the diversity of applicants. Dr. Latting said his office was proud of the increase in diversity of new applicants and drew attention to the fact that 47% of freshmen were women in 2004.
Dr. Latting then went on to articulate issues brought before his department by Dr. Hemker regarding admissions trends in WSE. Dr. Latting explained the metrics his office uses to track changes in the admission process: the academic quality of the applicants, the diversity and size of the freshman class, and the cost and tuition revenues.
Dr. Latting went on to say that the relationship between the Office of Undergraduate Admission and WSE has been very empathetic and "extremely close" and spoke of the constant interactions he has personally has with WSE and the relationship of his office's permanent liaison to WSE. Dr. Latting indicated that he works closely with both Drs. Andrew Douglas (WSE) and Steven David (KSAS).
Dr. Latting said he will continue to work with WSE whenever "key enrollment decisions are made" and will make sure "all members are present." Dr. Latting went on to say that despite any organizational changes with respect to the Homewood campus, the relationship of his office to WSE will not change. The applications in engineering, according to Dr. Latting are "at an all time high". He also said that the quality amongst all levels of applicants is up and has "never been stronger."
Dr. Latting said that this year's early decision application pool has an exciting number of engineers in it with well over 100 versus last years 73. Dr. Latting also said that there is an "encouraging increase in the regular interest inquiry pool" for fall 2005 versus fall 2004 with 6000 more prospective applicants.
Dr. Latting went on to explain that the 338 freshman admitted to WSE in 2004 is well under the school's target. Dr. Latting explained this disparity, saying that it was a problem with the model used to predict yields. "We had 600 more applicants and were chasing radically better students, so the yield fell". Dr. Latting also said that a change in the admissions procedures for BME threw the model number off. Half the applicants that were initially interested in WSE were later found to be BME students who needed to be "offered a place in the university" and were not retained at as high a rate as was hoped.
Dr. Greg Chirikjian, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, asked about how much aid goes out of the schools versus the amount of tuition coming in. Dr. Latting responded saying that with a 20 % discount rate on tuition and fees, the school gets back about 80%. Dr. Latting said that the University also stepped up its commitment to student aid between 1998-1999 with more no loan packages which resulted in a 5 % increase in yield and a 40-42% increase in Aid.
Dr. Latting was asked if there was a particular target number of applicants that his office was aiming for within each school. Dr Latting responded that this past year's freshman enrollment of 388 for WSE was "not close" to the target and noted that the disparity between target and enrollment was much lower for KSAS. There the overall freshman enrollment was 1051 versus a target of 1070, which is greater than the national trend according to Dr. Latting.
5. Larry Kilduff, Executive Director of Facilities Management
The presentation on the south campus development plan by Larry Kilduff, Executive Director of Facilities Management, was postponed by Dr. Roller to the first scheduled spring meeting on March 1.
Dr. Roller called for a close of the meeting that was seconded at 4:55 p.m.
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