Letter from President Daniels, Provost Kumar, and Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Caldwell

Dear Johns Hopkins University Community, 

We write today to share a draft of the second Johns Hopkins Roadmap on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Realizing Our Promise.

This marks an important milestone in the journey we launched six years ago, and we are excited to seek your feedback as we build upon the work of the first Roadmap with the same pragmatism and resolve that have defined our efforts from the outset of this initiative. With our second Roadmap, we set new and ambitious goals that are based on this solid foundation.

As we said in the original Roadmap, becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Johns Hopkins is essential to our excellence as a university. It is central to realizing the full promise of our education, research, and service missions, and to building a vibrant pluralistic community that celebrates and recognizes differences of experience, background, and thought.  

The first Roadmap fueled meaningful progress against clearly established goals, from investing $25 million in a Faculty Diversity Initiative and adopting best practices for job searches universitywide, to shifting permanently to need-blind and no-loan admissions while increasing on-campus supports for first-generation and low-income students. We expanded mentorship and professional development offerings for staff, increased paid family leave, and exceeded our goals on all aspects of our local economic inclusion initiatives, among other efforts. Using a holistic “systems” approach, we worked closely with the deans and divisions to support both universitywide and school-specific efforts, and established an ethos of transparency and accountability through annual progress reports and publication of granular data regarding the composition of our faculty, staff, and graduate students.  

Last year, against the backdrop of an overdue national reckoning around race in America and a global pandemic that further exposed societal inequities, we saw the need and opportunity to reassess and renew our university’s Roadmap on diversity, equity, and inclusion for the next five years. We therefore launched the Roadmap 2020 Task Force, composed of Johns Hopkins students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Baltimore community, to candidly assess the first Roadmap and make recommendations on the commitments, strategies, and measurable results necessary for us to enhance the ambition of our commitments. Over the course of 28 public listening sessions, 133 working group meetings, and countless hours of deliberation, the Roadmap Task Force developed 65 recommendations, which were posted for universitywide feedback in May 2021 and form the foundation and direction for the robust goals and commitments put forth today.  

Broadly these 24 new goals seek to:   

  • Infuse our principles and commitments on DEI into all aspects of Johns Hopkins’ engagement with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors; 
  • Focus keenly on areas where diversity lags, particularly in STEM fields; 
  • Invest in programs and new ideas to support retention, inclusion, and success for all underrepresented groups and every member of our community, through professional advancement opportunities, a more inclusive culture, and community building;
  • Focus on enhancing staff experience and supports, to ensure our staff are able to thrive professionally and personally as they play a critical role in our mission;
  • Elevate and expand community-engaged work and strengthen and extend our partnerships with our Baltimore community; 
  • Continue and deepen our commitments to DEI-related data collection, transparency, and accountability, including universitywide moments of regular, public reporting and discussion; 
  • Build and enhance our institutional capacity and support for all these efforts through the elevation of the role of the chief diversity officer and the expansion of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

This proposed second Roadmap will undoubtedly spur thoughtful dialogue about the best way to pursue progress as a university. We welcome this. Open dialogue and rigorous engagement across varied and intersecting viewpoints, identities, and experiences are core to our enterprise. They make us stronger, and that commitment to dialogue stands at the heart of the Roadmap itself. 

We invite each of you to offer your thoughts, ideas, and responses to the goals and aims articulated here via the feedback form on the JHU Roadmap website and at ODI@jhu.edu, as well as in upcoming public dialogues and individual conversations over the course of the next several weeks. 

Through this determined, sustained, and communal effort and frank conversations about who we are and who we wish to be, we are confident that Johns Hopkins will continue to become a more equitable, diverse, and welcoming place for those who are here now and those who will join us in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Ronald J. Daniels
President

Sunil Kumar
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Katrina Caldwell
Vice Provost for Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer