August 4, 2003

Impressions of President Jim Wagner

James Curran
Rollins School of Public Health

"President Wagner exudes enthusiasm about Emory and our future. His experience in research, teaching and administration at Case Western Reserve and Johns Hopkins universities have provided him firsthand knowledge of the opportunities available for interdisciplinary scholarship at Emory."

Dana Greene
Dean and CEO
Oxford College

"Jim Wagner understands Emory’s potential as a university and the contribution it can make to American higher education. His dual commitment to inquiry and values supports the mission of Oxford College and each of the schools. His initiative and clarity of purpose are impressive, as is the fact that he wants to lead Emory at this point in its history. I was energized by our encounter."

Woody Hunter
Interim Provost

"I look forward to working closely with Jim Wagner to introduce him to the University and to help him continue the rapid development of Emory into one of the defining universities of the nation."

Michael Johns
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

"It is a great opportunity for me personally and for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center to work from the starting gate with a new leader of our University. Jim Wagner brings to Emory a rich and diverse background as a scholar and leader. He embodies excellence and understands what it takes to achieve at the highest levels. He also understands Emory's aspirations, and I know he has his own vision of where he'd like to see the University go over the coming years. Ben Johnson and the search committee are to be complimented on their process, diligence and commitment to finding an outstanding leader for Emory University."

Luke Johnson*
Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins

"In addition to all the usual qualities needed in a president—intelligence, energy, knowledge of scholarship, a dedication to excellence and proven administrative skills—Jim Wagner impressed me with his unassuming natural leadership ability and his understated but very real moral compass. Jim will, I am confident, exercise a kind of leadership that will engage the best energies and most creative ideas of this academic community, and raise them to a new level of collaborative excellence."

Tom Lawley
School of Medicine

"Jim is a man of vision and energy who can lead Emory to elite status as a leading research University. He is an engineer who will help foster deeper and stronger ties with Georgia Tech and create opportunities that are additive to those in biomedical engineering."

Deborah Lipstadt*
Dorot Professor of Jewish Studies

"Although he comes from an engineering background, Jim has a deep commitment to the concept of a liberal arts university. He wants Emory to be at the cutting edge of academia without sacrificing its tradition of being a values-based institution. He’s young, energetic and anxious to make a difference. He comes to us with a vision of what Emory is and what it can yet be. He is not coming to be a caretaker—he is coming to be an agent of change."

Bryan Noe
Interim Dean
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

"After seeing the record of Dr. Wagner’s scholarly and academic administrative achievements, I was impressed. After having the opportunity to interact directly with him, I came away even more impressed. I believe Dr. Wagner is an excellent choice to be our next president and that he will provide outstanding leadership for the University.

He and I discussed the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at length, and he understands the issues and challenges surrounding graduate education nationally and is aware of many of the specific challenges we face here at Emory. What makes me most enthusiastic about Dr. Wagner’s appointment is that I believe he has the leadership potential to assist us in enhancing the quality and stature of all of the schools in the University. I look forward to working with him."

Kathy Parker+
Associate Professor
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

"Jim Wagner has a unique and impressive background. He has a very strong, positive record of working effectively across schools, and he understands the value of professional schools and an academic health center within a larger university context. His own background reflects a real comfort with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary contexts, and a balance of research, education and service. He is uniquely well qualified to bring the multiple strengths of this University, including nursing, together to work toward a new era of greatness for Emory."

Chris Richardson*
Emory College, Class of 2003

"I believe Dr. Wagner’s willingness to think broadly and innovatively make him a great fit for this University. Emory needs someone who can rally us all around and show us where we are going as a University. It will be a challenge, and I think Dr. Wagner can meet it. His vision for the University as a whole and his hopes of being the president of everyone will improve where we stand as an institution. If he is willing to reach out to all of Emory’s constituencies and ensure that his message is heard throughout all elements of the University, Emory will be a far more cohesive and united place."

Russell Richey
Candler School of Theology

"My first impressions [of Jim Wagner] are of an individual appreciative of Emory’s heritage and alive to its prospects, warm and engaging, probing and problem solving, energetic but calm, clear-headed but critical, and genuinely interested in those with whom he comes in contact. I think the Candler School of Theology will benefit from strong leadership by an individual with proven administrative and planning skills, with long experience in professional education, with the ability to see the importance of both the part and the whole, and with readiness to build on recent accomplishments in taking Emory to the next level."

Tom Robertson
Goizueta Business School

"I was impressed with Jim Wagner. First of all, he listened and did not reach premature conclusions. He displayed a strong sense of energy and desire to be involved. He seemed to understand the wonderful potential confronting Emory and relished the challenge to achieve that potential. I believe he shares the ambition to accelerate the slope of Goizueta’s success and to make this a Top 10 business school as quickly as possible. We share a penchant for unparalleled quality in our research and teaching programs.

*Denotes Presidential Search Committee member

+Denotes Faculty Advisory Committee member