Emory Report
November 27, 2006
Volume 59, Number 12



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November 27 , 2006
Johns named chancellor

Michael M.E. Johns has been appointed chancellor of Emory University. Johns, executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare, will assume the chancellorship on Sept. 1, 2007. He will continue to hold his current positions in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center until that date, or until a successor is appointed following a national search.

Johns will become the fifth chancellor of the University, a post last held by former provost and interim president, Billy E. Frye, who retired in 2001. In addition to serving as an advisor to the president and board the chancellor can be assigned to selected task and project leadership. In his new role, Johns will continue to support the implementation of the University’s strategic plan, whose development he co-chaired over the course of 18 months with Emory’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Earl Lewis.

Johns will guide the development and implementation of programs for leadership development, mentoring and succession planning. Off campus, he will represent the University on such matters as health care policy and partnership building, including the growing partnership between Emory and Georgia Tech.

President Jim Wagner praised Johns’ “statesmanlike” leadership of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center while recognizing him as a “true university citizen,” citing his work with the strategic plan and his support and guidance for the arts and sciences. “Mike embodies an untiring passion for excellence and a remarkable dedication to improvement of all of Emory,” Wagner said. “Simply put, Mike Johns raises the game of everyone around him.”

“I look forward to the many opportunities to advance the strategic direction we have set with the able assistance of many colleagues from throughout the University over the past two years,” said Johns. “As I look to the future and prepare to make this transition to a new set of University-wide responsibilities, it is clear we are in the middle of a most exciting time, and I look forward to this new role and its grand opportunities.”

Johns was recruited to Emory to head the Woodruff Health Sciences Center from Johns Hopkins University, where he had risen from service as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to become dean of the School of Medicine. His mandate was to make the Woodruff Health Sciences Center competitive with the best in the nation, and this vision of becoming the best inspired an array of accomplishments.

During his tenure, the WHSC consolidated its clinics and hospitals under Emory Healthcare, now the largest, most comprehensive health care system in Georgia. In research, annual grant awards to faculty more than doubled, climbing to $331 million in 2006. Emory health sciences faculty membership in the influential Institute of Medicine during his tenure grew from one to 21.

Emory’s influence also grew locally as the University became a major player in transferring health care technology to the marketplace, including the launch of 37 start-up companies and the licensing of eight therapeutic products. Another 23 are under development.

Meanwhile, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center’s annual economic impact on metro Atlanta has grown to $4.6 billion, and charity care provided to the community by Emory Healthcare clinicians has grown to almost $71 million per year.

“Mike Johns has accomplished remarkable things for and with Emory,” said Ben Johnson, chairman of Emory’s Board of Trustees. “He has a keen eye for talent and a knack for seeing what lies just over the horizon.”