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Committee to Establish Principles on Naming

Dear Johns Hopkins Community,

Last summer, we announced the formation of the Committee to Establish Principles on Naming (CEPN), charged with developing a set of principles and a process for evaluating how the university and health system consider requests to rename buildings and programs that recognize individuals whose legacies may now be considered antithetical to our values. After extensive study, consultations, and deliberation, the CEPN submitted a consensus report to university leadership this spring that contained several recommendations.

We are pleased to share with the community the full report and the news that the Boards of Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Health System have adopted the committee’s recommendations. This includes establishing a Name Review Board (NRB), with members from across our institution and representatives from our 240,000-member alumni community. A summary of the process adopted by the trustees is available here.

The boards’ votes reflect the seriousness and care with which the Committee to Establish Principles on Naming conducted its work on this important matter during the past year, and recognizes the thoughtfulness of the report. The CEPN has created a process by which we may acknowledge the complexity of reckoning with the legacies of our collective past while embodying the importance of applying guiding criteria consistently and in ways that reflect the core values of our institution.

The committee’s work was shaped by consultation with hundreds of members of our Johns Hopkins community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as our neighbors in Baltimore. Members held 11 virtual listening sessions, posted their work for public comment, and engaged in many hours of discussion among themselves to arrive at a process that is fair, inclusive, and principled.

We look forward to moving ahead toward implementation of the recommendations with determination and purpose. In that spirit, there is a dedicated Name Review Board website where interested members of our community can submit proposals for consideration by the NRB, beginning in early December.

We are deeply grateful to the members of the CEPN for their dedication, and particularly for the leadership of the committee’s co-chairs: Tony Anderson, JHU Board of Trustees Vice Chair; Karen Horton, Martin W. Donner Professor and Director of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science; and Lawrence Jackson, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History.

We also thank the many members of the Johns Hopkins community who provided their insight and feedback on the committee’s work. Through this collective effort, we have embodied the best of the academy’s belief in rigorous inquiry, open dialogue, and commitment to equity, emerging with a set of first principles and a process that will ground our path forward.


Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University

Paul B. Rothman, MD
Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Kevin W. Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN
President, Johns Hopkins Health System and
Executive Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine

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