December 14, 2009

James McGill, head of finance and administration, to retire

James T. McGill, senior vice president for finance and administration, will retire June 30 after more than 12 years of managing the financial, physical and human infrastructure of The Johns Hopkins University.

“Jim’s imprint on Johns Hopkins can be seen in practically every facet of the university’s operations, and each and every project he has overseen or led has been squarely aimed at supporting and enhancing our core academic mission,” President Ronald J. Daniels said. “His retirement will leave huge shoes for us to fill.”

McGill’s responsibilities as one of Johns Hopkins’ senior leaders encompass an expansive portfolio that includes the university’s business, accounting, investment and money management offices; its real estate and audit functions; facilities management; purchasing; human resources; and Homewood safety and security.

“Jim is the kind of financial leader who takes the time to understand the academic mission and provide thoughtful solutions to help advance this institution and its people,” Daniels said. “His leadership in this area is reflected in the talented team of excellent administrative people he has built that is squarely focused on supporting the superb faculty and students at Johns Hopkins. With them, Jim has worked to ensure that infrastructure and operations to support the mission are as aligned, effective and cost-efficient as possible.

“On a personal note,” he continued, “Jim’s sage counsel and advice have been of enormous value to me during my first year as president. I, along with all of Johns Hopkins, am in his debt.”

Working with two presidents, five provosts and the senior leaders of the university’s divisions and its other units, McGill has reshaped the administration to reflect changing economic, fiscal and regulatory circumstances and to enable Johns Hopkins to operate more effectively and efficiently, Daniels said.

During McGill’s tenure, the university budget has grown from $1.7 billion to more than $3.8 billion and the endowment from $1.5 billion to as much as $3 billion. He created the university investment office and hired the first chief investment officer. He also collaborated with colleagues from the university and the Johns Hopkins Health System to create institutionswide offices to handle real estate, audits and government affairs, in some cases merging multiple offices to eliminate duplicative or even conflicting efforts. In addition, he spearheaded with the leadership team at the health system a massive effort to update Johns Hopkins’ outmoded, inadequate and costly business and management information systems.

Keenly interested in community relations, McGill has championed improved communication with neighbors and encouraged a university-community-private business collaboration to revitalize the Charles Village neighborhood near the Homewood campus. He also has been instrumental in the university’s involvement in East Baltimore redevelopment and in projects that have transformed all the university’s campuses, from Baltimore to Montgomery County, Md., to Nanjing, China. Since his arrival, the university has added more than 5 million gross square feet of building space to its campuses, putting it among the top-10 largest university physical plants in the United States.

He also has emphasized the important relationship between the university’s management team and members of the board of trustees, designing ways to draw upon trustees’ skills, experience and interests to help improve delivery of university financial and administrative services.

“I have appreciated deeply the opportunity to serve the faculty, staff and fellow administrators at this marvelous institution,” McGill said. “The brilliance and dedication of Hopkins people to the university’s mission is unparalleled in my experience. To have had a role here has been personally rewarding.”

McGill came to Johns Hopkins in January 1998 from the University of Missouri, where he had been executive vice president in charge of finance, budgeting, facilities, endowment investment, human resources and other administrative functions for the four-campus system.

Previously, he served as vice president of Oregon Health Services University and as associate vice chancellor of the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. He has served on a number of boards of university business officer groups and of nonprofit institutions.

A 1965 graduate of Oregon State University, McGill earned a PhD in operations research from Stanford University in 1969.

Plans for a search for McGill’s successor are expected to be announced in January.