May 29, 2012

General counsel Steve Dunham to leave Johns Hopkins

Steve Dunham, vice president and general counsel for Johns Hopkins since December 2005, will this summer join The Pennsylvania State University as its vice president and general counsel.

“I deeply regret the loss to Johns Hopkins—and to all of us—of such an outstanding colleague, adviser and university citizen,” said President Ronald J. Daniels in a letter last week to university trustees and leadership. “At the same time, however, I am pleased for Steve that he will be able to bring his considerable intelligence, skill and abilities to the service of such an important institution. And I am pleased for Penn State that it has found in Steve an attorney of unparalleled expertise to assist it in dealing with the issues before it.”

Daniels described Dunham as “probably the most highly respected university attorney in the United States today.”

“At Johns Hopkins,” Daniels said, “he has been invaluable in building a robust system for ensuring compliance with legal requirements in university activities from research, student aid and stewardship of federal dollars to human resources and our expanding international presence. He has contributed significantly to our broadened program of institutional risk management. He has provided important legal support for Johns Hopkins Medicine and been of immense assistance to all Johns Hopkins entities in both crisis management and protection of our institutional reputation.”

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Dunham was a Denver-based partner in and former chairman of the global law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP and chief attorney at the University of Minnesota.

He has represented colleges and universities, both as in-house counsel and outside attorney, for most of his 43-year legal career, dealing with issues including research, intellectual property, employment, First Amendment freedoms, academic freedom, accreditation, ethics, and appointments and promotions.

Plans for interim leadership of Johns Hopkins’ General Counsel’s Office, and a search for Dunham’s successor, will be announced shortly, Daniels said.