To the Editor:
The brief reference to the Johns Hopkins University in your story on a proposed merger of New Jersey institutions ("Messy Drama of Proposed University Merger Has N.J. Leaders Snarling," The Chronicle, April 10) may have left readers with the impression that we are unengaged in efforts to rejuvenate the area near our medical campus. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, Johns Hopkins is one of the most active members of a broad public-private partnership dedicated to revitalizing a long impoverished 88-acre East Baltimore neighborhood adjacent to that campus. Since 2003, the university and the Johns Hopkins Hospital alone have committed $37.5-million to the project.
Long-term problems are not resolved overnight, but this is a sustained, strategic effort, and it is starting to show solid results. New and returning residents—some subsidized by Johns Hopkins—are moving into new and rehabilitated housing. Employers—including Johns Hopkins—are bringing new and relocated jobs to the neighborhood. Johns Hopkins has taken operational responsibility for the community school. The first new public school building in East Baltimore in more than 25 years is under construction, in part with Johns Hopkins money. It will share a campus with an early-childhood center (to be subsidized by Johns Hopkins) and a gym, auditorium, and library that will be available for community use.
We and our partners from the public, foundation, private, and nonprofit sectors are helping residents build a healthy, thriving, mixed-income neighborhood—in a place where, for years, solid citizens have lived in poverty, blight, and the shadow of drug-driven crime. We are proud of this effort and of everyone at the university and hospital who has worked so hard to make it happen.
Andrew B. Frank
Special Adviser to the President
The Johns Hopkins University