Robert Kasdin

Robert Kasdin

President Bollinger sent an email to students this afternoon announcing that Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin will be leaving Columbia at the end of June. Kasdin will become the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Both former Dean Terry Martinez and Dean Kevin Shollenberger left Columbia in the past years to accept positions at Johns Hopkins, prompting a trend of admins leaving Columbia for the health care system. The real question is: which admin will Johns Hopkins scoop up next?

President Bollinger explains that this is “a time of significant change in our nation’s health care system” as Kasdin moves into his new position. He also asks for the Columbia community to congratulate Kasdin on his new role. President Bollinger did not name a replacement for Kasdin in his email.

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I write to tell you that our Senior Executive Vice President, Robert Kasdin, will be leaving Columbia at the end of June to become the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins Medicine is a $7 billion enterprise that includes the physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the organizations, health professionals, and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.At a time of significant change in our nation’s health care system, this is an exciting opportunity for Robert to apply his keen intelligence and deep experience in managing major non-profit institutions, most significantly in the field of higher education, to one of the most important areas of our economy. More importantly, this is a field fundamentally concerned with caring for people in their health and well-being.

Here at Columbia, Robert has played a central role in countless major projects, not least of course with the development of our new campus in Manhattanville in West Harlem. Meeting the critical need of Columbia for more space, all in the service of our mission of teaching, research, and public service, has required a comprehensive intellect and a dedication to the purposes of the University. Robert has excelled in these qualities. Meanwhile, during this period, we have faced the sharpest downturn in the national and global economy since the Great Depression, and Robert’s work helped us navigate this crisis with extraordinary skill and sensitive attention to the impact on people. These and other contributions are on top of the daily, but not at all mundane, work of making Columbia operate with a culture of service and accountability.

We have an extremely strong group of leaders in Robert’s team, and we are, therefore, in excellent shape to maintain continuity in the many non-academic areas for which he has been responsible. In the weeks ahead, I will have more to say about how I will organize these institutional functions.

For the present, I ask you to join me in congratulating Robert on his exciting new position and thanking him for his wonderful service to Columbia.


Lee C. Bollinger