Johnson is a champion for diversity and inclusion in the recruitment and retention of students and faculty members, serving in many leadership positions to increase awareness and consideration. His service to his department, college, campus, and system demonstrates his strong support for the principles of shared governance. Johnson also serves as the Associate Dean for Research in The Grainger College of Engineering, where he has grown the graduate student applicant pool while developing a new professional degree program.
He was one of four Illinois faculty members who were honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership.
The Office of the Provost sponsors the campus-level awards in recognition of faculty members who distinguish themselves in their vision of the future and their efforts to enable and promote others in shaping that future. Each of the four awardees will receive an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.