Stanford University

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NEWS RELEASE

4/9/03

Camille Morhardt, Office of Development (650) 725-4392

Psychologist Lee Ross named first Stanford Federal Credit Union Professor

The Board of Trustees this week confirmed the appointment of Lee Ross as the first holder of The Stanford Federal Credit Union Professorship in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Ross's research and scholarship have helped shape the field of social psychology, and his work in dispute resolution has influenced international peace negotiations. Ross participated in a Bay Area conference jointly sponsored by the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation (of which he is co-founder) and the Foundation for Global Community that resulted in an unprecedented agreement between prominent Israelis and Palestinians. He has also worked with political leaders and citizen groups in Northern Ireland to facilitate the peace process there.

"I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than Lee," said Sharon Long, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "He is an outstanding scholar and one of our most distinguished professors. I am pleased to award this chair to a faculty member whose contributions benefit us all."

The credit union established the chair to support a faculty member who focuses on public service and the betterment of the community. "Not only is Lee a leader at Stanford, he is a leader globally. Honoring someone with a commitment to building bridges among communities is exactly what we hoped to accomplish in creating this chair," said SFCU Chairman Tim Warner.

This year the American Psychological Society named Ross the William James Fellow for his "lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology." Ross's early research was key in linking social and cognitive psychology. In a landmark paper, he introduced the term "intuitive psychologists," the idea that people are susceptible to biases when interpreting data. He later identified and investigated "belief perseverance," the "false consensus effect," the "hostile media effect," "reactive devaluation," and "na´ve realism," all now recognized in the field as standard terms. Ross currently studies sources of misunderstanding and impediments to dispute resolution, and he applies that research to second-track diplomacy.

Ross has been a professor in Stanford's Department of Psychology since 1969, the year he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He attended the University of Toronto as an undergraduate. While at Stanford, Ross has co-authored and co-edited several books, become a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The SFCU chair was established in February 2003 after credit union members voted to allocate $1.5 million to the cause. The donation will be matched by funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to create a total endowment of $3 million.

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