CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558
STANFORD -- The following is a chronology of major events during the
career of Stanford President Donald Kennedy, 59 (born New York City, Aug. 18,
- Earned bachelor's degree 1952, master's 1954, doctorate 1956, all in
biology from Harvard University.
- Member of Syracuse University faculty.
- Joined Stanford's department of biological sciences. Was chair of the
department from 1965 to 1972, and headed the program in human biology from
1974 to 1977.
- As chairman of the faculty Advisory Board, presided at the hearing of
Associate Prof. H. Bruce Franklin, who was charged with inciting campus
violence in winter 1971. The hearings ran from Sept. 28 to Nov. 5, 1971, six
days a week, six hours a day, with testimony from 110 witnesses. In January
1972, the Advisory Board, with Kennedy in the minority, voted 5-2 to
recommend dismissal. The decision was endorsed by President Richard Lyman and
upheld by the Board of Trustees, 20-2.
- Chaired four-year national study sponsored by the National Research
Council that concluded pesticides were becoming less effective and posed
serious public health problems.
- Received the Dinkelspiel Award, the university's highest honor for
outstanding service to undergraduate education.
- Completed a term on the Harvard Board of Overseers.
- Took leave of absence to serve as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration under President Carter. Told interviewer that "the opportunity
to serve government is one that scientists should come to regard as a routine
part of their career patterns, just as many academic lawyers, political
scientists, and economists do."
- Aug. 1: Returned to Stanford as provost, the university's chief academic
- June 13: Appointed Stanford's eighth president, effective Aug. 1.
- Oct. 12: More than 6,000 gathered in Frost Amphitheater to hear
inaugural address, which called for faculty to overcome the alienation of the
late 1960s and once again become involved with students. Kennedy also
announced establishment of the Stanford Humanities Center to support research
of humanities scholars from Stanford and elsewhere, enabling them to write
books and articles.
- February: A national assessment of doctoral programs ranked Stanford
among the top 10 in 25 different fields, a record exceeded only by Berkeley.
Stanford was first in four fields: biochemistry, computer science, psychology
and statistics- biostatistics.
- May 19: Ground was broken for the Center for Integrated Systems, a joint
venture between 20 industry sponsors and Stanford faculty and students in the
fields of engineering, computer science and applied physics.
- May 23: The Faculty Senate supported a nonpartisan review of relations
between the Hoover Institution and the university.
- November: System Development Foundation of Palo Alto announced a $21
million gift to the Center for the Study of Language and Information. The
center is a major institution for the development of integrated theories of
language, information and computation.
- June: At the instigation of Kennedy, special assistant Catherine Milton
issued a report calling for new initiatives in public service, including
creation of a public service center. Stanford's Haas Center for Public
Service Center sponsors a host of programs involving hundreds of students.
- Feb. 12: University trustees selected a site in the foothills behind
campus for a proposed Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, but only after the
White House dropped plans for a public policy center under Hoover Institution
control. In April 1987, the Faculty Senate urged trustees to scale down the
facility or move it farther from the center of campus. A few weeks later,
Reagan Presidential Foundation officials informed the university of their
intention to build the library in Southern California.
- June 14: Trustees approved the concept of redeveloping the Near West
Campus, the 41-acre science and engineering region, at an estimated cost of
$250 million. Alumnus William R. Hewlett earmarked $40 million for the
project from a $50-million gift.
- Sept. 30: Kennedy upheld the 1983 decision by the anthropology
department faculty to terminate Steven Mosher as a doctoral candidate after
an investigation of charges relating to Mosher's field research on a Chinese
commune in 1979-80. Mosher claimed he was dismissed because of pressure by
Chinese government officials upset about articles he wrote on forced
- May 7: Alumni Lucile and David Packard pledged $70 million to finance
construction of a new children's hospital at Stanford. The $100-million,
300,000-square-foot Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital opened in
- December: Kennedy took a sabbatical through March 1987 to focus on
long-range planning and resource issues.
- February 10: Board of Trustees launched a five-year $1.1-billion
Centennial Campaign, the largest to date in higher education. The goal was
passed ahead of schedule, in June 1991.
- March 31: A two-year debate on the future of the Western Culture
requirement was resolved when the Faculty Senate adopted a compromise program
called Cultures, Ideas and Values (CIV). Beginning in fall 1989, all freshmen
would study, in addition to traditional "great works," women, minority and
class issues, and works from at least one non-European culture. The debate
gained national attention when then-Secretary of Education William Bennett
claimed the Stanford faculty bowed to "pressure politics and intimidation."
Kennedy and Bennett debated the issue on the nationally broadcast
- May 16: Stanford-in-Washington campus was dedicated in nation's capital.
Named for donors Robert M. and Anne T. Bass and located in the Connecticut
Avenue Club in Woodley Park, the center houses 30 undergraduates, who study
and serve internships with government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
The idea for the campus was first formally expressed by Kennedy when he
returned from service at the Food and Drug Administration.
- May 17: University trustees informed Hoover Institution Director W.
Glenn Campbell that they were launching a search for his successor. Campbell,
who sparred often with Kennedy, had threatened to sue the university if
forced to retire at age 65. Eventually he accepted a retirement offer from
the trustees, effective Aug. 31, 1989. John Raisian was named to succeed him,
with relations between Hoover and the university warming to the point where
Kennedy added Raisian to the university cabinet.
- Jan. 10: The study of cultural differences should be incorporated in a
broad spectrum of courses, Kennedy said in a statement circulated to faculty
and students after two racial incidents at dormitories. Meanwhile, a faculty
committee was considering changes that would incorporate study of ethnicity
and gender issues in the distribution requirements.
- April 5: The University Committee on Minority Issues, appointed by
Kennedy and Provost James N. Rosse in 1987, released a 240-page report
containing more than 100 recommendations that it said could help fulfill the
university's commitment to become "a genuinely pluralistic community."
Proposals include: add 30 minority faculty, double minority doctoral
enrollments, double courses focusing on minorities and establish an ethnic
studies requirement. Hundreds of students and others were surveyed and
interviewed during the 18- month study. Kennedy said the final product was of
"extraordinary quality - thorough in its evaluations, fair in its intentions
and constructive in outlook."
- May 15: Students took over Kennedy's office for the day to press demands
for more minority faculty and full-time ethnic deans. Fifty-three students
subsequently were charged with violating the university's Policy on Campus
- Oct. 19: Loma Prieta earthquake, 7.1 on the Richter scale, strikes the
Bay area, causing $160 million in damage to the Stanford campus.
- Nov. 12: The Stanford Japan Center formally opened in Kyoto. Stanford
administers for a consortium of American universities a nine-month program in
which 35 students study Japanese culture, history, literature and social
organization. Also housed at the center is the Stanford Center for Innovation
and Technology, designed for Stanford students interested in contemporary
Japanese culture and technology.
- April 5: In a wide-ranging speech on "Stanford in Its Second Century,"
Kennedy called on community members to renew their commitment to teaching as
"first among our labors." The combination of teaching and research has been a
source of Stanford's strength, but the relative weight has shifted over time,
as the term "research university" suggests, he said.
- June 4: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visits Stanford campus.
- Sept. 12: Stanford announced that its policies and practices on
recovering the indirect costs of research are being investigated by three
federal agencies. The issue would lead to testimony before congressional
hearings on March 13, 1991; subsequent acknowledgment of errors and
inappropriate charges at Stanford and more than 20 other universities;
continuing audits and inquiries; and a fundamental reform of Stanford's
financial systems and practices, announced July 22, 1991.
- October: Administration announced a new policy putting unmarried student
domestic partners on the same footing as married couples for university
housing and other privileges. In February 1991, the Board of Trustees
concluded that the policy was an implementation of long-standing university
- March: Kennedy announced $7 million in new programs to improve teaching
of undergraduates and "increase the resonance between teaching and research,"
including modifications to promotion and hiring processes and economic reward
for outstanding classroom instruction.
Kennedy's honors include election to American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society.
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