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Faculty Senate approves reapportionment plan
STANFORD -- For 65 minutes, on Thursday, Jan. 7, faculty senators patiently listened to a discussion of reapportionment of their body - a process required every five years.
But in the spirit of efficiency that is sweeping Stanford, they voted near the end to change the "quinquennial" process to one that will take place only once every 10 years, unless the senate Steering Committee deems it necessary to take up the issue halfway through the decade.
The result of last week's deliberation is that the senate will continue to have 55 members for at least five more years, and perhaps until 2003. However, beginning next year, the School of Engineering will lose one senator, dropping from 11 to 10, while Humanities and Sciences gains one, from 24 to 25.
At the recommendation of its ad hoc committee on senate representation, the full senate agreed to a minor change in determination of representation, which is based nearly equally on the number of faculty and the number of students in each school. Dropped from the student component of the formula was consideration of the number of student majors; now, only the number of units taught and number of degrees granted will make up the student half of the equation.
The senate also agreed with the ad hoc committee, chaired by mathematics Professor Halsey Royden, that because of frequent organizational changes, lists of academic administrative officers included in special electoral unit 11 should be more generic. Among the officers in that category are the president, provost, vice provosts and associate provosts, the library director, registrar and the academic secretary.
Chemistry Professor Richard Zare recommended changing reapportionment to a once-a-decade project, but the senators agreed that half-way through the decade the Steering Committee should commission a study if major changes in the schools have skewed representation.
Commenting on reapportionment near the end of the discussion, President Gerhard Casper joked that as far as he could tell, Stanford's system was "undoubtedly the most complicated, and therefore the fairest, in the entire world."
As wide laughter ensued, senate chair William Northway, diagnostic radiology, told Royden he should interpret that as a compliment.
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