Stanford’s Long-Range Vision focused on accelerating university impact
Initiatives that arose out of the university’s Long-Range Vision have been making progress toward the goal of accelerating Stanford's impact in the world. That includes launching new programs to address urgent challenges and expanding our excellence in research and education.
The university’s Long-Range Vision launched in May 2019 with a goal of accelerating Stanford’s purposeful impact in the world. Although many of the initiatives have shifted priorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, collectively they remain focused on accelerating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, enhancing our knowledge of the world and ourselves, advancing education for our students and supporting our diverse community of faculty, students and staff.
The initiatives that are part of Our Vision amplify Stanford’s contributions through a new model for research universities: not only accelerating the creation of knowledge, but also eliminating the lag time in translating that knowledge into solutions and speeding the transfer of those solutions beyond our walls.
This isn’t the first time Stanford has made strategic decisions to meet a moment. Starting in the 1950s, a focus on “Steeples of Excellence” triggered Stanford’s emergence as a world leader in fundamental research and scholarship. Then, in the 1980s, Stanford focused on enhancing and rethinking undergraduate and graduate education and the experience of students on campus. And starting in the early 2000s Stanford broke down the old barriers between academic fields of study with institutes and centers that advanced discovery at the intersection of disciplines, in the process creating a new model for interdisciplinary learning and scholarship.
Our Vision is the latest evolution of the university’s priorities, one that builds on our academic and educational excellence and leverages a culture of interdisciplinary problem solving to accelerate and scale solutions for urgent challenges facing our health, society and the planet.
In response to the scale and urgency of challenges facing the world today, Stanford is creating new ways of accelerating solutions and delivering them beyond our walls. Addressing issues like racial injustice, rising health care costs, climate change and unequal learning opportunities will involve rethinking existing ways of conducting research and turning ideas into action.
With that in mind, this theme includes new academic structures and accelerators that foster partnerships with collaborators in the public, private and social sectors to speed the pace at which breakthrough discoveries are translated into solutions for the world’s most pressing problems.
Our Vision includes initiatives that will expand Stanford’s excellence in research and scholarship by attracting and supporting outstanding faculty and researchers from diverse backgrounds and providing cutting-edge tools and shared resources to empower discovery and creativity across the arts, humanities, social sciences, science and engineering.
These initiatives will generate new knowledge and new ways of thinking that underlie advances, including technologies and innovations, policies and solutions to societal challenges, and arts that transform and enliven us.
These initiatives also explicitly embed ethics in innovation to ensure that discoveries and ideas born at Stanford produce benefits for the world and bring humanities to the fore, because a rapidly changing world requires us to continually reinterpret the human experience.
Initiatives centered on education will enhance the experience of undergraduate and graduate students on campus and support our diverse students who are determined to make a difference.
The focus includes increasing access to a Stanford education with financial aid, expanded professional advising, and programs to create community and support students throughout their academic journey. It also includes new approaches to ensure all undergraduates receive the benefits of a liberal education.
Stanford’s foundation has always been our people, which is why Our Vision includes initiatives focused on attracting and supporting curious and innovative faculty, students and staff.
Our Vision also recognize that achieving our goals requires diverse ideas and perspectives, and embedds equity and inclusion across initiatives supporting our community.