TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
ACADEMIC COUNCIL THIRTY-FIRST SENATE
Report No. 10
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS, APRIL 29
At its meeting of Thursday, April 29, 1999, the Senate of the Academic Council heard reports and took the following actions:
1. The Senate, by divided voice vote, approved the proposed Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures (SenD#4937), as amended by the Task Force memorandum of April 28, 1999 and on the Senate floor, with the further understanding that the Provost will report to the Senate in Autumn Quarter 2002 on how well the new process is working.
The Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures replaces the former Statement on Faculty Grievance Procedures (SenD#4760) and its accompanying Standing Rules of Procedure for the Filing and Appeal of Grievances (SenD#4803). Both of these documents are considered to be repealed. Further, the Statement on Academic Freedom (SenD#4802) has been modified to harmonize its language with the new Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures without any changes in substance.
2. The Senate, by unanimous voice vote, remanded the proposed Sense of the Senate Resolution Regarding Career Consultations for Tenured Faculty Members (SenD#4942) to the Planning and Policy Board for further study.
SUSAN W. SCHOFIELD
Academic Secretary to the University
MINUTES, APRIL 29
Call to Order
Chair Brad Efron called the Senate to order at 3:19 p.m. There were 33 voting members, 9 ex-officio members, and several guests in attendance.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the April 15, 1999 meeting of Senate XXXI of the Academic Council (SenD#49XX) were approved as submitted.
The Chair introduced Professor Kurt Steiner to present a memorial statement in honor of Robert A. Walker, on behalf of a committee consisting of himself, Professor Hubert Marshall, and Lowell Price. [The full text of the resolution was included in Senate packets and will be published in the Stanford Report.] Following the memorial statement, members of the Senate stood for the traditional moment of silence.
Robert Averill Walker, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, died on February 3, 1998, at age 84. He was a member of the Stanford faculty for 27 years. Bob Walker's boundless energy and his spirit of public service left a lasting imprint on the development of Stanford. He was not only a skilled administrator, but also an innovator of great vision. He played a proud part in the improvement and growth of Stanford from his arrival in 1949 to his retirement in 1976 in regard to overseas campuses, general studies, political science, the industrial park, faculty housing, and more. In the belief that an international perspective is an essential part of a liberal education, he developed the overseas studies program, and in 1958 the first overseas study center was established in Germany, to be followed soon by others. During his service as Director of Overseas Studies, three out of five undergraduates, 8,000 in all, spent two quarters abroad. Bob's booming voice and his good humor were characteristic of his joy of life. He lived out his life with purpose, courage, and great enthusiasm. He will be dearly missed.
Report from the Senate Steering Committee
The Chair remarked that there were only three remaining Senate meetings in the year. He noted that the next meeting on May 13 would be a "final test of endurance for the Provost" who would be presenting reports on faculty demographics, women faculty, a faculty salary review, and the annual budget report. That meeting would be followed by an Informal Executive Session, "usually very interesting," he reminded everyone.
Report from the Committee on Committees
CoC Chair Thomas advised that the committee had put the finishing touches on recommendations for all Academic Council and University committees, and had responded to the Provost's request for recommendations for a search committee for the next Dean of Engineering. "We hope the CoC's work is now done," he said, indicating that he would present a final report once the Academic Secretary finished her "recruiting season."
Reports from the President and the Provost
There were no reports from the President or the Provost and no questions put to them.
Proposed Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures (SenD#4937)
The Chair advised that the Senate was moving to its second and final discussion of proposed new faculty appeal procedures, with final votes expected. The President's Task Force on Faculty Grievance and Faculty Discipline Procedures (comprised of Professors Jim Sheehan, Michael Bratman, Fran Conley, Bob Simoni, Brad Efron, the Provost, and the President) had convened following the previous Senate meeting, he said. They were offering two amendments to the proposed statement, described in a memorandum also numbered SenD#4937, placed at desks.
Professor Sheehan, Task Force Chair, spoke first to the questions raised at the earlier meeting concerning criteria for measuring success. He reiterated the Task Force's motives for proposing revisions: that the process be clear; that it be more accessible; that it be, if possible, faster; and that it not change the "balance of power" within the appeal procedure itself. Sheehan suggested that some of these things could be measured time taken for an appeal to run its course, number of appeals, number granted and not granted but that others would require qualitative analysis, based on careful discussion with all of those involved in appeals. "It's difficult to know if we have found the right way to respond to the situation in which we find ourselves. We think we've done a good job. But we'll need to take a look at it in three years to be sure." Sheehan also clarified that in the new process the President has a choice of whether or not to become formally involved in an appeal. Making that choice would necessarily involve looking at the appeal and doing some preliminary work, he said.
Sheehan described the two wording changes set forth in the Task Force memorandum, in response to suggestions from the Senate floor and subsequent e-mail messages. The first change was to Section 1.2 concerning the third standard for appeal. It substituted the language "In rare cases, the reviewer may also overturn the decision if it was not one which a person (or persons) in the position of the decision-maker might reasonably have made" for the previously proposed language "In exceptional cases, the reviewer may also consider whether the decision was arbitrary even if no procedural irregularities occurred." Sheehan said the Task Force wanted to underscore, however, that they expect the use of that third categorically different standard to be unusual and rare. The second wording change was intended to broaden somewhat the function of the Fact-Finder in Section 4.4. The Task Force wanted to retain the empirically focused aspect of the role, he said, while making it possible for Fact-Finders to report things that were not part of a distinct question.
Efron advised that the Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures, as modified by the Task Force memorandum dated April 28, 1999 (both SenD#4937), was to be considered moved and seconded and was on the floor for discussion. Implicit in the motion, he stated, was a requirement that the Provost report to the Senate by Autumn Quarter 2002 on how well the new process was working.
Professor Shachter (EES/OR) reiterated his previous objection to attempting to legislate that use of the third standard would necessarily be "rare" or "exceptional." If a pattern of unreasonable decisions were to arise, then it should be more, as opposed to less, compelling to review such decisions, he explained. Sheehan pointed out that they had further modified the language to provide that in rare cases the reviewer "may overturn," rather than "may consider". He said this was important, since consideration of whether the decision was reasonable would probably be common, but overturning a decision on these grounds would probably be rare. If you don't phrase it in such a way, "you are likely to mislead potential appellants," he stated.
The Chair encouraged the Senate not to spend too much time debating individual phrases, but to offer wording amendments that could be voted on quickly. Shachter said that he wished to offer alternative language for Section 1.2. Sheehan advised that the Task Force had considered that language and felt it opened the door too far. He reminded everyone that the decision-making process, including its important appeal provisions, must be protected in order to maintain a viable tenure-track system. It must remain possible to make difficult decisions, he said, without worrying that they will be frequently overturned. Shachter moved that the following language be substituted for the final sentence of Section 1.2: "It is expected that the decisions reached might reasonably have been made, given the proper facts, criteria, and procedures, but when there is sufficient doubt, the decisions themselves are open to review, even if no procedural irregularities occurred." The motion died for lack of a second.
Professors Elam (Drama) and Watt (Biological Sciences) agreed with Shachter that one should be concerned about any possible patterns developing. Watt pointed out however that if faculty members in positions of authority over the appointment and promotion process were doing their jobs, it would take only a couple of decisions overturned on the "reasonably" grounds before they would look very hard at why this was happening.
Professor Thomas (Psychology) agreed with the use of the terms "decision-maker" and "appellant", both of whom are within the same university. He therefore suggested a friendly amendment substituting "decision-maker" for "university" in Section 4.4. This amendment was later approved by unanimous voice vote. Thomas also reiterated his opposition to the creation of a standing panel of Fact-Finders, stating that he believed the ideal Fact-Finder for a particular case would rarely be someone who had agreed to serve a three-year term on such a panel. This would lead to the Provost or the Advisory Board ignoring the panel quite often, he speculated, or being shackled by the system. "However if the future deans and Provosts like the idea of the panel, I defer to them."
Returning to the question of how to evaluate the success of the system, Professor R. Fernald (Psychology) asked whether the Task Force had information from grievants about their views of the process. Sheehan replied that he believed the opinion of people who had gone through the process was indeed critical to assessing how well the new system was working. Provost Rice said that although the Task Force had not had formal input from past grievants, reliable anecdotal evidence indicated that the two major concerns of grievants were the overall length of time the process took and getting to the Advisory Board more expeditiously. Since the terms of the three-year review of the new system would not be part of the formal legislation, Efron encouraged Senators to provide suggestions after the meeting of ways in which the review might be made most effective.
With the Chair getting ready to call for the vote, Thomas returned to his objection to the creation of a standing panel of Fact-Finders. He indicated, with the support of Professor Noll (Economics), that it was not the Senate's business to require such a panel, but that it could certainly be established administratively. President Casper acknowledged that having a panel of Fact-Finders was quite restrictive. It was intended, he stated, to reassure appellants by having an identified group of individuals who had been educated about fact-finding, rather than allowing the Provost to pick anyone in the university. Sheehan expressed the opinion that adding the panel of Fact-Finders was a very important change, which would acquire legitimacy by being included in the formal legislation. Assuming that appropriate individuals could be persuaded to serve on the panel, he said that having ready access to trained Fact-Finders, with staggered terms so that they could pass on received knowledge, would eliminate the considerable delay in the existing system caused by the difficulty of getting Grievance Officers. He urged the Senate to allow a three-year trial of the panel system.
Sheehan and Professor Conley (Neurosurgery) replied to a request for clarification by indicating that the Advisory Board would be expected to select any Fact-Finder it might require from the same standing panel. Noll commented that the language seemed overly specific, and suggested instead that it might be worded as follows: "The Provost should appoint a standing panel of Fact-Finders from among the faculty, emeritus faculty, and senior staff whose number and terms will be determined by the Provost." With numerous uncertainties about the new process, why commit to something as specific as eight to twelve persons serving staggered three-year terms, he asked. Provost Rice expressed support for the Task Force proposal, noting that a review in three years was soon enough to assess whether aspects of the panel system needed to be changed.
Shachter questioned whether there were any issues Senators wished to discuss concerning the process for appeals on matters not involving appointments and promotions. The Provost reminded everyone that for those matters neither the current nor the proposed process involve review by the Advisory Board. Hearing no further discussion, the Chair called for a vote on the proposed Statement on Faculty Appeal Procedures (SenD#4937), as amended by the Task Force memorandum of April 28, 1999 and on the Senate floor, with the further understanding that the Provost would be asked to report to the Senate in Autumn Quarter 2002 on how well the new process was working. The Statement was approved on a divided voice vote (one abstention). Efron thanked the members of the Task Force, noting that their continuing work would result in revised faculty discipline procedures being brought to Senate the next year.
Proposed Resolution Regarding Career Consultations for Tenured Faculty Members (SenD#4942)
The Chair reminded everyone that the Planning and Policy Board (PPB) was instituted by the Senate for long-range planning and consideration of issues that do not come up on a regular basis. The PPB had brought a preliminary report on career consultations for tenured faculty members to Senate in Spring 1998, and the agenda packet contained an excerpt of the minutes of the prior Senate discussion. Efron drew attention to a minority report (SenD#4944) placed at desks, and introduced Professor Anne Krueger (Economics), PPB Co-Chair, to present the board's proposal.
Krueger stated that the prior Senate discussion of a very similar PPB proposal had been "reasonably positive, with some skeptical notes". The proposal meets a need that exists in various schools for facilitation of career transitions after the point of tenure, she advised. PPB believes that if there were support and a different ethic in the university, some people might be able to shift their primary emphasis, for example from basic to applied research or from research to teaching. The proposal, she said, provides for some form of consultation for all tenured faculty members, with the department chair or other designated individuals or a dean, on a five-to-seven year interval, to discuss prospective career plans. This would be a quick review for most people, whose careers are on track, but for a few it might provide the necessary environment and support for a change in direction.
Commenting on objections that had been raised to such a program of across-the-board consultations, Krueger said that it would need to be carried out in a way that was not bureaucratic or burdensome. She advised that the idea had been supported by all of the deans at a Cabinet meeting, without any apparent worry about a large bureaucratic system. This was intended "as a change facilitator not a dead wood detector," she remarked. Krueger said that public pressures for accountability of tenured faculty in academia had been on the minds of some PPB members as they developed the proposal. Stanford, with its excellence, may not be very much affected by these pressures, but Stanford could play a leadership role by putting in place a mechanism that was supportive of faculty who chose to make post-tenure career shifts. Leaving others to speak on behalf of the minority report, Krueger concluded that the majority of PPB members, and all of the carry-over members from the previous year, believe this to be a useful facilitative device.
Professor Jacobs (Oncology) pointed out that the Department of Medicine had begun annual reviews of all faculty members, and for senior faculty these could be quite forward-looking, she added. Krueger noted that implementation of the PPB proposal was meant to be flexible, responding to the differing needs of particular schools and departments. Professor Lindenberger (English/Comparative Literature), expressing respect for the members of PPB and their intentions, said he was nonetheless opposed to the proposal of five-to-seven year consultations because he believes it disadvantages those individuals who take many years to accomplish extremely important work. "I hear something Orwellian behind this, the idea of facing big brother," he remarked. Questioned by Professor Gumport (Education) as to whether he was speaking for all of the humanities, Lindenberger said he could think of several major scholars in the humanities who, after tenure, had taken many, many years to bring projects to fruition but had then changed the whole nature of their fields. The tenure system has given the faculty freedom to develop, he said, indicating that he would prefer to take the chance of having some dead wood in order "to keep an atmosphere that provides the best possible situation for real creativity."
Professor Stevenson (Pediatrics), also a member of PPB, said that they had discussed the new faculty review system in large Medical School departments and felt that the PPB proposal added useful facilitation. PPB was also concerned not to infringe on academic freedom, he assured Senators. Though the minority opinion diverged concerning the "mandatory flavor" of the reviews, he said there was common ground around the notion that resources should be made available to facilitate transitions that are in the individual's and the university's best interests.
Pointing out that for some time the Graduate School of Business had had a system of annual consultations between each faculty member and an associate dean, Professor Harrison (GSB) indicated that he thought many in his school might say that the "mildly salutary" benefits do not outweigh the significant administrative costs. Krueger underscored that the PPB proposal suggests discussions every five to seven years, not annually, thus decreasing the administrative burden substantially. Professor Ridgeway (Sociology) indicated overall support for the proposal, but concern about the details of implementation. Facing reviews every five to seven years might lead faculty to take a "short-term quarterly profits" type of approach, she suggested, and to ignore those ideas and projects that have longer time frames and might in fact turn out to be very important. In the research arena, this could result in "more and more variations on the usual thing" and behind-the-curve thinking.
Professor E. Roberts (Computer Science) said he thought that the proposal itself was far too weak to present any real defense against external critics of the tenure system. He also voiced the opinion that preparing for and carrying out reviews for five or six faculty members per year in his department would take time away from focusing energy on the very small number of individuals who are not productive teachers or researchers and who need to be talked to in a serious way. Casper agreed with Roberts that implementing the PPB proposal would not help him as President in his unceasing efforts to defend the tenure system. At Casper's request, Krueger explained that PPB wanted to recognize the significant differences among disciplines and envisioned the consultations being carried out variously by a chair, by a small group of senior colleagues appointed by the chair, or by an associate dean or a dean. The intent was to identify resources to support those who might wish to make a career change, she stated.
Observing that many comments by Senators seemed to reflect a perception that these reviews would have a judgmental focus, Professor Koseff (Civil and Environmental Engineering) sought clarification. Did PPB intend this mechanism to sit in judgment on faculty members' contributions and plans or simply to assist faculty members in thinking through their goals and obtaining any needed resources to accomplish desired changes, he asked. Krueger responded that she believed PPB did not envision evaluation or judgment of the quality of an individual's research, for example, but did anticipate possible evaluation of whether a proposed shift in emphasis would fill a need within the university. As an example she described a researcher tired of competing for grants in his field who might propose taking on a greater undergraduate teaching load in order to be a responsible citizen.
Acknowledging the PPB's positive intent, Professor Heller (Biological Sciences) said nonetheless that he would find it totally inappropriate to sit down with most of the senior faculty in his department to ask "What are you going to do for the next five or ten years?" Department chairs who are well chosen and who know their business can easily identify those few individuals with whom they must have discussions and will do so. He agreed with Lindenberger that these consultations would be perceived as big brother looking over one's shoulder. "This is not the kind of thing we should be legislating," he said.
Dean Hennessy (School of Engineering) contrasted his experience as a department chair and a dean with that of Heller, stating that conversations that should occur often do not, in part because they are difficult for younger chairs to have with senior faculty members. "I take the view that this should be a tool that helps the chairs to do their job," he stated. Professor Polhemus (English) provoked laughter as he offered remarks that were modifications of three clichés. "The issue: The rising tide of tenure floats all boats, even those made of dead wood. But the problem with the resolution: The camel's nose of bureaucracy is going to get under the tent of tenure and independent scholarship. So: This is a resolution whose time has not come."
Asking all those who were voicing opposition to the resolution to take off their debating hats and put on their problem-solving hats, Professor Tsien (Molecular and Cellular Physiology) suggested that the Senate take what was good about the PPB proposal and try to find a way to accomplish that. He described a small percentage of faculty who are misplaced, who would like to do something different, but "need to move over an energy barrier to get into a new state, and they need some catalyst to help them do that." What is good about the proposal, he said, "are the incentives for changing direction, the honorific aspects, the fact that there may be a sense of other people rewarding through positive strokes an individual's ability to make a sacrifice in order to do something new that's good for the department." Professor Noll (Economics), expressed the view that everything was good about the proposal except the mandatory feature of it. He suggested that the Senate had three choices: reject it; pass it with the word "voluntary" inserted before "consultation" in the resolution and the statement that any further language in the explanation section implying a mandatory system was not being adopted; or send it back to PPB for rewriting.
Professor Kruger (Vice Provost and Dean of Research and Graduate Policy) disagreed with the thrust of the discussion that this kind of review would be helpful only in rare cases. "It's hard for me to imagine a faculty member who is so perfect that a consultation with his or her chair or dean or colleagues would not be helpful," he said, concurring with Dean Hennessy that those consultations take place all too infrequently. Responding to Heller's query as to whether or not PPB would consider it a friendly amendment to delete the reference to consultations at five to seven year intervals, Krueger and Professor Conley (Neurosurgery), a PPB member, said that sending it back to PPB would be preferable to trying to wordsmith it on the Senate floor.
Professor R. Fernald (Psychology) remarked that there is a large human cost to having people stuck in uncomfortable positions once they've gotten tenure. He suggested that it would be a real improvement for the university to weave such conversations about future plans and directions into the annual departmental salary discussions, rather than waiting five years to address problems.
After some discussion about whether or not to take a yes-no vote, Ridgeway made a motion to remand the proposed Sense of the Senate Resolution Regarding Career Consultations for Tenured Faculty Members (SenD#4942) to the Planning and Policy Board for further study. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote. Efron thanked Krueger for defending the proposal and said that he thought the discussion had been interesting and well worth the Senate's and PPB's time.
Discussion of Junior Faculty Issues
Chair Efron commented that the discussion of junior faculty issues would be the second general faculty discussion of the year, the first having been about faculty housing. He introduced Professor Anne Fernald (Psychology) to provide an introduction to issues of concern to the junior faculty. As Vice Provost for Faculty Development she had been working specifically with junior faculty members to craft university initiatives that would ensure that there are no institutional barriers to their success. Efron welcomed several guests invited for this item including Kathleen Sullivan, Director of the WorkLife Office, and Assistant Professors Claire Fox (Spanish and Portuguese) and Karen Kenkel (German Studies).
Fernald mentioned some of the formidable academic challenges facing assistant professors at Stanford, adding that "there are other challenges as well that have a substantial impact on the productivity and well-being of junior faculty members." These include lack of information about how Stanford works, excessive demands by colleagues in some departments, unclear expectations and irregular feedback, and a lack of intellectual community coupled with urgent personal concerns such as housing and childcare.
Starting with "the good news," Fernald highlighted splendid new resources and initiatives directed toward the junior faculty, as listed on a document placed at Senate desks (SenD#4949). These include Presidential Research Grants for Junior Faculty and school initiatives such as fellowships and pre-tenure research leaves. Fernald also described Provost's Office initiatives: new faculty orientation; four or five workshops, lunches, or discussion groups each quarter with senior faculty focusing on topics such as the tenure process, obtaining research grants, writing productivity, work/family balance, women's perspectives; lunches with the Provost for open discussion; social events including families; resources to encourage communication among faculty; a Faculty Liaison for junior faculty (Fernald's role); and a junior faculty web site. The Provost's Office has also organized a Department Chairs' Institute, she advised, to address topics such as the chair's key role in constructive mentoring of junior faculty.
Turning next to urgent issues of concern to the junior faculty, Fernald mentioned housing but spoke principally about childcare. About 40 percent of the faculty (a third of them junior faculty) responded to a recent faculty childcare needs assessment by the WorkLife Office. Almost half of the respondents said they use or will soon require childcare, she said, pointing out that this is a problem at all levels, not just for assistant professors. The scarcity of childcare spaces is reflected in waiting lists of over 350 families (70 of them faculty) for places in Stanford's childcare facilities. "It is the common practice to register your fetus," she remarked, "and often to pay for eight months post-conception in order to hold a space." Based on the survey, it is estimated that 35-70 additional on-campus childcare spaces are required just to meet faculty needs. While the lack of availability is a problem for faculty at all ranks, the lack of affordability is a serious problem for the junior faculty, Fernald stressed. In the handout, Fernald provided information on the cost of Stanford childcare programs, as well as on the results of a report published the preceding week on availability and affordability of childcare in Silicon Valley. According to that report, the problem is getting worse, she said, with a predicted 11% population growth in Santa Clara County by 2020 adding to a current shortage of 11,000 childcare spaces. Fernald concluded by asking for Senators' ideas on what the University's response should be to these childcare problems, which junior faculty members report are having a serious negative impact on their productivity and peace of mind.
Professor E. Roberts (Computer Science) reported on an electronic mail survey of the faculty in his department, including nine assistant professors. The comments of the latter group pretty much mirrored Fernald's report, he said, with one additional plea for some kind of rental housing assistance for assistant professors. Mentoring of junior faculty members makes a critical difference, he said, expressing his support for the kinds of faculty resource programs Fernald had described. Meg Worley (ASSU Representative at Large) emphasized that the childcare issue hits graduate students every bit as hard as assistant professors. "And in terms of mentorship, I believe very strongly that junior faculty development begins in graduate school," she added.
Professor Kenkel alluded to Professor Krueger's comment during discussion of the previous agenda item, urging that the University play a leadership role on the childcare issue. With day care rates of $6 per hour, the $1,150 monthly cost of full-time care, coupled with housing costs, presents retention and productivity issues that directly impact the viability of the University, she said. Professor Fox agreed, commenting that she was financing childcare with her Housing Assistance Program (HAP) money, which would be declining more than her salary raises could offset, making the upcoming few years "very questionable."
Professor Jacobs (Oncology) said she carried a message from the Medical School to the effect that childcare is their most pressing junior faculty problem besides housing. "It appears that there is not a task force or group to come up with specific ideas. What would you like from the Senate? What would help?" she queried. Fernald responded that she had been working for six months with many different individuals, discussing many differing options from subsidies for families that are financially very hard-hit to building new facilities. An expression of Senate commitment to childcare as a serious concern would be quite helpful, she indicated. Professor Watt (Biological Sciences) declared that housing and childcare problems are University concerns in the deepest professional sense. These linked economic and human welfare problems could erode Stanford's ability to appoint and retain excellent faculty and provoke a decline in the quality of the University, he warned. Professor Lindenberger (English/Comparative Literature) concurred that Stanford's considerable investment in recruiting and mentoring junior faculty must not be endangered by childcare anxieties. "We have to give our assistant professors every chance to have the peace of mind they need in order to develop as we expect them to," he said.
Speaking as someone who had used Stanford childcare programs for nine years "and had registered not one but two fetuses," Professor Koseff (Civil and Environmental Engineering) praised the quality of Stanford daycare. He expressed strong concerns, however, about affordability and availability as well as about the relationship of the childcare centers to the University and its goals. He pointed out that daycare costs had been going up at five to ten percent per year, and thus diverging from salaries that were increasing by only about three percent. While acknowledging that the centers must hire the best possible daycare staff, he said that the budgetary consequences for individual families are often horrifying. Even though the centers are run independently from the University, Koseff recommended that the University establish guidelines to articulate clearly what is expected from the daycare centers in areas such as budget/cost increases and calendar. "Constraining the way they operate so that it is better aligned with the needs of faculty, staff, and students will go a long way to solving this problem", he stated.
Dean Hennessy (School of Engineering) pointed out that the cost and availability of childcare were problems throughout Silicon Valley and asked if there was any information about how large corporations were dealing with the issue. Sullivan replied that the WorkLife Office is active in the Bay Area Consortium, One Small Step, employers who actively address the work/family/life issues of their employees and the College and University Work/Family Association. The corporate world is responding in some cases by building on-site childcare facilities or contracting with outside agencies, she said, to which Fernald added that a major recommendation of the Silicon Valley report was that employer responsibility must increase for both affordability and availability of childcare. Sullivan also mentioned that she would be using the detailed findings of the faculty survey to develop specific recommendations and options for the Provost. Noting that 71 percent of the survey respondents indicated that childcare is now a specific factor in faculty recruitment, she advised that there is a growing awareness of the seriousness of the problem. Responding to a suggestion from Professor Heller (Biological Sciences) that a program be developed to employ Stanford undergraduate students for after-school care, Sullivan noted that the centers do employ some undergraduates as teachers' assistants.
Professor Shachter (EES/OR), alluding to his own years of childcare co-oping and scrambling on sick days, said that a question staring out from Fernald's background document was whether the current utilization of the resource represented by Bing Nursery School was a luxury given the childcare situation. The Provost noted that Bing also has a research function within Humanities and Sciences, and emphasized that all possible solutions and arrangements needed to be looked at.
Provost Rice thanked Fernald and Sullivan for their hard work to quantify the magnitude of the problem. "Data do matter," she pointed out, stating that the next step was to use the data to target specific recommendations. She also acknowledged that childcare is a problem for graduate students and staff, and Sullivan advised that her office would be surveying those groups next. Rice advised that some ideas of Sullivan's for dealing with emergency childcare problems would probably be put in place very quickly, and indicated that the Senate discussion would be very helpful in thinking about priorities for the childcare center to be included in the new Stanford West development. Returning to Roberts' earlier comment, Rice said that broad rental subsidies are "extremely expensive." She did report, however, that the below-market-rate portion of the 600-plus apartments in Stanford West would be held by the University, which she said should provide help for newly appointed assistant professors, perhaps for a period of three years.
Professor Gumport (Education) commended the important work done by Fernald and asked whether the position of Vice Provost for Faculty Development would be continued. While not wanting to commit Fernald personally or the new Provost, Rice said she believes the work had been very important, both in support of junior faculty and department chairs, and would be continued. She also announced an $800,000 grant from the Irvine Foundation to improve department chair leadership.
Efron thanked Fernald and Senators for a thoughtful discussion of a crucial topic. There was no new business. Following a motion and a second, the Senate adjourned at 5:27 p.m.
SUSAN W. SCHOFIELD
Academic Secretary to