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Stanford Report, February 23, 2000

Faculty Senate minutes



At its meeting on Thursday, February 17, 2000, the Senate of the Academic Council heard reports and took the following actions:

1. By unanimous voice vote, adopted the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Thirty-second Senate of the Academic Council applauds his unique accomplishment and recognizes Professor of Art Matthew Kahn for fifty years of distinguished teaching and service to Stanford University

2. Accepted the 1998/99 Annual Report of the Planning and Policy Board of the Senate, presented by Professor David Kennedy, Co-Chair

3. By divided voice vote, approved the charge to the Planning and Policy Board of the Senate. The charge was proposed by the Committee on Committees and twice amended on the Senate floor; according to its terms, the PPB was authorized as a standing body without limit of time.

Susan W. Schofield

Academic Secretary to the University


Call to Order

Senate Chair Mark Zoback called the Senate meeting to order at 3:20 p.m. in Room 180 of the Law School. There were 38 voting members, 9 ex-officio members, and several guests in attendance.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the February 3, 2000 Senate meeting (SenD#5042) were approved as submitted.

Report from the Senate Steering Committee

The Chair introduced a special resolution proposed by the Steering Committee to honor Professor of Art Matthew Kahn for 50 years of teaching at Stanford. He said that Matt Kahn began teaching at Stanford at the age of 21, as an Instructor in Design. Appointed as an Assistant Professor in 1953 and a full Professor in 1965, he oversees a joint H&S/Engineering graduate Program in Design, taught at Stanford in Italy six times, and won the H&S Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Both of his children, Ira and Claire, graduated from Stanford and are now professional designers. Each Halloween Matt Kahn and his students produce an exhibition of carved pumpkins that must be seen to be believed, Zoback said. By unanimous voice vote, the Senate approved the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Thirty-second Senate of the Academic Council applauds his unique accomplishment and recognizes Professor of Art Matthew Kahn for fifty years of distinguished teaching and service to Stanford University.

Following lengthy applause, the Chair told Kahn that accepting this resolution did not preclude him from qualifying for similar honors at 75 and 100 years.

Zoback pointed out that three versions of a brochure entitled "Guide to Research Policies at Stanford" had been placed at Senate desks for information. The different versions are intended for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students, he noted, and were created to respond to faculty suggestions during the review process leading to approval of the C-Res policy on Relationships Between Students and Outside Entities. He said that the brochures would be broadly available through department offices and in other ways. Professor Pat Jones encouraged Senate members to send any suggestions or comments to Assistant Dean of Research Ann George.

The Chair reminded everyone that the final Senate meeting of the quarter, on March 2nd, would be short, followed by the annual meeting of the Academic Council featuring President Casper's last "State of the University" address.

Report from the Committee on Committees

Chair Ewart Thomas advised that the CoC had met the week before and completed a first pass through nominations of faculty members to fill Fall 2000 vacancies on the seven Academic Council committees. At their next meeting, they would complete that work and turn their attention to the University committees and panels, he said.

Reports from the President and the Provost

President Casper said that he had no report. Provost Hennessy informed the Senate that the National Academy of Engineering had just announced the election of Professor Lynn Orr (Petroleum Engineering and Dean of Earth Sciences) to its membership. The Senate responded with a warm round of applause. Hennessy announced the membership of the search committee for the next Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. Vice Provosts John Bravman and Jim Montoya will co-chair, he said, and faculty members on the committee are Elizabeth Bernhardt (German Studies), Brad Efron (Statistics), Harry Elam (Drama), Paula Findlen (History), Judy Goldstein (Political Science), Patricia Gumport (Education), Monica Lam (Computer Science), Jerry Porras (GSB), and Matthew Snipp (Sociology). The committee also includes staff members Jacqueline Wender from the President's Office and John Pearson of the Bechtel International Center, as well as student representatives Joshua Fried and Charlene Ng. Hennessy encouraged anyone to send suggestions or nominations to Bravman and Montoya.

Noting that his was technically not a "question" to the President or the Provost, Professor Harrison (Graduate School of Business) offered some "afterthoughts" concerning the February 3rd Senate discussion on new learning technologies. He expressed disappointment that the Senate deliberation had seemed to "get stuck between adminospeak and prophecy." He said he had expected to hear more substantive discussion of how technology might affect the nature of teaching, particularly given the presumption at Stanford that teaching and research are symbiotic activities. Harrison expressed the hope that the Learning Technologies Board would focus on more than "experimentation with revenue capture and contractual arrangements," suggesting that they might try to come up with a list of categories of teaching and specific aspects of technology that could be expected to influence those categories. Provost Hennessy commented that it would perhaps be useful to reschedule a Stanford Learning Lab presentation that had been deferred when time ran out at a Spring 1999 Senate meeting. "The Learning Lab is the vehicle we are using for doing substantive experiments in teaching methodologies," he said, confirming nonetheless that Stanford was separately pursuing "what one might call business model experiments."

1998/99 Annual Report of the Planning and Policy Board (SenD#5035)

Zoback introduced PPB Co-Chair David Kennedy (History) to present the annual report, noting that Anne Krueger (Economics) had also served as Co-Chair was out of town. He advised that Senate members Conley, Efron, and Simoni were on PPB, as well as Geoff Cox and the Academic Secretary, ex officio, and welcomed PPB members John Perry (Philosophy) and David Stevenson (Pediatrics/Neonatology) as guests. Zoback reported that because the following Senate agenda item was closely related -- the proposal to reauthorize the PPB -- the Steering Committee wished to have the two reports presented first, with discussion of both items to follow at the same time.

Kennedy began, "When I think of the history of the PPB from its inception in 1992, what comes first to my mind are theatrical metaphors. And this is not because the saga of PPB presents a particularly dramatic story. In fact, quite the contrary. It might be said of the collective history of PPBI and PPBII what was said of Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot," that it was a play in which nothing happened -- twice. But alternatively, if all academic life were but a stage, and who in this room doesn't believe that that is at least partly the case, PPB might be thought of as a production by Luigi Pirandello, "Nine Professors in Search of an Assignment."

Kennedy acknowledged that this characterization was not precisely fair to PPBI, which had brought in a report that met with Senate approval and produced modest improvements in areas such as sponsored research and departmental reviews. He emphasized however that both PPBI and PPBII had encountered the frustration of spending considerable time casting about for a task to which to address themselves, only to discover repeatedly that some other group had taken up the matter in question. "Now, in any objective accounting, I think those discoveries bespeak the overall good health of the university. The combination of the faculty standing committee system and the administration's alertness and solicitude seem to be covering all the bases."

Concerning its immediate past history, Kennedy reported that PPBII had been unable to generate sufficient consensus amongst its own members or in the Senate for any action to be taken on the issue of post-tenure career consultations. That matter was not being brought back to Senate, he said, for reasons outlined in the annual report. Similarly, no report was forthcoming on PPBII's examination of the effects of athletics on undergraduate education and student life. Characterizing PPB's history to date as "redundant," Kennedy emphasized that "redundant does not necessarily mean useless. There may well arise, I think, occasions in which a faculty committee or an administrative office deals inadequately with an important question, or fails to address it at all. And those are the spaces into which PPB was designed to move. That we have not found much such space in the last few years by no means justifies the conclusion that no such space will ever appear, which is why we have suggested to the CoC a revision to our charge that keeps PPB in existence but does not burden it with the chore of perpetually scouting territory to be claimed." He explained that the revised charge would keep PPB "in reserve" for those occasions when it is truly needed and would constitute the current and past two Senate chairs as an Executive Committee, "or reconnaissance party, to survey the landscape annually and call out the reserves or not as the occasion warrants."

Senate Chair Zoback thanked Kennedy and accepted the 1998/99 Annual Report of the Planning and Policy Board. He asked that discussion be deferred until after the presentation of the next agenda item.

Reauthorization of the Planning and Policy Board of the Senate (SenD#5038)

Zoback reminded everyone that the Planning and Policy Board was created in 1992 and authorized for an initial trial period of three years. After a one-year extension, it was renewed in 1996 for an additional three-year term. Noting that the Committee on Committees holds the responsibility for bringing new or revised committee charges before the Senate, he turned the floor over to CoC Chair Ewart Thomas to present the proposal to reauthorize the PPB as a standing body of the Senate.

Thomas advised that he would both amplify the rationale for PPB, and suggest why PPB should be a permanent feature of faculty governance, referring in both cases to Senate discussions in 1992 and 1996 as well as to other sources. He acknowledged the particular assistance of Assistant Academic Secretary Trish del Pozzo in interpreting the written record.

He began his brief by speaking about "PPB as keeper of the faculty's vision for the University." In 1990, Stanford was absorbed in discussion of indirect cost recovery and soon to embark on a major budget-cutting exercise, Thomas indicated. A committee known as STANCOM, formed to review the effectiveness of the Academic Council committee structure, proposed to the Senate in March 1992 that a faculty body be created [PPB] to consider the 'big issues' that face the university. Professor Joseph Goodman, STANCOM Chair, said that PPB was envisioned as a body parallel to the Advisory Board, able to examine long-term trends and formulate academic policy issues for the faculty to consider. PPB would also serve a coordination function with the administrative side of the university, a role strongly supported by then-Provost Rosse. Thomas quoted examples of Senate reservations and endorsements, leading to the April 1992 establishment of PPB by unanimous voice vote.

Thomas indicated that a 1994 quarterly PPB report to Senate had prompted a lengthy discussion of PPB's role as advisor to the President and Provost, in which Bob Simoni (Biological Sciences) confessed to a bias against PPB since its beginning, inferring from the report that PPB had developed into a body that neither took instruction from nor reported to the Senate. President Casper and Provost Rice underscored the value of PPB's function as "a sounding board," Thomas said, and affirmed that the members of PPB could provide very helpful faculty input on sensitive issues without the need for creation of more elaborate ad hoc structures. Thomas read two quotes from a January 1996 discussion on the renewal of PPB: (1) from PPB member David Botstein (Genetics) -- "I believe that Stanford ... desperately needs a group like PPB to take the long view, because existing committees and officers who have a full plate, and are doing the best they can, seldom have the leisure to step back and take that long view;" and (2) from Rob Polhemus (English) -- "We need to have discussion [of the 'big issues'], because if we don't have it, somebody else will."

Thomas expressed his belief that the value of PPB "inheres not in the number of resolutions PPB brings before the Senate, nor in a snapshot of what PPB has done during some period of time, but rather in our shared conviction that PPB is necessary in getting the Senate to consider, from time to time, the 'big issues'. The record shows clearly that the Senate, despite some reservations, is so convinced." Unable to resist the "urge to count," Thomas posited as a rough baseline that 20% of a randomly selected group of faculty members would be 'academic leaders' (defined as serving in the offices of the Provost or a Dean or as a Department Chair or Institute Director). He then revealed that 25 of the 31 members of PPB over the preceding eight years were 'academic leaders', and more important that 10 (or 40 percent) of them became leaders after their PPB tenure -- including a Provost and three Vice Provosts. "Even if the probative value of these statistics is dubious, I'm hopeful that their rhetorical value is high," Thomas remarked.

Turning to the rationale for establishing the Senate's Planning and Policy Board as a standing body, Thomas quoted Patty Gumport (Education)'s view that "the Senate should consider PPB as 'our Cabinet'" and the hope expressed in the 1992 ballot package that PPB would "stimulate the Senate to consider long range goals, as well as to sound early alarms." Thomas explained that the 1992 expectation that PPB would become a standing body seemed to have been derailed in Senate by a reference to the Reagan Library controversy and the notion introduced by Nancy Packer (English) that PPB might "run wild." "This image of a PPB running wild caught the fancy of the Senate," Thomas said, "and the defenseless Goodman could say only that it had never occurred to him that the responsible people on PPB would run wild." Nonetheless, a motion that PPB should be reviewed formally after three years passed on a split vote.

"In bringing this action to the Senate this afternoon," Thomas concluded, "CoC feels that the Senate should return to the original intent of STANCOM and that we should establish PPB as a standing body. We feel that there is an inconsistency in affirming, as in the charge, the value of strategic planning by a group of future-oriented faculty members on the one hand, and then requiring that body to justify its existence every three or four years, on the other." He urged the Senate to reauthorize the PPB and to approve the proposed charge. Senate Chair Zoback declared that the floor was open for discussion of both the PPB annual report and the reauthorization proposal.

Professor Traugott (Linguistics) expressed the opinion that PPB was intended to "create" as well as to be "a keeper of" faculty vision. In that light, she said she thought it was very important to that the voice of the junior faculty be represented on the PPB. Thomas replied that the 1992 PPB ballot included some junior faculty members, and the present system of CoC appointment of PPB members can certainly take that into account. Traugott made a motion to amend Section D, Membership of the charge to read "PPB members need not be members of the Senate and will be chosen so as to balance the representation of disciplines and of the ranks of the faculty." The motion was seconded and approved on a divided voice vote.

Responding to a question from Professor Harrison (GSB), the Academic Secretary clarified that the proposed PPB charge had no limit of time. If that charge failed, there would be no PPB, since the term of PPBII had already expired. Someone could conceivably propose an amendment to add a specified term of years to the charge, she added. Professor Kennedy (History) emphasized the revision to the charge that provided for an Executive Committee of the PPB to decide that the PPB would "remain on reserve status" for one quarter, or three quarters, or some period.

Professor R. Fernald (Psychology) asked how the PPB was supposed to get information from the faculty, remarking that it seemed odd that the charge advises PPB specifically to consult with the administration and students but does not mention the faculty. Even though the PPB reports to and seeks direction from the Senate, Fernald said that he thought the "prism of vision" of those on PPB would likely be much narrower than that of the full faculty of 1,400 people. If faculty views had been sought, he said, perhaps more of the important issues now facing the university, such as the housing crisis, would have surfaced. Kennedy replied that there was no shortage of issues and that he thought there was no particular consultative system that would guarantee that future crises could be averted.

Provost Hennessy supported keeping the PPB, as a vehicle ideally suited for deliberation about long-term strategic issues, over a period of time. "This proposal to put PPB into a mode where a leadership committee can decide if there are suitable agenda items and constitute the body to consider those, without wasting the time of our colleagues if there are no such topics, seems like a good balance to me," he stated. Professor Stevenson (Pediatrics), a member of PPBII, advised that he had chaired the CoC when PPB was first created and affirmed the value of dialogue between such a faculty body and other parts of the university. "It's not like a guided missile," he remarked. "It can be unguided, but find good targets from time to time." Stevenson said he finds the proposed structure to be more efficient, while still allowing PPB to act wisely, looking across time and the breadth of the university.

Professor Noll (Economics) said that he was perplexed by the proposal to make PPB a permanent body, since it had just been reported that the PPB didn't do much, and no one could know whether the Executive Committee revision or other suggestions such as a survey of the faculty would change that. He said he thought PPB should be given another three-year renewal instead, and observed that the Steering Committee had a pretty good record of bringing major issues before the Senate and might itself constitute a better mechanism than PPB. Harrison expressed a stronger position: "I'm going to vote no in the hopes that PPB will be abolished, and in the belief that no one will ever notice, and thereby, the time of particularly important and busy people will be saved." Thomas argued against the apparent premise that PPB has no value, reminding people that present and former Senators as well as the President had asserted its worth. PPB and the Senate have a similar value, he noted, in providing an opportunity for serious discussion of big issues.

Professor Perry (Philosophy), a member of PPBII, expressed the view that PPB's value comes from the ability to "discuss the otherwise undiscussable," without significant time pressure or the pressure to achieve a full consensus. Looking back on their work, he asserted that there was great value in having people begin to think about post-tenure review and athletics, two subjects "that are well worth discussing and are just the sorts of things about which one would not expect to achieve consensus." If there were a crisis involving post-tenure review in the next couple of years, PPB's deliberations could turn out to be of great value in allowing people to quickly get to the points of disagreement and decision, he added. Noll reiterated his belief that evaluating the proposed new structure after a three-year term was preferable. Perry said he did not necessarily disagree with that conclusion, rather he disagreed with Noll's apparent premise that PPB had done nothing. Challenged by Noll to define different standards for success, Perry offered the following: "Do we think that the issues on which they spent time are issues that no one else is discussing and are of potential great importance in the long-term future of the university?" Noll seemed astonished: "So the act of spending time on something, even if you don't actually do anything, is of value? That's the defense?" "I would say my whole life is committed to that premise," Perry replied, leaving Noll uncharacteristically at a loss for words, and the Senate laughing appreciatively.

GSB Dean Joss, returning to an earlier point by Fernald, encouraged the PPB to exploit the potential of technology, which makes it very easy to gather a sense of the faculty, relatively anonymously if one wishes, across faculty ranks. Fernald, heartened by this support, made a motion that Section C. 4 of the PPB charge be amended to read: [The Planning and Policy Board shall] "Consult widely with the faculty and consult with appropriate University administrators and/or student organizations, as it deems appropriate." The amendment was approved by unanimous voice vote.

The chair then called for a vote on the main motion, to approve the charge to the Planning and Policy Board, as proposed by the Committee on Committees, and as twice amended on the Senate floor. The charge was approved by a divided voice vote. The Chair thanked Thomas for his eloquent advocacy and members of the Senate for a spirited discussion.

Faculty Quality of Life, Recruitment and Retention (SenD#

Chair Zoback welcomed Pat Jones (Biological Sciences), newly appointed Vice Provost for Faculty Development, to lead the fifth general discussion topic suggested by Senators themselves. He reminded everyone that there was no specific policy action before the Senate, and encouraged a broad discussion of faculty viewpoints and concerns. Zoback noted that two of the "quality of life" issues Jones would mention, housing and child care, were soon to be addressed in special reports to the Provost and said the Senate would hear about those in the future.

Jones indicated that the various 'quality of life' issues identified by Senators relate to her new area of responsibility as Vice Provost, and she had tried to step back to look at the big picture. "I think everybody in this room would agree that Stanford is really in excellent shape," as one of the best institutions of higher education in the country, with an outstanding faculty, a wonderful student body, exciting new educational and research programs, including many interdisciplinary activities, and strong academic governance. However Stanford faces new challenges in its ability to sustain the excellence of the university, particularly in its ability to recruit and retain the best faculty, she said, "and the faculty is the heart and soul of the institution."

Problems related to the cost of living -- housing costs and availability, costs and availability of childcare -- affect the morale of all faculty members, whether or not they are committed to staying at Stanford. Financial stresses clearly impact one's ability to do a good job at one's scholarship and one's teaching, Jones pointed out. She indicated that the competition from other institutions is also getting stiffer, citing examples of staggering recruitment packages such as $2 million for a science faculty member, and one out of every three years on leave with full pay for a humanities faculty member.

Using overhead transparencies of the two documents provided in Senate packets, Jones indicated that she had tried to be comprehensive in listing "Factors Affecting Faculty Quality of Life, Recruitment, and Retention" and had divided those into three categories -- Financial/Personal, Academic, and Recruitment/Retention Process. She joked that she had decided not to take Bob Simoni's suggestion that she add the cost of football and basketball tickets to the list. Jones commented briefly on the financial/personal factors listed: salary; housing (costs, availability, housing assistance package); child care (costs, availability, quality); spouse/partner career; public schools; and location. Noting that some of the issues were well understood, she commented that because many faculty members can no longer afford to live on campus or in Palo Alto, the quality of the public schools in areas where they can afford to live has become an issue. Describing Stanford's location as a positive factor in most cases, she indicated that geography can sometimes play a negative role for those with family in the east, or research connections in Europe who prefer to be in the east.

Jones next mentioned seven academic factors affecting quality of life, recruitment, and retention. She listed those as: faculty line/rank/tenure; package -- laboratory space, research funds, endowed chair, etc.; special position (chair, institute director, etc.); sabbatical/leave plans; teaching load; academic environment -- field, quality of scholarship, collegiality, politics, tenure prospects, pre-tenure support, etc.; and recognition (after tenure, promotion, awards, etc.). She noted that "academic environment" was really a large collection of issues having to do with whether Stanford is the best place for someone to pursue their scholarship and teaching. She posed questions such as: Can junior faculty reach their full potential in this department? Is this a place where women and minority faculty members can thrive and succeed? Can people doing interdisciplinary work find a comfortable home and also thrive? Concerning recognition, Jones observed that Stanford does not do a lot internally to recognize faculty members who have passed certain milestones, such as tenure, or who have for example received national and international awards. "We don't recognize our star young faculty after tenure, in ways that might help them to stay and not be interested in outside offers." Speaking about the four recruitment/retention process issues, Jones emphasized the importance of positive involvement of the department chair and faculty; positive involvement of the dean/associate dean; timeliness of the recruitment, retention, and appointments and promotions processes; and Housing Office assistance.

Jones turned next to a brief explanation of data by school, collected with the assistance of the faculty affairs staff in the Provost's Office and the schools, regarding the number of and reasons for unsuccessful recruitments and retentions during the 1998/99 academic year. She acknowledged that this was only a snapshot, to be used as a starting point for refining the survey and beginning to track trends. For example, she said, information on what it took to produce successful recruitments and retentions needs to be added. She noted that there had been a total of 141 new faculty hires, as well as 93 unsuccessful recruitments. For the 93 unsuccessful recruitments and the 40 unsuccessful retentions (133 in all), a total of 186 reasons had been cited. Jones said it was notable that "housing" did not appear to be a major factor, having been cited only 16 times, and even "salary/cost of living" with 23 citations did not dominate. "Spouse/partner career" was cited 30 times, "package: space, funds, chair, leave" 25 times, she said, and the largest number of citations (42) was "other personal/professional", a bit of a catchall category. Even though housing issues were cited less often than many other factors, Jones suggested that this might be just the tip of the iceberg. She said that she and others were aware of many younger colleagues for whom buying a first home, or a larger home as their families grew, was having a dramatic effect on their academic lives.

Summing up, Jones pointed out that, while somewhat useful to divide factors into three different categories, they all operate together "as a total package" in recruitment and retention efforts. Whereas location and public schools used to be a real plus for Stanford, they may now be neutral or even negative due to cost of living factors, she said. "This puts real pressure on us to do well in other areas...where we have more control." She suggested that Stanford should improve its recognition of faculty members at the time they receive tenure, perhaps by making funds available for continued scholarship or for assistance in purchasing larger houses in the case of people with families. "I'd like to put a lot of emphasis on the academic environment and the need for us to do a better job within our own schools and departments, and at the central university level, to make this a place that is supportive as well as a place of outstanding scholarship and commitment to teaching," Jones stated. She expressed the hope that the Senate discussion would inform "all of us" at all levels of the university about areas toward which to direct our efforts and resources.

Professor Shachter (Management Sciences and Engineering) encouraged the university to set up a mechanism whereby the individuals involved in unsuccessful recruitment and retention efforts could contribute information directly, candidly, and discreetly, particularly about specific aspects of the larger category "academic environment." Professor Rickford (Linguistics) suggested that it would be very useful to identify the factors that affected the successful recruitments and retentions, not just the unsuccessful ones, and to ascertain the "primary factor" in all cases. Professor Monismith (Civil and Environmental Engineering) added that differences among the schools/divisions would probably be important to capture. Professor Satz (Philosophy) asked that the data be supplemented to indicate the number of people affected by a given category (e.g., child care, which was an issue only for younger faculty members).

Professor Simoni (Biological Sciences), insisting on hearing whether the offer of one year's sabbatical out of every three years had been matched by Stanford, provoked an emphatic "No" from H & S Dean Beasley. Simoni asked how the Stanford data, including turnover or retention rates, compares to its competitors. The Provost said that the 1998/99 'hit rate' of 60% successful recruitments was probably very close to the steady state over recent years, "which is better than I would have guessed from anecdotal evidence." He agreed to take a look at retention rates, using data from the annual Professorial Gains and Losses reports.

Simoni commented that understanding the "full cost" of losing a faculty member (financial costs, loss of program, loss of research collaboration) might lead to more effective retention efforts. Jones agreed that failed retention efforts cause enormous costs in searching for and setting up a replacement, and added that recognizing people earlier would be a good investment. Dean Orr (School of Earth Sciences) indicated that the interaction of housing assistance programs with faculty retention had been a matter of considerable discussion in the Provost's Committee on Faculty Housing, and would result in recommendations to deal with that problem. Professor Gast (Chemical Engineering) pointed out that it was important to gauge faculty quality of life issues for all of the current faculty, "before they consider leaving the university" and become a retention statistic. Jones expressed strong agreement, and mentioned programs for the junior faculty, meetings of the Provost with department chairs and with groups of faculty members. "We're interested in the full range of issues that anyone wants to bring to us," she said. Fernald supported Gast and urged the university to identify the issues of greatest concern to the bulk of faculty members who weren't being recruited, particularly issues related to intellectual life and collegial contacts.

Medical School Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Richard Popp stressed that there was quite a difference, in his experience, between faculty members "who leave happy and those who leave unhappy." Those in the latter group, he said, express the feeling that people aren't interested in them and there is no collegial community, "which comes down to the mentoring issue." President Casper agreed emphatically, emphasizing the tremendous importance of making it clear to candidates, or current faculty members being recruited by other institutions, how much Stanford, at all levels, wants them. "If departments are really good places, where people want to be, and can interact with their colleagues, and where their colleagues are interested in them -- read their books and articles and give them comments, including critical comments -- if we are attentive to all of that, I think we can come a long way," he affirmed. Offering a story out of his own life, "a data point of one" (but "rhetorically impressive data" he added, referring appreciatively to Thomas's advocacy on behalf of PPB), Casper described how, a number of years earlier, he had decided among three universities wishing to recruit/retain him. The financial offers were equal, he said, and in the end he selected the university that made it clear how much they wanted him, where the intellectual environment was alive and critical, in spite of an inferior housing situation. "We sometimes underestimate these factors in recruitment and retention," Casper said.

Monismith speculated that the importance of housing as a recruitment/retention factor might be understated in the data because it was enough of an initial negative that some people didn't even pursue the idea of moving. He also pointed out that "if there is a certain amount of money available to bring someone to Stanford, then what ends up in a house in Palo Alto is not going to end up in the laboratory." Finally, he acknowledged "heroic fire-fighting efforts" by the Housing Office, stressing that the effort and dollars going into housing packages in the last few years were not reflected in the data. Provost Hennessy linked housing to salary, underscoring that Stanford salaries are absolutely competitive with peer institutions, but housing costs obviously are not. He noted that every institution faces some challenges that are similar, but the cost of living/housing challenge at Stanford is worse than it is anywhere else in the country. "We do need to focus on it for just that reason," Hennessy stated. Professor Ramirez (Education) agreed that housing is a core issue, offering an anecdote based on a recent search committee experience where a candidate was being offered an armored car as a part of the recruitment package at an institution in another part of the world.

Professor Jacobs (Medicine/Oncology) revealed that a Stanford faculty member, Rudolf Moos, had developed scales to measure quality of environment, and said that the School of Medicine had already modified those to be quite faculty-specific. Professor Noll (Economics) urged the university administration to focus on the future and on those areas in which Stanford is at a comparative disadvantage. Stanford has raised a lot of money and been very competitive in things like establishing a lab, he said, but "our Achilles heel is where we face costs that others don't share, like housing or schools or child care." With respect to the internal environment, Noll asserted that for a large fraction of the campus one can say with a straight face, "If you come here your research output and teaching are going to be better than anywhere else." But for some parts of the university one cannot say that, he asserted, asking "How can we have spillover learning from the parts that work to the parts that don't?" Jones said that she thought this was very important, and the open Senate discussion was a good place to start.

Professor Siegel (Psychiatry), a Senate guest, called attention to the fact that there was a time when inadequate libraries were a major reason that Stanford could not recruit faculty members. "Thanks to President Lyman and his successors, it's wonderful that you're no longer hearing that people won't come because of our libraries," she stated. Professor Lipsick (Pathology) said that he had observed that junior faculty members were being driven by financial pressures to spend more and more time consulting rather than doing the teaching and research that they ought to be doing.

Zoback thanked Jones for leading an excellent discussion and remarked, "Who knows, after another six weeks on the job, she may have all these other problems solved!" Accepting a motion and a second, the Chair declared the meeting adjourned at 5:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan W. Schofield

Academic Secretary to the University

Note: The background documents and reports distributed to Senate are available on the Academic Secretary's Office web site at, by clicking on the relevant Senate meeting date. SR