Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, October 4, 2000
Minutes for the Sept. 28 Faculty Senate meeting

Report No. 1


At its first meeting of the academic year, on Thursday, September 28, 2000, the Senate of the Academic Council heard reports and took the following actions:

1. By unanimous voice vote, conferred baccalaureate degrees on the Summer Quarter candidates listed in Senate Document #5111, as recommended by the Committee on Academic Appraisal and Achievement.

2. By unanimous voice vote, conferred the various advanced degrees on the Summer Quarter candidates listed in Senate Document #5112, as recommended by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Upon recommendation of the Senate Steering Committee, and by unanimous voice vote, adopted a Media Policy for the Thirty-third Senate. The policy is the same as that in place for the preceding 16 years, and sets forth guidelines concerning attendance at Senate meetings by outside media representatives.

Accepted the 1999/2000 Annual Report of the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, thanking Professor Russell Fernald for his energetic leadership as chair.


Academic Secretary to the University



Call to Order

Senate Chair Brad Osgood (Electrical Engineering) pounded the gavel at 3:20 p.m., calling to order the first meeting of Senate XXXIII. Present were 46 voting members (a record number for a first meeting), 6 ex-officio members, and several guests, all wandering around trying to find their seats, "since a madcap member of the Steering Committee suggested reversing the alphabetical order. But it doesn't make any difference to me because I can't see the name tags anyway," Osgood joked. He also said that his first official act was "to declare a honeymoon period -- for the new President, the new Provost, and maybe even the new Senate Chair -- I would like this to last through at least the end of the last Senate meeting."

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the final June 8, 2000 meeting of Senate XXXII of the Academic Council (SenD#5108) were approved as submitted.

Action Calendar

The Senate, by unanimous voice vote, conferred baccalaureate degrees on the Summer Quarter 2000 candidates listed in Senate Document #5111, as recommended by the Committee on Academic Appraisal and Achievement.

The Senate also, by unanimous voice vote, conferred the various advanced degrees on the Summer Quarter 2000 candidates listed in Senate Document #5112, as recommended by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

The Chair drew attention to SenD#5113 (at Senate desks), an annual report from the Registrar summarizing degrees awarded in the prior year by major and by department/school, also listing minors. He noted that this was an information item only, not for action, encouraging Senate members to look through the interesting data and to contact Registrar Printup if they had any questions or comments.

Osgood next introduced the Media Policy (SenD#5122), explaining that this policy was the same as that approved by the previous 16 Senates, allowing outside media representatives to attend Senate meetings under certain guidelines. He alerted new members that what they say might be quoted, by outside reporters or by writers for the Stanford Daily, Stanford Report, and Stanford Magazine who are also regularly present, or in the Academic Secretary's official minutes. Osgood said that the Steering Committee planned to continue to schedule "informal executive sessions," at least once per quarter, to encourage private discussion amongst the faculty and with the President and Provost. Responding to a question from Professor Harrison (Graduate School of Business), Osgood said that the Steering Committee had discussed alternative approaches to press access, but had concluded that the existing Senate policy and practices were reasonable and did not need to be modified. The proposed Media Policy was adopted by unanimous voice vote, after which Don Kazak of the Palo Alto Weekly, waiting patiently outside, was invited into the room.

Report from the Senate Steering Committee

Chair Osgood apologized in advance for unusually long remarks covering "start up" business. He reminded everyone of the various Senate reference documents they had received, and noted that Academic Secretary Schofield would be happy to answer any questions concerning parliamentary procedure. Pointing out "Robert's Rules of Order" at the ready, Schofield also displayed a new tool -- a bright orange sign reading "Speed Limit: 200 Words Per Minute" -- which she offered to flash before Osgood any time Senators indicated that he was talking too fast. The Chair introduced the other elected members of the Steering Committee, "a wonderful group": David Freyberg (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Charlotte Jacobs (Medicine), Hazel Markus (Psychology), John Rickford (Linguistics), Debra Satz (Philosophy), and John Taylor (Economics), Vice Chair. He noted that Provost John Etchemendy and the Academic Secretary also serve on the Steering Committee as ex-officio members. Osgood introduced Trish del Pozzo and Priscilla Johnson, calling the three members of the Academic Secretary's Office "the brains of the outfit."

The Chair reminded everyone that the Senate is comprised of 55 elected representatives, who can vote, and 14 ex-officio members (President, Provost, school deans, senior academic officers) without vote. Osgood introduced the four ASSU student government representatives, with reserved seats and the right to speak: Seth Newton, ASSU President; Paul Kassardjian, Undergraduate Senate Chair; Paul Hartke, Graduate Student Council Chair, who he said would be replaced by Bill King during Fall Quarter due to a schedule conflict; and Dana Mulhauser, ASSU Representative-at-Large. Osgood extended a special welcome to 14 faculty members elected to Senate for the first time, and noted the presence of five former Senate chairs (Abernethy, Efron, Heller, Kruger, Zoback), almost 30 percent women, and, he joked, two psychiatrists. Osgood also recognized the chairs of the seven standing committees of the Academic Council, commending them for their hard work on behalf of the faculty: Bob Hall (C-AAA, Academic Appraisal and Achievement); Paul Segall (C-ACIS, Academic Computing and Information Systems); Steve Zipperstein (C-GS, Graduate Studies); John Bender (C-Lib, Libraries); David Leith (C-Res; Research); Matt Snipp (C-UAFA, Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid); and Hester Gelber (C-US, Undergraduate Studies). The Chair thanked then-Provost Hennessy for enabling the Senate to become "technologically hip" with the installation of a SmartPanel audio-visual system, on which "I hope we'll be able to watch the Giants playoff games."

Chair Osgood asked all members to suggest important items for Senate discussion, and to generate interest among the faculty colleagues they represent. Following the lead of his two predecessors, the Chair asked everyone to jot down potential Senate discussion items on the yellow sheets at their desks, noting that subsequent e-mail or phone calls to Steering Committee members would also be welcome. He commented that the slightly mysterious "New Business" category at the end of each Senate agenda was "a vessel waiting to be filled" and encouraged Senators to use it as a way to raise topics of personal opinion or general University interest that the Senate might wish to pursue. Osgood mentioned that a discussion on changes in the faculty housing program was being scheduled, but not for the October 12th meeting, which would include items from the Committee on Research and a report on the new student information system. Finally, the Chair reminded everyone that the day's meeting was short and would be followed by a welcome reception in the courtyard honoring the new President and Provost.

Report from the Committee on Committees

Osgood introduced Medical School Professor Joe Lipsick as the new chair of the Committee on Committees, "the only committee where gossip is sanctioned and encouraged, and who better for that job than a pathologist," he joked. Lipsick introduced the Senate members serving on CoC: John Baugh (Education), Hank Greely (Law), Virginia Walbot (Biological Sciences), Barry Weingast (Political Science), Bruce Wooley (Electrical Engineering), and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano (Spanish and Portuguese). He said that barring emergencies CoC would not start meeting for a few months, but would have one item of business left from the prior year to bring to Senate soon.

Reports from the President and the Provost

The Chair reminded everyone of the important tradition that at each Senate meeting the President and Provost are encouraged to make announcements and reports, and Senate members may ask them any questions. As a courtesy, complex questions that might require gathering data should be communicated beforehand, he noted.

President Hennessy reported briefly on the final stages of negotiations with Santa Clara County concerning the University's General Use Permit. He expressed the hope that critical meetings during October would lead to a successful final plan. The President said that Palo Alto School District concerns had been resolved, and announced that a press release had just been issued that afternoon describing a tentative agreement with Palo Alto to relocate proposed faculty housing in order to "preserve that famous first hole of the golf course." "What have you got for us basketball players?" quipped Professor Noll (Economics). Hennessy advised that there were a number of very tough issues that still remained to be resolved in a way that would allow Stanford to flourish and to meet its critical future needs for housing and academic buildings. Professor Efron (Statistics) asked, to laughter, "What about our critical need for a driving range?" Hennessy replied that the site of the current driving range is secure for the moment, but is reserved in the long-range future for possible graduate student housing. Responding to a question from Professor Monismith (Civil and Environmental Engineering), the President said that the density being considered for the west campus faculty housing area might be a mix of small single-family lots and townhouses or condominiums similar to Ryan Court and Peter Coutts.

Provost Etchemendy reported with pleasure on two senior administrative appointments since the last Senate meeting in June. Robin Mamlet, new Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid, comes to Stanford from Swarthmore with 18 years experience in the field, he said, accompanied by her husband Charles Brown who had accepted a position as Stanford's Director of Medical Development. He reported that the new Dean of Religious Life is William "Scotty" McClennan, University Chaplain at Tufts since 1984 and a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School, who works in applied ethics. "Most interesting, the Reverend Scott Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip is based on Scotty," he added, noting that McClennan would not be officially on board until January 1st. Lastly, the Provost encouraged the entire faculty to participate in the October 20th inauguration of President Hennessy, "a wonderful occasion that only happens about once in a decade." Vice Provost Bravman voiced concern that some student services staff members were not aware that the Provost had cancelled classes from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on October 20th, and said that this needed to be widely promulgated.

1999/2000 Annual Report from the Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SenD#5115)

Chair Osgood explained that each Fall the prior year annual reports of the seven Academic Council Committees are received by the Senate. Each committee normally appears in one year at a regular Senate meeting and in alternating years at an Administrative Session of the Steering Committee on behalf of Senate, a mechanism for streamlining Senate business. Osgood identified several guests present for the C-US annual report, in particular commending Professor Russell Berman, stepping down after eight years as Director of the Overseas Studies Program. He turned the floor over to Professors Russell Fernald and Hester Gelber, past and incoming C-US chairs, respectively.

Fernald summarized the three principal types of C-US activity the prior year. He noted that they had discussed regular reports from various programs central to undergraduate education, and praised outgoing IHUM Director Harry Elam and Language Center Director Elizabeth Bernhardt for revitalizing these areas and making them exciting parts of the undergraduate experience. Fernald said that Director of Undergraduate Advising Lori White had developed a number of successful new advising approaches, but was still faced with the problem of insufficient faculty involvement in freshman/sophomore advising. He also noted that Professor Elizabeth Traugott was chairing a Writing Programs Review Committee that was considering proposals for increased written and oral communication in the curriculum. Fernald commended Berman's leadership of Overseas Studies and said C-US looked forward to continued excellence under the new director, Professor Amos Nur.

Fernald said that C-US had recommended, and Senate had approved, three interdisciplinary teaching program (IDP) renewals and the initiation of two new departmental majors. He also reported that new C-US guidelines for "language and culture theme houses" had been implemented within the residential education system. Finally, Fernald reminded everyone that C-US had worked on the last recommendation of the Commission on Undergraduate Education, developing a Senate-approved policy calling for regular review of departmental majors, "some not reviewed since their inception 100 years ago." He said that a lot of committee effort had gone into trying to make these reviews meaningful and helpful to departments.

Current C-US Chair Gelber identified a number of potential agenda topics passed along to her for 2000/01 but not yet discussed because the new committee had not met. These included gaining an assessment from undergraduates of their experience before and after significant recent curricular innovations; considering possible requirements in ethics and in oral communication; looking at the science curriculum; fine-tuning Area Four (World Cultures, American Cultures, and Gender Studies); and looking at project-based courses. Gelber advised that C-US would also be considering four IDP renewals, an interim IDP report, a possible new IDP in archaeology, and issues dealing with residential education, in addition to shepherding into being the new process of reviewing departmental majors.

Professor Monismith (Civil and Environmental Engineering) asked whether consideration of adding any new undergraduate requirements would be accompanied by discussion of taking something else out. Gelber indicated that she hoped to nest questions of possible new requirements within the context of finding out what the overall undergraduate experience is like for students, "are we asking enough or not enough of them?" Senate Chair Osgood thanked Fernald for his energetic and enthusiastic leadership of C-US, wished Gelber well in the coming year, and accepted the 1999/2000 Annual Report of the Committee on Undergraduate Studies on behalf of the Senate.

Osgood asked Senate members to take a few extra minutes before the reception to write down potential Senate discussion topics on the yellow sheets. Accepting a motion and a second, he declared the meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan W. Schofield

Academic Secretary to the University