Faculty Senate Meeting - May 27
TO THE MEMBERS
OF THE ACADEMIC COUNCIL
Report No. 12
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS, MAY 27
At its meeting on Thursday, May 27, 2004, the Thirty-sixth Senate of the Academic Council heard reports but took no actions.
EDWARD D. HARRIS, JR., M.D.
Academic Secretary to the University
MINUTES, MAY 27
I. Call to Order
Chairman Wasow gaveled the meeting to order as senators streamed in for this meeting, anticipated to be a long one, at 3:18 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes (SenD#5606)
Professor Greely noted that the formal minutes on permanent record now included an addition corresponding to his comments about the Law School Dean's search that were not included in the minutes printed in the Stanford Report. This was duly noted and the minutes were approved, and can be viewed at http://facultysenate.stanford.edu.
III. Action Calendar
This was empty today.
IV. Standing Reports
A. Memorial Resolutions
1. Chairman Wasow was pleased "...to welcome Professor Elliott Eisner, Lee L. Jacks professor of Child Education to present a memorial statement in honor of Paul DeHart Hurd (1905-2001, SenD#5582). Professor Eisner began:
Born on December 25th, 1905 in Denver, Colorado, Paul DeHart Hurd received his doctorate from Stanford University School of Education in 1947. Paul was a progressive educator in spirit and in conception, and devoted his career to ensuring scientific literacy for all Americans by developing curricula and instructional practices that teach children the reasoning skills of scientific inquiry. His contributions to policy-making, research, curriculum development, pedagogy, and teacher training extend back to his 1947 dissertation analyzing science education in the first half of the 20th century. He believed that science should have a social relevancy for elementary and secondary students and that they should have a hands-on experience with scientific problems in the course of their studies. His views earned him both a national and an international reputation in the field of science education.
He was a man of good character, a warm personality, a person who exuded exuberance and concern about the quality of education students were receiving, and he was, I think, above all, a wonderful colleague and a delightful friend. Mr. Chairman, it's an honor on behalf of Professor Myron Atkin, and Professor Richard Shavelson and myself to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a resolution in the memorial of the late Paul DeHart Hurd, Professor of Education.
The senators stood for a moment of silence.
2. After thanking Professor Eisner, Professor Wasow welcomed Ilan Kroo, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics to present a memorial statement in honor of Professor Richard Shevell (1920-2001, SenD#5582). The full memorial resolutions will be published in next week's Stanford Report.
Professor Kroo began. Richard Shevell was born in New York City in June 1920 and loved airplanes as a boy. He sketched these in a second-grade notebook and this became his passion throughout a distinguished career as one of the country's leading aeronautical designers. Shevell went to work for Douglas Aircraft Company in 1947 and was appointed director of commercial airplanes in 1967, oversaw development of the DC 10 aircraft, which first flew in about 1970. That was about the time that he came to Stanford on what was to be a one-year leave. It instead became a 17-year career here as a faculty member in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He had a down-to-earth sense of humor and his accessibility made him a favorite among the students here at Stanford. He taught classes in aircraft design and transportation analysis and also in the ethics of engineering.
He collected his notes for the introductory aeronautics class into a very popular textbook called "Fundamentals of Flight." He served as an advisor and mentor to many graduate students and young faculty. Willing to talk in his office for hours was about low-noise aircraft, politics, or his grandchild. Shevell retired from Stanford in 1987 but maintained an active role in the aerospace community through committee work, consulting, and news group postings, where he quickly became known by thousands of online students of aviation as the expert in matters related to airplanes and aeronautics. He maintained close ties with his colleagues and former students, calling from his home even in failing health to talk about the latest research, the new computer he bought, or to ask if they heard the one about the priest and the rabbi!
Mr. Chairman, it is an honor on behalf of Professors Holt Ashley, Robert Cannon and myself to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a resolution in the memory of the late Richard Shevell, adjunct Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Chairman Wasow asked the senate to stand for the traditional moment of silence, and then he thanked Professor Kroo.
B. Steering Committee
Wasow noted that "...we have a very crowded agenda today. This was unavoidable, except by having an extra meeting, which I know nobody wanted. This meeting is likely to go until 5:30. I hope we can give each item its due, especially the final item, which is the report on women faculty, from the Provost's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women Faculty. I'll try to keep things moving. I may be a little bit rude to some of you on occasion as I cut off your discussion!
"Now for an important announcement. The final phase of Academic Council elections is complete and the results will be published in the Stanford Report. The members of Senate 37, some of us here now, have elected our Senate chair and Steering Committee. I'm very pleased to report that, as verified by the Committee of Tellers, they are:
Rob Polhemus, chair
Phyllis Gardner, vice chair
"I wish them and the Academic Secretary's Office all the best. And, since I'll be continuing on the Senate next year, I hope they will come up with interesting and even provocative agenda items. We are leaving them several issues!
"The Advisory Board election results are also complete. Our Senate colleague Steve Galli, from Pathology, has been elected for Group VII. David Kennedy of History was re-elected for a second term from Group IV. Wanda Corn, professor of Art History, was elected for Group V. Professors Galli and Corn are members of the 37th Senate. We congratulate you all!
"Our next meeting, June 10th, will be the final Senate meeting of the year. We will be pleased to have a report from the Emeriti Council Senate representative, Professor Al Hastorf. We'll also have the final report of the Planning and Policy Board. Members of the Board of Trustees will be our guests that day, and therefore we will adjourn early, at about 4:30, to the Faculty Club for the President's reception to honor members of this Senate and those elected to Senate 37, as well as the chairs of the seven Academic Council committees."
C. Committee on Committees
Chairperson, Professor Arnetha Ball, was pleased to announce that the Committee on Committees has completed its work for the year, and had nothing to report.
D. Reports from the President and the Provost
President Hennessy was off campus, but Provost Etchemendy had "...two quick announcements. One is something that you all know: Mike Montgomery has decided to leave and take another job, coaching basketball for the Warriors. I just wanted to say that we say goodbye to Mike with great regret, and I want to thank him publicly for all of the wonderful years that he coached our team. The statistic that I always was most proud of was the very high graduation rate of his players.
"I'm also happy to announce that we hired Trent Johnson, who was an assistant coach under Mike and has been coaching at various other places. He last was the head coach at the University of Nevada, Reno, my alma mater. I assure the Senate that he is an absolutely wonderful person with complete understanding of, and endorsement of, the academic goals of the University and of the athletics program. He has a deep love of Stanford. I'm tremendously enthusiastic about this recruitment and know that we've got the right guy. Now... I have no idea whether he'll win! But what do I know [emphasis on 'I']... I'm the Chief Academic Officer!
"I also want to announce something about a couple of our Senate members that I will have the pleasure of re-announcing at Commencement. One of the winners of the Gores Award this year will be Debra Satz, Associate Professor of Philosophy. And one of the winners of the Dinkelspiel award will be our own Tom Wasow, Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy."
There was hearty applause for these achievements, and Chairman Wasow noted, "...it's pure coincidence that the Provost and the award winners are members of the Philosophy department."
Professor Hastorf had a question. "John, I was looking at the list of the new Guggenheim awardees. We do terribly in that competition. I think we have one this year; Harvard has seven. I have a feeling that we're not organizing ourselves sufficiently to encourage able young humanists to apply.
Provost Etchemendy responded. "It's an interesting point, and I think you're probably right. You know, we had a similar observation a few years back about the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships for undergraduates. We have not been winning nearly as many as Harvard and some other universities. That was partly because we didn't have the organized operation that they have to encourage applicants. Therefore we put some money into this and had a successful year. This may be exactly the same phenomenon with the Guggenheims. I would be happy to hear particularly from the H&S faculty offline about whether there are any ideas that people have about how to encourage applications."
E. Open Forum
Professor Eric Roberts had a comment and promised to be very brief. He had two hand-outs, relating to difficulties with the Oracle system that were discussed at the May 13th Senate meeting. One hand-out was a letter from one of his staff who was having a great deal of trouble with the Oracle screens and the system. The second was "...a memo about some of the economic consequences. I would be interested in reasons why this problem may exist in the University. I would be interested in your comments by E-mail," he added.
V. Other Reports
A. Stanford University Budget Plan (SenD#5604)
The Provost began, "I am going to present two reports. The Budget Report will be significantly shorter than it normally is because of the press of time. There are really three budget terms that we work on during the year. One is the Consolidated Budget, the University's total revenue and expenses. This budget does not include the two hospitals, but it does include the Medical School.
"Subsequently, I'll talk about the General Funds budget, which is the unrestricted funds budget that we can allocate. I will then mention the Capital budget and the Capital plan, the budget of construction and major capital investments that we have planned for next year and the subsequent three years."
Consolidated Budget. The Provost said that "...on revenues of about $2.655 billion, we are projecting a very slight surplus of $6.7 million. On the revenue side, student income, we project, will be going up by about 5.2 percent. That represents a combination of the tuition increase of 4.5 percent, TGR increase of 50 percent, a slight increase in numbers of master's students in some of the schools, and a decrease in the amount of off-campus subsidy that currently goes to graduate students because the rent situation off-campus has improved immensely.
"For sponsored research, we're projecting a 5.3 percent increase. That disguises an increase at SLAC of approximately 14 percent, representing a major new project, the Linac Coherent Light Source, which accounts for a significant 'uptick' in their income. The other research on campus is going to increase 3.2%.
"Health care services has the largest increase, representing an increased demand for clinical services. This is money that comes as a pass-through from the hospital into the Medical School. This reflects activities of many fantastic hires into the clinical faculty that have been bringing in income. That also accounts for improvement in the financial picture at the hospitals.
"Expendable gifts, we're estimating, will be about $120 million. This does not include endowment gifts or capital gifts. Investment income will be going up by 5.3 percent. Other income, including football tickets and other items, will increase by 2.5%.
"As for the expense side, Salaries and Benefits will go up by 6.2 percent. My absolute highest priority this year was to make sure that we had a decent salary program so that we could try to make up some of the lost ground from the salary freeze this past year. SLAC expenses, matched by the increased revenue, are up 14 percent. Financial aid is going up by 7.5 percent overall. Other operating expenses will increase 3.2 percent."
The Provost went on to display the 2004/05 Consolidated Budget by Unit, including the Academic units and the Academic Support units (e.g., Admissions, Libraries, and Student Affairs) as well as Administrative units. He explained that Auxiliary activities (e.g., the Athletic Department, Housing and Dining) are expected to manage their own budgets, and break even.
The "Fund Type" breakdown of the Consolidated Budget lists revenues and expenses in General Funds, Designated funds, Restricted funds, Grants and Contracts, and the Auxiliary activities (mentioned above). The Provost gave particular emphasis to the Restricted Fund column, projected to represent $601 million by the end of the 03/04 year.
"An endowed chair is restricted legally to a particular use," he pointed out. "If you have an endowed program and the money must be used in a particular way, it is restricted. Then there are 'morally restricted' funds. The gift funds in your department, technically, are unrestricted funds. But you'd get very angry if I took them and used them for some other purpose, and your donors would probably stop giving money to you if I did that. Remember, your gift funds are technically unrestricted, but morally restricted.
"We have nearly a billion dollars of expendable funds sitting in fund balances. Most of that is in the designated and restricted funds. That's a lot of money sitting in department, faculty member and, to a certain extent, school fund balances." Provost Etchemendy noted that it is not an unalloyed good thing that the money is sitting there and not being used.
He continued. "Those balances have grown steadily in the past decade, even in the years when we have had deficits overall. Obviously, donors begin to question 'Why do you need that money if you're not using the last gift I gave you? And I begin to wonder, 'Should I be giving you so much general funds if you have those balances sitting in your department?' I understand the thinking...I was a department chair. You think, 'I want to use this for a rainy day,' or 'I want to use this for something that is special that I can't get the dean to fund, and use General Funds for the everyday operation of my department or my unit.' " He noted that we may have to consider using these funds for more general use, rather than continuing to cloister them away.
General Funds Budget. The Provost began by commending the Budget Group for its hard work. He considers it to be "every bit as important as the Advisory Board. It's a fantastic group. They work very hard in three-hour meetings all the way through the year. They prevent me from making lots of mistakes, and provide oversight and advice on strategic priorities."
Despite protestations from the humble Bob Simoni, he listed the Budget Group members: Artie Bienenstock, Steve Hinton, Channing Robertson, Bob Simoni, Buzz Thompson, and himself. The hard-working staff includes Randy Livingston (CFO), Karen Nagy (from H&S), Dana Shelly and Tim Warner (Budget office).
General Funds are the unrestricted funds, and in the 2004/05 budget will total ~$706 million. Most of those dollars (56%) come from tuition and fees. Indirect Cost recovery provides 24%, unrestricted endowment income 17%. The Provost emphasized that since the bulk of these dollars (~50%) are from tuition, and noted that "...when I get a random request from a school, department, or faculty member about putting General Funds into a new project that for some reason other funding is not available, I must ask, 'Is it legitimate to charge our students for that expenditure?' "
The uses of General Funds are disbursed as follows:
Non-formula Academic units 30% (H&S gets ~50%)
Administrative units 25% (ITSS, research
housing office, etc., the
Formula schools 17% (GSB and Medical
Academic support 11% (Library, Student
Plant operations 9% (energy and
Debt Service 4% (almost all for
Tuition allowance 4% (for graduate
Thanks to the improved investment income, other revenue enhancements, and the many budget cuts made by all units (named "University-wide structural changes"), what was foreseen to be a ~$15 million deficit for 03/04 turned into a projected $5-8 million surplus.
Top priorities for use of the General Funds are:
#1 Â Salary program
Compliance funding (to avoid embarrassing failures)
Facilities renewal (deferred maintenance)
There also has been a substantial reallocation strategy. "As I said," the Provost said, "although the budget outlook has improved, to do any of these things and various other new activities, we have had to make cuts in certain parts of the enterprise and put funds into new ventures. That will be the way of life for the University for the foreseeable future. Most of our new innovations will be funded by stopping or phasing out existing programs."
The Provost paused to let the Senate view the General Funds allocations to the many non-formula academic units. He made special note of several allocations. "The libraries received a substantial increase. That is because the materials budget had fallen seriously behind. It had been cut year after year and had not received inflation increases and had suffered cuts. Seven percent has been added to the Office of Development and the Alumni Association. These offices are ramping up for a University-wide capital campaign. Undergraduate scholarship aid has gone from a general funds allocation of $15.6 million to $20.1 million."
Introducing a four-year review of the net incremental General Funds distribution, the Provost looked back wistfully at the $20 million incremental allocation, new money to spend on new ventures, that he had in his first year on the job. Amidst laughter, he referred to it as his "bait and switch year. Foolishly, I thought, 'This is a great job!'....and equally foolishly, I spent it all!
"After that, we had two years of cuts. In order to get roughly $20 million for additional programs, it was cuts that funded them."
He then pointed out the interesting fact here that in the current year, with a salary freeze, there was an increase in salary plus benefits, with all of the increase going into benefits. Fortunately, since there will be a surplus this year, the University can afford a salary program. Incremental debt service in 2003/04 increased substantially over previous years as, the Provost pointed out, "...buildings come on line that were planned several years ago and have now been constructed, such as the Lokey Chem/Bio Building and the Clark Center.
"To summarize, we have this year funded a competitive salary program. We have taken a very careful look at our competitive salary position both on the staff side, where we compare with local companies, and on the faculty side, where we compare field by field with our competitive universities."
Capital projects funded with non-formula General Funds in the 2001-2005 period include:
* The Mechanical Engineering Lab
* Wallenberg Hall
* SAL 3 Âthe remote libraries
* Art Gallery Renovation
* Building 570 renovation
* IT investment
* Compliance projects
* Building 170 renovation
* Career Development center
* Building 360 renovation
* Press Warehouse relocation
The Capital Budget for next year will be $168 million in expenditures. Most of these projects are funded by a combination of some reserves, some debt, and some gifts. There is less certainty about the three-year plan. In the next five years, this budget will be as much as a billion dollars. The Provost explained. "The reason is because five buildings have been added to the three-year plan from the science, engineering, and medicine campus plan. So this includes a total of eight buildings that I hope we will be building over the next decade. Many of these are replacements for either outdated buildings or buildings that are falling down...no, no, don't worry, buildings aren't falling down! But they could unless we invest in infrastructure. Varian 2 will be a building to house current residents of HEPL, astrophysics and cosmology and will sit next to Varian. It will be a mirror image of Moore. SMILE (the Stanford Medical Information and Learning Environment) will be going up, as will the School of Engineering Center, a replacement for the Terman Engineering building, and a new biology building will be constructed.
"Projects in design and construction are more fluid. Some of them have actually already started, such as renovation of Maples Pavilion. The Arrillaga Family Recreation Center will be built on the footprint of Encina Gym, which is being demolished. The Lucas Center is being constructed as we speak. Kavli (at SLAC) will start soon. The Graduate Community Center is getting near completion. Now, the Law Student housing project is a little bit further off... we're still in heavy planning for that."
The General Use Permit governs the net square feet on which the University can build. The Provost noted that "...President Hennessy and I decided that we were going to make the two million square footage allocated to us by the county last longer than ten years, 15 years at least. We've been using that as a guideline for the capital plan." He showed data indicating that if everything on the Capital Plan is built, and nothing else, we would still be well below the two million NSF limit in fifteen years.
He added a caveat. "As I think most of you know, the GUP has a linkage to housing. In order to build academic square footage, we have to build a certain amount of housing units. If we, in fact, manage to fund and build the law school dorm, which is not obvious today, this would give us sufficient housing to allow the capital plan to be completed. If we do not build the law school dorm or cannot build additional housing, then that cuts us off our Capital Plan building."
Questions and Discussion
In response to a question by Professor Palumbo-Liu, Provost Etchemendy noted that during a booming economy the endowment payout used for financial aid to students increases and, as well, families of students can pay more. But, as the economy has problems, then so too does our endowment, and, as well, our student families. That means that the General Funds support of undergraduate scholarships goes up. Thus, as the economy picks up, as it has, the General Funds use for financial aid will start coming down.
Professor Burchat asked about the big increases in debt service. Provost Etchemendy pointed out that, like it or not, "...debt service is here to stay. We try to be very careful, because the amount of University debt that we have available is very, very limited. For the last 15 to 20 years, we built a lot of buildings using debt. We are now at a point where we are trying to restrict the amount of debt that we issue because we are getting close to the leverage ratio that the Board of Trustees wants us to stay within. They want us, rightly, to remain with a AAA bond rating. That gives us a cushion if, for example, there's an earthquake and we have to tap even more into debt and drop down, perhaps, to a AA rating to recover from that disaster.
"The $10 million is new debt service that that is allocated for renovations, seismic renovations, dormitory renovations. These are things for which it is almost impossible to raise donations."
Professor Harvey Cohen asked about how depreciation was accounted. The Provost answered that depreciation is not included in calculation of the Consolidated Budget, but that the University also creates a separate accounting that includes depreciation. We do not have funds set aside in depreciation to renew the buildings. And that's part of the reason why we need to start building up those funds and not incur a lot of deferred maintenance.
B. Retiree Benefits Report (SenD#5605)
This, again, was the Provost's presentation. He was pleased to welcome to the back row the new Director of Human Resources, Diane Peck, and the VP for Business Affairs, Randy Livingston (CFO), and Brian Talbot, the "technical wizard," as guests for this item.
Addressing this problem was partly started by the Budget Group, but also in response to a charge from the Board of Trustees. The problem is a simple one: The benefits costs are rising too high, too fast. The Provost noted that, "...benefits costs are rising exorbitantly. In the past five years our benefits charge has gone up 45 percent. And what I'm going to be talking about today are two pieces of this. The retiree medical benefit has increased 185 percent; and the largest dollar cost, the retiree retirement plan, has gone up 26 percent. Last year, although we allocated the same amount of incremental money to salary and benefits, it was all used up by the benefits plan. And that meant that we could not offer a decent salary program. Stanford's benefits package is a very generous one. It is among the most generous of all universities. And if you look at local companies in the Bay Area or California, it's far more generous for staff than what is offered in Silicon Valley. The Board of Trustees and the Budget Group both asked this group to look at the topic. We have consulted the University Committee on Faculty and Staff Benefits."
Retirement Savings Plan (SCRP)
He continued. "This is a 403(b) plan, a defined contribution plan. Eligible employees participate after one year of service. During the first year, a new faculty member or staff does not get the University contribution. However, the new hire does receive a supplemental ten percent of salary in that first year in lieu of employer contributions. So this is called the Retirement Assistance Program, or RAP. Most people don't even know it exists, including those that we hire. Beginning in year two, the basic contribution is five percent. The University automatically puts five percent into a person's retirement plan. And then we match; if the employee contributes four percent of the salary, then the University will match that with five percent. All contributions are immediately vested."
The Provost discussed different ways of containing the cost of this program. One is to defer the basic contribution for an additional year. Another is to phase in the basic contribution over the course of five years. It would start at zero and it would increase to five percent over the course of the first six years. A third is to eliminate the Retirement Assistance Program. A fourth is to reduce the match to one-to-one up to a maximum of four percent. He then reviewed the net savings to the University that one or combinations of these options would yield, savings that could go into salaries. If modeled over twenty years, assuming a $50,000 starting salary growing four percent annually, and an eight percent annual investment return, and using the maximal cuts in the retirement program (a combination of several of the above alternatives), the retirement fund after 20 years would be ~380,000, as opposed to $411,000 with the current plan (in future dollars), not a great loss, the Provost noted, and he urged the Senate as well as other faculty to e-mail him responses to these options.
Retiree Medical Plan
"Currently," said the Provost, "Stanford pays 100 percent of the lowest-cost plan, not only for the current employees, but also for retirees. For those 65 and older, it's a Medicare supplement plan. The eligibility for retirement benefits is based on the rule of 75, which means that you're eligible when your retirement age and years of service are greater than or equal to 75, with a minimum of ten years of service. There's no difference in the benefit based on years of service, and there's no difference based on whether you're a staff member or faculty member. We have the same plan for both.
"When we charged the task force, we gave it certain guidelines that we wanted them to think about as they were designing a replacement plan. First, we said we thought faculty and staff should not be separated into different plans. We think this is a tradition at Stanford, a good tradition that we should preserve to the extent possible. We should not distinguish between faculty and staff any more than is necessary for competitive purposes. We should continue to be eligible on the rule of 75. A new suggestion to the task force was that the annual benefit to the retiree should vary based on the years of service of the employee.
"The proposed plan is this, and it is what we need input on. For every year of service the University would pay (in 2004 dollars) $100 toward your retiree medical plan and $60 toward a spouse plan. Therefore, if you had 20 years of service, a current retiree would receive $2,000 for his or her plan and $1,200 for his or her spouse's plan. The current dollar amount is $2500. A 25-year employee's medical retirement plan would match the current benefit. If one had 30 years in service at retirement, he or she would get a higher benefit than the current plan, $3,000 and $1800." He emphasized that neither he nor anyone else can predict what will happen to the costs of health insurance. The current proposal will mean a decrease in benefits, even though the benefit will be increased annually by the percent that the salary pool inflates. The liability under this plan to the University would fall from $621 million under the current program to $390 million, given some assumptions about grandfathering.
"There are issues," cautioned the Provost, "that come up and have worried us. One is whether or not a service-based plan would hinder our ability to recruit mid-career faculty. We can solve that problem by making taxable salary supplemental payments to the new employee to make up for the retiree medical difference that he or she is incurring by moving to Stanford. Another point is that we would start up a savings plan that would allow a tax-advantaged mechanism to save for retirement benefits. We would provide a single supplemental payment to an incoming faculty member. He or she could choose to put it into his or her retiree medical savings plan.
"Now, some issues. Who, if anyone, should be 'grandfathered?' Well, there are various possibilities. Of course, the change makes no sense if you don't actually apply the change to somebody! The assumption is that the change would be applied, at the very least, to the active employees who are not currently eligible according to the rule of 75, with some fudge factor that I will get to in a moment. This would save us about $11.6 million per year, and $160 million in total liability.
"What about 'nearly eligible' people, for example, those who will reach eligibility by 2007? If we grandfather them and keep them in their current plan, we don't save anything. 'Eligible actives' are the people who are actually eligible for retirement, but haven't retired yet. What do we do with them? And then there are the existing retirees.
"I think we should grandfather all existing retirees [a quiet sigh of relief escaped from the Academic Secretary]. And I think we should grandfather all eligible actives. That's not a final decision because we haven't yet decided to move to this plan. These are, I think, 'no brainers.' But how we should treat people who are 'almost eligible' and how we should define 'almost eligibility' are issues still undecided.
"What are the next steps? We've been meeting with various faculty and staff groups to explain this proposal in order to get feedback. We want to deliver final recommendations by September, if possible. And it would be nice if we could implement the plan by January 1, 2006. As I have said, any change in the benefit plan is a difficult one to make. It's not a pleasant decision. It's not something any of us are happy about. It's going to affect all, or certainly most, of us. The future health of the University requires that we figure out some way of trying to control these escalating costs, if only so that we can control our destiny and our use of funds. We have to make a thoughtful, reasonable, responsible decision that's fair to retirees and also to our current and future employees.
Questions and Discussion
Rob Polhemus, the English professor, feeling his oats as Chair-elect of the Senate, noted, "Thanks, John. In the conclusion of your hand-out, it says that we must 'reign' in soaring costs. I think that's an understandable Freudian slip using 'reign', as in 'to rule', rather than 'rein' in the cost!" The Provost and the senators shared gentle laughter at this.
Professor Harvey Cohen asked, "In addition to recruiting people, retaining people is important. If you remove a benefit from people who are here in part because of the benefits, have you thought about what effect that might have on retention?" Reiterating what he had said earlier, the Provost said that for both staff and faculty, "We're at the higher end of the generosity curve. So pulling back a bit is probably not going to have a huge effect on competitiveness. And, you should know that every university is doing exactly what we're doing, looking at the benefits packages and saying, 'Gee, it's not clear that we can afford these.' Misery loves company, I suppose. From the competitive standpoint, therefore, I suspect that our changes won't have a huge effect."
As for staff retention, the Provost recalled that "...particularly when we went through the boom period, we had real problems competing for staff. We had 25 percent turnover in staff for a few years, huge turnovers. That was because a lot of people were moving to companies where they thought they could have stock options and they were going to become very rich. A lot of them have come back recognizing the advantages of working at Stanford: the benefits package, the working conditions, and the security of employment.
Chairman Wasow gave Professor Simoni the last comment on this item. Simoni said, "John, I assume your projections do not include any disincentives to retire, and it seems to me there are at least two of them in your proposal. One is the extra hundred bucks for every year that I work. And I assume you are thinking there would be some cap to that....You wouldn't want me to work until I'm 90! The second question is more complicated. It seems to me that where we are relative to others is not the measure I would be concerned about. The measure I would be concerned about is the adequacy of the program."
The Provost agreed that these could be problems, and hastened to point out the "unknowns" in the equations, namely what course Medicare would take, and impact of the new drug benefit program. He looked up to Dean Pizzo for help, but the dean had no crystal ball.
Professor Hastorf urged the Provost to arrange meetings at which the faculty and staff could come to discuss the planned programs. Etchemendy said that several had already been held (e.g., for the University Management Group, department chairs, School of Medicine) and that more could be scheduled.
C. Report from the Provost's Advisory Committee on Status of Women Faculty (PACSWF) (SenD#5600)
Chairman Wasow apologized to all those who had more questions about the retiree benefits proposals, and then with minimal introductions, he turned the meeting over to Professor Deborah Rhode and Vice Provost Pat Jones.
Professor Rhode began. "Thank you, Tom, for salvaging a few minutes here for us. It's customary for chairs of faculty committees to preface their remarks with grateful acknowledgments, but, really, the debts of this committee are much more extensive than I have time to acknowledge adequately here. So I'll just draw your attention to the full list on page 5 of the report distributed to you. However, let me single out a couple of individuals whose assistance was really so exceptional that it deserves at least brief recognition. For help in tabulating and analyzing the data, we are deeply indebted to Karen Mela, Nicole Kangas, Rana Glasgal, Norman H. Nie, LinChiat Chang and Marcela Muniz.
"Erica Wayne in the Robert Crown Law Library created the University Women Web site. Tom Fenner from the legal counsel's office and Jane Volk-Brew, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs provided insightful guidance throughout the process. Subcommittee chairs Robert Weisberg (who is with us in spirit but physically is in London) and Milbrey McLaughlin gave endlessly of their time and talents. In an early draft of this acknowledgment, Pat Jones suggested the term 'yeoman assistance' to describe my own assistant, Mary Tye, but I wasn't sure that a male generic belonged in the report. But if it does, the person who deserves it is Pat herself, whose 'yeo-person' service knew no bounds. The greatest debt is to President Hennessy and Provost Etchemendy, whose support and commitment made the work possible.
"As some of you may recall, the creation of the committee was part of a series of initiatives under President Hennessy and Provost Etchemendy to promote diversity. And in particular, it followed a conference in January 2001 of the presidents of nine leading universities, including Stanford, to address gender equity issues for female faculty in science and engineering. The university presidents who attended that MIT gender equity conference pledged to evaluate their own university's progress and to share findings. To that end this committee was created. We picked a name more unwieldy than 'Committee on Women,' in order to avoid 'COW' as the acronym. PACSWF has been up and running for the past three years. We have collected an enormous amount of data on University policies and practices concerning women faculty.
"In general, the review revealed a wide range of initiatives and significant progress in increasing women's representation in faculty and leadership positions, but also some significant remaining challenges. To understand more fully what the continuing obstacles were, the committee collected the first comprehensive University data in three areas: Recruitment and retention, non-salary compensation and support, and quality of life.
"In order to obtain some systematic information about gender equity initiatives at other colleges and universities, we created a Web site, with the help of the law library. This site (http://universitywomen.stanford.edu )now has links to policies, reports, and resources related to women faculty throughout the nation. A review of those materials helped to inform our own recommendations.
Recruitment and Retention
"First, with respect to recruitment and retention, as I'm sure all of you know, University policy requires faculty searches to engage in affirmative action to increase the diversity of applicant pools. However, practices concerning compensation and procedures of search committees vary quite widely across the schools. Some, but not all schools reported efforts to ensure diversity in their committee memberships, and to reopen searches that had not produced a sufficiently diverse candidate pool. Practices regarding retention also varied, particularly concerning how schools responded to outside offers.
Compensation, Resources, and Recognition
"Since the late 1990s, the University has been systematically reviewing base salary information to identify gender inequities and take appropriate corrective action. Our committee didn't revisit that question. Rather, we focused our attention on forms of non-salary compensation and support. We obtained detailed information from each school concerning offer salaries, startup offers, research accounts, lab space, moving rental allowances, and other forms of miscellaneous support, such as summer salaries, retention packages, and special arrangements for teaching loads and housing subsidies.
"Taken as a whole, the data reveal a mixed and complicated picture. In a number of categories, there are no significant disparities by gender. Research funds, for example, exhibit no significant gender disparities in most schools. The same is true for laboratory space in most places, startup funds, and moving and rental allowances in most schools. On the other hand, there are disparities of varying magnitude in a number of categories in several schools, although we didn't find a distinctive pattern by category or by school. Some, but not most, of the gender differences are statistically significant. For example, in some schools, men, on average, receive higher initial offer salaries than women, and larger startup funds. This, however, may reflect different seniority levels at which male and female faculty are hired. In a number of instances where there were not differences of statistical significance, the apparent disparity seems attributable to what we determine in the report (for lack of a better phrase) a few male 'high-outliers', or to the simple fact of small numbers of women, especially as new senior hires, in certain fields and schools.
"However, even where there are no statistically significant differences, there are several major concerns that emerge. The first is that the overall pattern of differences is unidirectional. That is, where disparities occur, they almost all involve men receiving higher compensation or support than women. This pattern suggests that we need additional individualized analysis to determine whether there are reasons unrelated to gender, such as seniority, subfields, or particular research needs. A related concern is that irrespective of the merits of particular cases, in a circumstance in which almost all of the highly compensated faculty are male, that general pattern may unintentionally reflect and perpetuate gender stereotypes.
Quality of Life
"After reviewing studies by a number of other universities, we developed a survey for our faculty focusing on the following areas: Academic workload, perceptions of workplace climate and opportunities, work/family conflicts, spouse/partner opportunities, and overall satisfaction. The response rate across the university was close to 50 percent, and the sample was reasonably representative across categories such as gender, race, ethnicity, rank, and school.
"Three general conclusions stand out from this analysis (see SenD#5600 Part IV). One involves the similarities between men's and women's experiences. For the faculty as a whole, there weren't significant gender differences in measures of overall satisfaction. That's not true at many institutions. Male and female faculty generally agreed on what they consider to be the most positive aspects of the Stanford environment, that is, the quality of students and colleagues and the location in the Bay Area. Men and women also agreed on the most negative aspect of the Stanford experience, the financial stresses associated with living in this area.
"Yet, a second key finding was that women faculty generally had more concerns about quality of life than did their male colleagues. Women generally rated their work climate less favorably, were less likely to feel included and valued, and were more likely to report perceptions of gender discrimination. Women also experienced greater workload pressures, especially related to advising and mentoring, and this experience was particularly pronounced among women of color. So too, women faculty were also more likely than their male colleagues to report work/family stress and were more concerned about the availability and affordability of quality child care.
"The third key finding was the significant difference in general satisfaction and workplace experiences among women faculty depending on their rank, ethnicity, and school or division within the University. For example, women faculty in the social sciences and clinical sciences expressed a lower level of general satisfaction than their male colleagues, while women in the natural sciences and engineering were equally satisfied. Women of color, apart from Asian-American women, were the least satisfied. White men were the most satisfied.
"In general, the picture overall for women at Stanford is a fairly positive one, and faculty satisfaction rates are comparable to those available at other peer institutions. But the survey also identified issues requiring further University attention, which, again, are not unique to Stanford, but which formed the basis of the committee recommendations.
"The primary issues involved the low representation of women, particularly women of color, in certain fields, and among the most highly rewarded full professors, the frequency of perceived disadvantages due to gender, the lack of inclusiveness and undervaluation of women's contributions in certain disciplines and schools, and the difficulties of reconciling family and professional needs, compounded by financial pressures and inadequate child care options.
"The report concludes with 18 fairly detailed recommendations that I don't want to take time to fully describe here. But I'll just summarize a few of the key points.
"First, with respect to recruitment practices, we believe that search committee chairs, departments chairs, deans, and the Provost's office all should seek ways of regularizing and monitoring search processes to ensure a diverse search committee and candidate pool. Special outreach efforts and targeted funds should be used to increase appointments of women in departments and divisions where they are underrepresented.
More systematic information should be collected concerning candidate pools, offer and acceptance rates, and the reasons for unsuccessful recruitment and retention efforts.
"With respect to retention strategies, it's difficult to formalize precise policies. But schools should devise more explicit strategies for ensuring adequate individual support and recognition, and some measure of horizontal equity among faculty. Professors need to be appropriately rewarded for their productivity and contributions regardless of their mobility or their interest in pursuing outside offers.
Compensation and Support
"The Provost and the deans need to regularly monitor not just salary, but also non-salary forms of compensation and support to ensure the appropriateness and equity. The areas of potential gender disparities need further analysis by the committee to determine whether appropriate individualized factors explain the apparent differences. Compensation and support should be routinely examined to be sure they are awarded on the basis of merit and need and that they are not unnecessarily reactive to external offers.
Academic Climate, Work-Family Policies, and Related Issues
"The Provost's office, deans, and other appropriate administrative officials and faculty committees need to undertake further inquiry and initiatives concerning the issues raised by the Quality of Life survey results, including child care and experiences of harassment and discrimination that haven't resulted in formal complaints. The Provost's office, we suggest, should provide administrative and financial support for a Faculty Women's Forum that would offer opportunities for women across the University to discuss shared interests and concerns on a regular basis, including gender-related issues and research.
"The university also needs to reassess the adequacy and implementation of its policies regarding family leave, reduced teaching and clinical loads, tenure clock extensions, and should ensure that options that are available in principle are not discouraged in practice.
Accountability, Research, and Analysis
"The University should continue to fund faculty panels and senior-level administrative positions that focus on gender equity concerns. Data should be collected on a regular basis concerning gender equity and quality of life. The University should encourage and participate in collaborative research with other institutions to gain a better understanding of diversity-related challenges and responses.... Well, there's probably no surprise there; If you create a 'committee of researchers', they will, of course, end up by telling you that what you need is more research! But we think we've gotten off to a pretty good start with some new findings, and we now invite your comments and questions."
Professor Rhode offered "...the first opportunity for comments to Dean Pizzo in the Medical School and Milbrey McLaughlin, who was the point person on the Quality of Life survey. The Medical School has been at the forefront of developing some initiatives of its own around these issues.
Dean Pizzo thanked Professor Rhode and complimented the committee for the work that's been done. He also thanked her "...for pointing out some of the challenges we still face, which are not insignificant. Those will help us, I think, to further make progress in what we all acknowledge is a very important area." Professor McLaughlin echoed his comments.
Provost Etchemendy added his thanks to the committee "...for a lot of hard work and producing lots of information that is both complex and textured. Some of it is information that I think as an institution we should be proud of, and some of it is information that we should not be proud of and that we need to work on. I think the recommendations are excellent. As I've already communicated to the committee, President Hennessy and I are going to do everything we can to follow up upon all those recommendations. We'll work with PACSWF on how to implement them. But thank you all for doing a great job!"
Chairman Wasow wryly pointed out, "In connection with that, John, I notice that on your Budget Group, there were no women faculty. That might be a place to start."
Professor Rhode broke in. "Well, you all know that we women are not good with numbers...." The rest of her sentence was drowned out by laughter. But, in defense, Provost Etchemendy said that he had tried to get a couple of women to join the group. "There will be more women," he assured the Senate. "We failed because of sabbaticals."
Then, after Professor Eric Roberts had congratulated the committee on their report, noting as well that "...thanks are due to John Hennessy and John Etchemendy," and that this administration was "...willing to appoint not only the first woman dean in Stanford's history, but then appointed four of them!" He emphasized that "...the sense of renewed commitment to this issue from the top is what we have to thank for the change in the spirit and the way that we all feel about this. So, thank you, John!"
Unwilling to just sit back and nod appreciatively, Provost Etchemendy said, "I beg to differ. I think that we have to thank the commitment of the institution as a whole and the faculty as a whole. It isn't something that can be done from the top. Thank you very much for what you said, Eric. But particularly with representation issues, if we are not committed at the department level on search committees and other panels we won't make progress. So I appreciate what you said, but I think it's really the whole University that deserves credit."
Professor Goldsmith said, "Just looking through the charts, one of the things that jumps out at me is the personal stress that the women, especially those with children, describe. I see some vague references to child care, and nothing concrete. That's been discussed in the Senate every year that I've been here. We need to improve this!"
Professor Rhode pointed out that there is a child care Office that should be collecting that data on this problem, and that PACSWF will work with them on the problem. She added that "...if we're 'general' in what we recommend, it's not because we don't think the issues are crucial. And, in fact, we put in italics that improving child care was the single thing that women faculty thought was the most important step the University could take. It's also one of the more expensive ones. There are not quick fixes available. In addition, we need to do more in terms of emergency 'backup' assistance. It's not just basic coverage issues that need addressing. We've also proposed that we have child care allowances that can be used to cover child care when mothers or fathers or both must travel for professional reasons. Harvard and other institutions have done this. That's one of the things that came out of the gender equity conference meeting. While ad hoc arrangements have been made on an individual basis by certain department chairs, it's not yet University policy."
Professor Hensler also commended the committee, and pointed out that the strength of the report is found more in data that's in the full report. It was clear to her "...that the next years' efforts really need to be devoted not simply to looking at numbers such as the statistics on salaries, available space, et cetera, and not simply to specific policies like child care, although I strongly endorse the concerns and the importance of child care policies. I believe that emphasis must be placed on the way in which a variety of policies affect women and men at different stages of their career in different schools and in different departments within the schools. We can see some of that in the more detailed analyses that you've done." She looked forward to in-depth analysis of the data to apply them to specific schools, specific situations.
Professor Rhode pointed out that creating a Faculty Women's Forum could generate channels for those conversations to occur over time. The committee does not want, after all the effort, nothing to happen. She added that "John Etchemendy was very clear from the outset that his goal was not so much the production of one report, but that we needed to set up an ongoing process for conversation and monitoring of these issues. Remember, we also ended with a plea for more collaborative research with other universities. Many issues remain to be explored. How to respond to 'lateral offers' is one in a context where men and women are not equally situated. Should we rethink the current tenure structure, given the convergence between women's biological clock and their peak career development pressures? None of these can be solved by one university, but really pose challenges for all of higher education. Be sure to check out our Web site. It is one contribution to a larger and continuing conversation."
Professor Ball thanked the committee for excellent report, and having noted that women faculty of color were the least satisfied with their job situations, asked Dean Pizzo whether the Medical School has found ways to change this?
Senior Associate Dean Professor Stevenson took on this question. He noted that medical faculty tend to be a little bit older, so that the timing issues around the biologic clock for both men and women becomes critical. He also said that these diverse groups of faculty "...are also in a situation where they are highly vulnerable as they enter these very competitive environments with added clinical responsibilities as well. What we're trying to do is to apply existing policies and procedures to ensure that flexibility is there so that people can be successful. We will try to do that by implementing changes in the way our infrastructure will support vigilance and attention to these issues so that we have staying power. We don't want to have one committee on diversity and women followed by yet another one. We want to create a sustainable effort that will focus on these kinds of issues. We've already begun to implement those kinds of changes on an individual and ad hoc basis."
Dean Pizzo reiterated many of Dean Stevenson's comments and emphasized that "...the pressures are really enormous. They're enormous on everyone, men and women. But they are really striking in terms of the pressures that are faced, particularly by those who are in clinical disciplines." He asked Professor Mary Lake Polan (chair of Gynecology and Obstetrics) to comment. Professor Polan said, "Yes, when Dean Pizzo came to Stanford, he created a committee and asked us to look at issues in the School of Medicine that would bear on lifestyle and make life better and careers more successful for women. Dr. Hannah Valentine, who is here, was on the committee. We queried the women from the school and received responses from over half of them. And the single thing they wanted was more flexibility. Clinicians wanted to have flexible appointment hours so that they could have part-time appointments. They wanted short-term sabbaticals so that they could write more grants and more manuscripts. And they really wanted more support in terms of infrastructure for advancing careers." For Professor Ball, she added that no analysis had been done for women of color because the numbers were so small.
Professor Stevenson amplified this. "I think African-American men and women are challenged in this particular community, because they have no critical mass." One solution, he suggested, would be to consider the "community" for them as extending outside Stanford to other institutions. Stanford is small, and that is a strength but also a weakness. Professor Ball added that she wanted to "...thank the efforts of the University for the work of Sally Dickson. I personally have been impacted by the work she has done as a woman of color who has some of these experiences. Her work is an example of the kind of support that is needed at Stanford."
Professor Rhode said, "Sally Dickson should congratulated, and she is here today. I echo that and add that one of the recommendations we made is that we need to do more focused efforts and to work with the other university committees and commissions that are focusing on diversity-related issues, because it's clear that, given the very small numbers, and the sense of isolation and the additional burdens that women in advising and mentoring and committee assignments here at Stanford, it is understandable that they feel marginalized. And having read the open-ended responses in the QoL survey, I have a very contextualized feel for the progress that remains to be made around those issues."
As an associate professor in a clinical department, Dr. Gardner found herself in two troubled areas. Going back to the Roberts: Etchemendy exchange as to where the "credit" for the good works accomplished, she said, "...I really respectfully disagree with you, Provost Etchemendy, I think that the impetus and initiatives have come from the top. In the School of Medicine I will credit David Stevenson, who is the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and Dean Pizzo, and you, Provost Etchemendy, for having almost a zero tolerance for what is seen as unfair treatment. It has made a huge change compared to previous years in which serial abusers of women - I mean in terms of their quality of life - would persist and never be punished. There has been a dramatic change. I really do believe it comes from the top. It's a tone you have set. Most faculty don't have the power to change things. It has to come from those that have that authority. So it really has made a huge difference, and I think it's very important that we continue to appoint leaders who care about being fair and responsible to women and men of color."
In reply to Professor Cecilia Ridgeway, who wondered what meetings and forums could be held to discuss specific issues within individual units, Vice Provost Jones said "...in the fall, we'll have an opportunity to talk about this particular part of the work.
In addition, we think it will be important for the community of faculty more broadly, in particular, the women faculty, to have a chance to discuss the report and the recommendations. Our hope is that early in fall quarter - because everybody's too busy now - there would be a meeting of the Faculty Women's Caucus, an open meeting for people to come and discuss the report, and then go on as we perhaps transition that into the Faculty Women's Forum to more specific targeted discussions." Others added that it was important for the men to be involved in these discussions as well.
The time was late. It was now 5:30. There was a consensus that this report would not be allowed to lie fallow. It would stay alive and that individual units would develop specific plans tailored to their situations.
VI. Unfinished Business Â None
VII. Old and New Business Â None
This happened by acclaim at 5:32.
Edward D. Harris, Jr., M.D.
George DeForest Barnett Professor, emeritus
Academic Secretary to the University