Faculty Senate minutes - March 31, 2005 meeting





At its meeting on Thursday, March 31, 2005, the Thirty-seventh Senate of the Academic Council took the following actions:

1. By unanimous voice vote, conferred baccalaureate degrees on the Winter Quarter degree candidates listed in SenD#5702, as recommended by the Committee on Undergraduate Standings and Policy.

2. By unanimous voice vote, also conferred the various advanced degrees on the Winter Quarter candidates listed in SenD#5703, as recommended by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

EDWARD D. HARRISAcademic Secretary to the UniversityMinutes, MARCH 31I. Call to OrderChairman Polhemus, noting that it was "spring-like" as well as being the first senate meeting of the spring quarter, gaveled the meeting to order. "It's a beautiful day. We won't engage, a la Stravinsky, in the 'Rites of Spring,' but we will honor spring. As Shaw says, 'those who can do, teach', and here we are…. In spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love, but there aren't any young men here, so we'll turn to Senate business." That comment generated some discomfort for two students sitting in the back row, Danny Arbertes and Russell Husen, but Polhemus thought that they looked "…pretty old to me!" Professor Bravman pointed out, appropriately, that "…during the first showing of the Rites of Spring, the audience rioted!" Polhemus hoped for a more sober reaction from the senators

II. Approval of Minutes of Senate meeting on March 3, 2005 http://facultysenate.stanford.edu

These were approved as submitted.

III. Action Calendar

A. Committe on Undergraduate Standards and Policy: List of candidates for baccalaureate degrees.

B. Committee on Graduate Studies: List of candidates for Advanced Degrees.

Registrar Printup had no corrections or additions, and these degrees were conferred by unanimous vote. Although he did not mention it, Chairman Polhemus had given permission for an uninvited guest to be in the chambers, a young man whose name was on the list of candidates for a Ph.D. in physics. He wanted to observe the official granting of his degree! (a first request, to our knowledge).

IV. Standing Reports

A. Memorial Resolution

John Pierce (1910-2002) SenD#5686

This was presented by Professor Chris Chafe, who began, "John Robinson Pierce, visiting Professor of music at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, otherwise known as CCRMA, died April 2nd, 2002, at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. A pioneer in telecommunications and a prolific author, Pierce joined the faculty of Stanford in 1983 to continue research in music and psychoacoustics. Discovery of things that changed the world, this wide ranging list includes communication satellites, traveling wave tubes, musical scales and principles of hearing.

Pierce was, until nearly the end of his life, teaching, inventing, and always cajoling the group at CCRMA. He is sorely missed. Pierce's experience and writings crossed many disciplines from fundamental work and information theory to science fiction and music composition. Director of Bell Labs' Communication Sciences division and later Chief Technologist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pierce was fundamentally involved in advancing ideas such as semiconductor technology and digital communications. His contributions were recognized with awards including the Draper Prize, the Japan Prize and many others.

Mr. Chairman, it's an honor on behalf of the committee consisting of John Chowning and myself to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a statement in memory of the late John Robinson Pierce, visiting Professor of Music in the school of Humanities and Sciences."

The Senate rose for a moment of silence. It should be noted that a memorial concert for Professor Pierce was given on May 3, 2002; a CD of this can be ordered by e-mail to infor@ccrma.stanford.edu.

Roland Faste (1943-2003) SenD#5700

This was presented by Professor Sheri Sheppard, a member of Senate 37, who was joined on the floor by his wife and son, Linda Faste, Haakon Faste and thirteen of his colleagues as guests. She read, "Rolf Faste was born on September 6, 1943 in Seattle, Washington. He studied mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, engineering design at Tufts University, and architecture at Syracuse University. He was on the design faculty at Syracuse University from 1971 through 1984.

Rolf joined the mechanical engineering faculty at Stanford University in 1984 as director of the Product Design program. His years at Stanford were filled with doing, pondering and loving.

Rolf was a doer. His hands were seldom at rest. If he was not sketching up a new idea, he was fashioning the hull of a model yacht or acting out a notion for a student using his hands or, more likely, his whole body. His doing included creating and teaching a wonderful array of courses, such the ambidextrous thinking, expression of function, and aesthetics of machinery. While these classes used a variety of pedagogies -- improvisation, play, dance — they all had at their core the student, with each student finding, exploring, pushing and refining and celebrating his or her creativity, sense of wonder and inner child.

He consulted and lectured widely, pushing companies, universities and schools to rethink their products, processes, images and intent. He had several patents to his credit.

His doing also included being an active Stanford citizen. He and his wife Linda served as resident fellows at Toyon Hall for nine years, serving as intellectual role models for the dormitory's 210 residents. At the same time as he served as the intellectual, spiritual and leader of the design program.

Rolf was also a ponderer about design and creativity. In his own words, his intellectual concerns were on how to encourage utilization of all of the individuals' talents and capabilities in the problem solving process, and how to find, identify, and empathize with significant human needs, which in turn can be successfully addressed by design. His thinking on these matters was communicated in writings, lectures, and, foremost, in his teaching.

Rolf Faste was also a lover. He loved Linda, his wife of 32 years, his two artist sons, Trygve and Haakon. He loved sailing, small British sports cars, chocolate, meditation and espresso. In other words… he loved life.

Rolf was indeed a doer, a ponderer and a lover. He died on March 6, 2003. Rolf is sorely missed. We are thankful we worked, laughed, and cried with him. He forever changed us.

We are comforted that his spirit lives on in hundreds of students he worked with, in his family and in his many friends and colleagues. On behalf of a memorial committee composed of David Kelley and myself, and his colleagues joining me on the floor of the Senate, I am pleased to present this memorial statement for Rolf Arne Fast, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

The Senate stood for a traditional moment of silence.

Alfred Grommon (1911-2001) SenD#5701

Professor Lawrence Ryan presented this memorial statement, beginning with,

"Alfred H. Grommon, Professor emeritus of Education and English, died at the Sequoias, Portola Valley, on March 17, 2001 at the age of 90.

He had a distinguished career of more than 30 years in this university, in which he focused on improving the quality of preparation of teachers at both the secondary and collegiate levels. He retired from Stanford in 1975. Al Grommon was internationally known in the field of English and served as the President of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1966. In addition, he was the author of numerous journal articles, and contributed to and was editor of a number of books and anthologies.

He served Stanford with distinction as a faculty member in two schools, and in several administrative posts, including Director of Undergraduate Admissions and director of the freshmen English program. Over the years he supervised hundreds of graduate students in the school of education, and served on many theses and dissertation committees both there and in the English department. He was a devoted friend and mentor to the hundreds of futures teachers whom he supervised and an excellent friend, colleague, and a raconteur who was a terrible punster.

He was also an enthusiastic supporter of Stanford athletics, having been a skilled baseball pitcher himself!

Mr. Chairman, it is an honor on behalf of the committee consisting of Professor James Lowell Gibbs, Jr. and myself to lay before the Senate and the Academic Council this statement in memory of the late Alfred H. Grommon, Professor emeritus in English and Education."

The Senate rose for a moment of silence. The full text of these statements will be published in the Stanford Report.

B. Steering Committee

Chairman Polhemus said, "From the Steering Committee for you, the roster of the newly elected 38th Senate is placed at your seats. The academic secretary is busy confirming members to stand for election for chair and for the Steering Committee of the newly elected Senate. Ballots for these positions will be mailed to the Senate 38 members in a week or so. Second-stage Advisory Board elections are also underway. Please fill out your yellow ballot and return it in the yellow envelope that you will sign and is provided for you. The deadline for receiving your ballots is April 25th.

"I'd like to draw your attention to the bottom of today's printed agenda where future spring quarter meeting dates and topics are noted. On April 28th, there will be three reports: The status of women faculty, faculty gains and losses, and the report from Senate emeriti representative, James B.D. Mark, M.D. On May 12th, a proposal for the graduate and undergraduate degrees in film studies will be brought for approval; there will be senate discussion on the topics from the Planning and Policy Board report completed during the terms of Senate 36; and we will have an executive session. On May 26, the Provost will present his annual budget report. In addition, we'll hear a proposal for a new Earth Science Interdisciplinary program, and there will be many other goodies that day, I assure you. June the 9th will be our final meeting. Following that meeting the President will host a reception as he does each year at the Faculty Club for the members of the ingoing and outgoing senates, the chairs of the committees of the Academic Council and members of the Board of Trustees. Today we have a short agenda because we're going to adjourn at 4:15 to join other colleagues for the annual meeting of the Academic Council, which is convening at 4:30 in Cubberly Auditorium where John Hennessy will present a five-year retrospective on his first five years as President of Stanford University."

C. Committee on Committees Professor Osgood, smiling smugly,said, "I love that you have called on me, this nice spring day….Things are moving along fine!" After the chuckles had subsided, Polhemus said, "Does anyone want to challenge that?" No one did.

D. President Report

Not surprisingly, because of his presentation to follow at the Academic Council meeting, President Hennessey had no report.

Provost Report

The Provost had a request, rather than a report. He spoke of the loyal and hard-working budget group that has come to a conclusion on this year's (FY 06) budget, about which he will report on later. His request was that when new programs or requirements are presented to the senate steering committee in preparation for full senate presentation, that the steering committee request that cost estimates for implementation of the new program, a "budgetary impact statement", be presented as well as the planned content and implementation strategy. He offered the help of the Budget Office in preparing these.

Chairman Polhemus smiled appreciatively, and said, "The Steering Committee will consider your suggestion. Thanks."

Professor Jones had a question about that. "With regard to IDPs and perhaps other aspects of Senate business, the Senate receives recommendations from its committees. Is the idea that in those units, as they're formulating those proposals which then work their way up through the system, that there would be a budget plan or proposal as part of that whole process? Is that how you would imagine it working?" Etchemendy nodded in agreement, and added that "…it also may be

that, for example, the H & S dean's office would require a budgetary impact statement well before they received the proposal for evaluation, but I leave that decision to the deans."

V. Other Reports

A. Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education on Undergraduate Housing

Chairman Polhemus introduced him and mentioned the names of several invited guests, only one of whom, Greg Boardman, was present…perhaps because he also is ex officio in the Senate.

Vice Provost Bravman began, "Today, about 15,000 envelopes were dropped in the mail, similar to approximately 5000 mailed last December. I'm speaking, of course, of letters relating to our class of 2009. This year the admissions office had to make 20,109 decisions, and we admitted, I believe, 2,204 students, aiming for a class of 1620 to 1640 students. It's the first time we passed 20,000 applications. The Single Choice Early Application program was increased in the fall and that did not come at the expense of regular review candidates which also were increased, so we passed 20,000.

"Those who come to Stanford will be the beneficiaries of ten years' hard work on undergraduate education. Stanford can take great pride in this. Students will find an experience that I think is truly second to none."

Bravman went on to admit, however, that undergraduate housing has been an increasing problem for more than a decade. "But, the good news is that we're finally at a point where we can actually do something about it. Today I'm giving you a condensed version of a report I made to the Board of Trustees on February 7th, and which was described in both the Stanford Report and the Stanford Daily. Let me start by going through a brief time machine. In 1900 the university had two dorms for undergraduate housing, Encina Hall, the men's dorm, and one other for the women. I don't know its name. A number of Row houses were added, as was Roble Hall, by 1920. By 1940, Branner, Toyon and Lagunita and even more row houses had been built. As of 1960 we had added Wilbur and Stern Halls, Florence Moore, more Row houses, and graduate housing over in Escondido village. More graduate student housing followed in the next 20 years. Encina Hall is no longer used at this point in time for dormitory rooms. By 2000 we had built the complex out at Governor's Corner as well as the Manzanita complex.

"We are fortunate to have a fully residential campus. We now house on campus essentially 100% of our undergraduates who are not taking a quarter overseas. That, combined with our large fraction of graduate housing, makes us the largest campus in the country. Now, however, we must address our problems.

"The largest is that we are 'overstuffed.' We have many, many more students living in our dorms than they were designed to house. This was in part due to the '89 earthquake and in part due to the conversion from a three-year to a four-year guarantee for housing. The overstuffing is the most pressing problem that we have both from the point of view of competitiveness with our peer universities but also for the kinds of things we'd like to accomplish in our living and learning environment because academic space in the dorms has been converted to sleeping spaces to accommodate all of our students."

Bravman showed some data. As examples he pointed out that Branner Hall currently houses 184 students but was designed for 139; Lagunita is at 383, but designed for 300; Roble Hall holds 311 students currently but was designed for 200; Toyon, at 218, was designed for 120. "These numbers," said the VPUE, "are far from optimal and we simply cannot ignore them.

"Second, there is disaffection with elements of the housing draw. This is the system by which freshmen, sophomores and juniors are assigned to housing for the following year. It seems that by luck of the draw, some students consistently do very well in the draw and some consistently do very poorly in the draw. Lindi Press told me about a student who drew 2,999 but took solace in the fact that 3,000 was drawn by Mark Matson, our basketball superstar now playing for the LA Lakers. At least one student felt that there were no 'fixes' in the system.

"But, unfortunately, there are fixes of a variety of types. 600 to 700 students each year are waived from the draw by having one of various staff positions, such as resident assistants. These are legitimate but what is more questionable is waiving in friends of staff members and so forth. These realities upset a lot of other students, as well as their parents. One student could stay on the Row for three years while others are relegated to Wilbur for the same period. Why is that?"

"Another issue is the demand for all freshmen housing. We cannot achieve this. With some exceptions such as theme houses, students live either in all-freshmen housing or in four-class housing. We're about 300 to 350 beds short of all-freshman housing. So some of this leads to dashed expectations and those of us who have the privilege of working with students and parents around these issues know what I'm talking about!

"Yet another problem is that academic programmatic initiatives in residential education are not supported well by our infrastructure. We have had a Dean of Freshmen for the last three years, Julie Lythcott-Haimes, who has made great progress in the care and service of freshmen, but we don't have spaces for her to do good works in our dorms. We have a Wilbur advising pilot program that's going quite well. A professional 'academic director' works in Wilbur Hall 40 hours each week serving as a professional advising presence, on-site. We'd like to duplicate that in five or six other dorms around campus, but we don't really have the space to do that. And that is unfortunate, because this program is the best chance we have of making real improvements in our advising program. Related to this is the almost total absence of seminar and work spaces. This does not serve well the needs of students to study in a quiet space, to work in groups, or to work on projects that their little rooms are inappropriate for.

"Unlike Harvard or Yale with their college system, we have a house system. We will never have a college system. We're not going to tear down all the dorms and build again. We're going to build incrementally, but we're mainly going to live within the context of what we now have, a Stanford undergraduate house system.

"Residential education is an important component of Stanford education. We believe it's education for the 'whole person' and we certainly don't want to move away from that. We also want to maintain a variety of theme dorms, academic, cross cultural, or programmatic places which are characteristic of a house system and represent the many diversities and excellences at the University. The opportunities for student leadership that our 'peer staff positions' in and through the dorms represent a very proud tradition at Stanford of students serving others. In our dorms we also have major support systems in place for psychological, emotional, and physical health as well as academic support of our students.

"So what is it that we want to do? First we want to 'unstuff' the system by creating 620 to 640, in a sense, new beds while not increasing the student undergraduate population. At the same time, we're going to create a number of what we call 'premier' spaces, defined as a private sleeping space, a single room or a two-room double with one entrance to a hallway. We currently have about 850 premier spaces on campus, and we want 2,000 in number so that everyone could have a premier space at least once at Stanford.

"We want to redesign the Draw to make it more rational, more fair, and easier to understand. I challenge any of you to go to the educational Web site, read the rules on how the Draw works and then come back to me and explain it. I have tried many times and, in fact, I can't. It's a system that was designed one piece at a time. What is desired is to provide an escalating quality of housing for each student as he or she progresses from freshmen year to senior status. What constitutes escalating uniformity is a matter of opinion, of course.

"These goals can be met. They could always have been met, of course, if we had a couple extra hundred million dollars lying around. We can do it for the bargain basement price of 100 million dollars. The key piece in our plan is the Munger graduate residence. Because of the Munger graduate residence we will be able to give beds in Crothers Hall, currently housing graduate students, to undergraduates, and 200 spaces of these will be premier spaces. That's about half of what we need. The remaining challenge is to raise the money to build the other half, other dorm space containing 125 to 150 beds. As conceived, this will be a third dorm in the Manzanita complex. A third dorm paralleling Schwab residential center along with Kimball would make for a four-dorm complex in that region and with four additional Row houses we would achieve our 275-300 incremental beds that are needed. Another less costly alternative is build two larger dorms.

"What about all-frosh dorms versus four-class dorms for freshmen? There are many fewer students who want four-class dorms for their freshmen year than those who want an all-freshmen experience. At present we err on the side of having 300 to 350 students assigned to four-class residences."

The VPUE continued by mentioning another part of the housing plan concept, that of increasing the numbers of theme dorms, such as one suggested for International Studies. He reiterated the "unstuffing" plan. For example, rooms in Roble currently occupied by four freshmen would house two upper classpersons, and those occupied by three frosh in Branner would house two upper classpersons.

"One of the most important impacts, though," pointed out Bravman, "is that we have to handle and handle well the direct impact on our African-American cross cultural theme dorm, Ujamaa, in Lagunita. It has been in Lagunita for 30 years.All the freshmen who are in Lagunita, however, whether in Ujamaa, or in one of the other freshmen houses, or in four-class houses in Lagunita, live two at a time in singles. We euphemistically call these 'mini doubles.' Every year I cringe when the President goes around on 'move-in day'. We progress down to Lagunita and we must cope with parents who are sticking two kids in a room the size of a large shoe box!

"If we're going to move away from that, there are several options vis-à-vis Ujamaa, none of which is easy to swallow, and most of which we don't even want. Cross- cultural theme houses need to be four-class houses. Many people in Ujamaa say 'leave it the way it is! We're happy to stay in mini doubles'. That is untenable. We can't get to a position where five or ten years from now the only students living in cramped 'mini doubles' are students choosing to live in the African-American theme house. We can't do that. In the end, we must get to the point where Ujamaa has to move in order to have the four-class character, and to have decent academic spaces."

Bravman went on to give some details of plans for revision of the rooms and their use in many of the other existing dorms, but admitted that some of these details could change in the years ahead.

"Lastly," he concluded, "we must redesign the housing Draw and institute a simpler 'seniority system' to provide for progressively better housing. We must limit the seniors we have in each house because if seniors get first dibs in a draw, some of our houses are 100% premier spaces. Without a cap on seniors in these houses we would have houses with 100% seniors. This will mean the University will have to be involved in the house Draw in the way it had not been in the past. We need a system that is transparent, logical, and defensible. It must prevent students from 'working' the system.

"This plan represents the first major conceptualization to revise our housing in many decades. It is the capstone to our renaissance in undergraduate education, and it addresses many issues long identified as problematic for students. It will be challenging, which means it's a perfect Stanford project because we love challenging projects!"

Questions and discussion

Chairman Polhemus recognized Hunter Hargrave, a student. He said, "What research has been done to determine whether students perform better academically in one setting or another? Do students feel four class dorms provide better psychological support, theme houses aside? And why is freshmen-sophomore college (FroSoCo) exempt from these changes? How will the geographical isolation in the east campus and south campus affect those living in FroSoCo?"

Vice Provost Bravman answered. "I'm very worried about FroSoCo, a program I'm worried about because I built it and love it, and this might put it in jeopardy because it might not be viable to have freshmen living on the outside of campus. We're looking at ways to relocate this program. Unfortunately, that's where my house is. I live across the street, and students are in my house all the time. But they're not going to come across campus to come to my house. The research we've done is both through student surveys that we do with the freshmen as they begin their sophomore year, and exiting surveys of seniors, as well as through the work that a lot of us do, including the President and Provost, by walking around talking to students. Many of the students who wanted the four-class experience because they thought they were going to get the advising and mentoring of upper class students are very disappointed when they get here because they don't get it. That doesn't disaffirm those who get exactly what they looked for. I do know that the experience of freshmen living in four-class dorms, on average, is rated by the students as a lower quality experience than those living in all-frosh housing.

"Remember, we're going to have at least six different physical places where students can have something other than all-freshmen housing. There will be a four-class dorm, six ethnic theme dorms, and FroSoCo. I don't believe that there's a difference in academic performance in either one of the houses."

Provost Etchemendy added, "One thing I wanted to mention is that in these senior surveys, those who lived in all-freshmen housing not only report that their freshmen housing experience was better, but that their entire satisfaction with the Stanford experience, all of it, is better than those who were in four-class dorms as freshmen. These students develop larger groups of friends that carries through the higher Stanford experience, whereas if a student is in a four-class dorm the possibilities of new friendships tend to be more limited because the sophomore, juniors and seniors, of course, have their own circles. So, it would stand to reason why they have a better experience as they move through the four years."

Professor Eric Roberts said, "It may be true that the students report a better experience, but it may not be a better academic experience. One of the great things about the plan that the VPUE described is that the 'repurposing' of Branner Hall will get rid of some of the culture there that has a very negative character, although many students enjoy it, and, therefore, generate high ratings on those surveys. When there were both four-class houses and all-frosh dorms at Harvard every study that was done showed that the educational advantages of four-class housing were tremendous. I really worry that what we're doing here is privileging the party atmosphere that characterizes so much of that first year."

Vice Provost Bravman pushed him a bit by saying, "To the extent you say that, the logical extension is that we should decide that everyone should live in four-class dorms because it's better."

Roberts was quick to respond. "I would make that argument!"

Bravman continued. "I also worry about the 'party culture' in freshmen dorms, although you'd be surprised how many issues of concerns and complaints we have from students living in Branner."

The last comment was given to Professor Douglas Osheroff. "I came from an environment where we had four-year dorms rather than four-class dorms, and I think that is part of the reason why the students who are in four-class dorms here don't get the attention and develop friendships that would happen if, in fact, they were with the same students that they would be with for two, three, or four years."

Vice Provost Bravman agreed, but pointed out, "…it's simply a situation we cannot have at Stanford, unless someone is going to give us $2 billion to tear down the dorms and build four-year equivalent housing for everybody, a college system.

We might be able to do it in one or two dorms if we chose to, but if those were high quality dorms as judged by the students we'd hear outrage from those not in them, and if it were in Wilbur or Stern, no one would want to go there. It is a simple fact that we cannot build a 'stay-in-one-house' college system that characterizes Harvard and Yale, each containing 400 to 600 students at a time. We simply don't have the infrastructure to do that."

VI., VII. and VIII. Fortunately, there was no old business, no new business, and a motion to adjourn by numerous senators was quickly seconded and passed unanimously at 4:17 pm. All senators and guests moved on to Cubberly Auditorium to listen to the President at the Academic Council meeting.

Respectfully submitted,Edward D. Harris, Jr. M.D.Academic Secretary to the University