Faculty Senate minutes - November 29, 2007 meeting
TO THE MEMBERS OF
THE ACADEMIC COUNCIL
Report No. 4
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS, NOV. 29
At its meeting on Thursday, November 29, 2007, the Fortieth Senate of the Academic Council heard reports..
REX L. JAMISON
Academic Secretary to the University
Minutes, NOV. 29
I. Call to Order
The Chair, Professor Eamonn Callan, called the Senate to order at 3:18 PM. In attendance were 38 voting members and 9 ex officio members.
II. Approval of Minutes - (SenD#6032)
The minutes of the November 8, 2007 meeting of Senate XL were approved.
III. Action Calendar
There were no items on the Action Calendar.
IV. Standing Reports
A. Memorial Resolution
Clarence Karzmark (1920-2005) SenD#6028
Chair Callan invited Dr. Richard Hoppe, Professor of Radiation Oncology, to present the memorial statement in honor of Professor Emeritus Clarence Karzmark. (The full-length memorial resolution will be published in next week's Stanford Report.)
"Clarence J. Karzmark, Professor Emeritus of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Physics, known to his colleagues as "Karz" or "C.J.," died in Menlo Park on January 16, 2005.
"In the early 1950s, Karz joined the pioneering team led by Henry Kaplan and Ed Ginston at Stanford developing a linear accelerator for the x-ray treatment of cancer. This medical linear accelerator, the first in the U.S., was commissioned in 1956 at the Stanford Lane Hospital.
"In 1959, when the School of Medicine moved to its present location on the campus in Palo Alto, Karz became head of the radiologic physics section in the Department of Radiology, remaining in that position until 1980 and continuing his active research and teaching until 1988.
"Karz made many contributions to radiation oncology and he authored more than 100 publications and two key reference texts. He played a major role in the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and, while serving as its president, was instrumental in initiating a new journal for the society, "Medical Physics," which became the most respected journal in the field.
"Mr. Chair, I have the honor on behalf of the committee consisting of Peter Fessenden and myself to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a resolution in memory of the late Clarence J. Karzmark, professor emeritus in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford School of Medicine."
All present stood in silent tribute.
Chair Callan thanked Professors Hoppe and Fessenden.
Arthur Kornberg (1918-2007) SenD#6033
Chair Callan invited Gilbert Chu, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, to present a memorial resolution on behalf of Professor Arthur Kornberg. (The full-length memorial resolution will be published in next week's Stanford Report.)
"Arthur Kornberg, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, died at Stanford Hospital on October 26th, 2007, at the age of 89, surrounded by his family."
Dr. Chu then read passages from a memorial written by Professor Kornberg's longtime friends and colleagues, Professors Paul Berg and Bob Lehman.
"Arthur Kornberg had a lifelong love affair with enzymes. Only two weeks before his death, he was actively working on a review article summarizing years of work on what had become his passion, the biochemistry of polyphosphate, or, as he lovingly referred to it, "poly P."
"In his autobiography, "For the Love of Enzymes," Arthur described his entry into science and his evolution from clinician to nutritionist to biochemist. Using what he called the "hammer of enzyme purification," he undertook the formidable problem of the enzymatic synthesis of DNA. He discovered the first DNA polymerase and established that DNA synthesis is a template-driven process, a finding for which he shared the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He succeeded in recreating an infectious bacteriophage chromosome, an accomplishment some described as the creation of life in the test tube.
"Arthur's influence extends well beyond his scientific achievements. His superb textbook, 'DNA Replication', educated a generation of molecular biologists. Arthur organized the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford. Accompanying him in the move to Stanford were Paul Berg, Melvin Cohn, Dave Hogness, Dale Kaiser, Robert Lehman, and Robert Baldwin. It is a tribute to Arthur's leadership that five of these six have remained at Stanford and achieved national renown.
"Perhaps Arthur's greatest legacy, and certainly the one of which he was most proud, was his extraordinary family. Surviving him are his wife, Carolyn Frey Dixon Kornberg, three sons and eight grandchildren. His sons are Roger Kornberg, a professor of structural biology at Stanford and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Thomas Kornberg, professor and vice chairman of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco; and Kenneth Kornberg, founder of Kornberg Associates, an architectural firm specializing in laboratory design.
"Arthur was especially devoted to students and colleagues and fiercely loyal to his family and friends. We will miss him greatly.
"Mr. Chair, I have the honor, on behalf of Paul Berg and Bob Lehman, to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a resolution in memory of the late Arthur Kornberg, professor emeritus in the School of Medicine."
All present stood in silent tribute.
Chair Callan thanked Professors Chu, Berg and Lehman.
Chair Callan recognized Dean Philip Pizzo:
"I would just like to let the Senate know that the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Kornberg family, will be planning a memorial commemoration of his life likely held in March of 2008. We'll circulate details as those become more organized.
Chair Callan thanked Dean Pizzo.
Chair Callan reminded the Senate that today's session would be shortened in order to reconvene in executive session upstairs in the faculty lounge to hear a report from the president about Stanford's fund-raising campaign.
He then gave a preview of upcoming presentations at future Senate meetings:
On January 24th, Professor Douglas Brutlag, Chair of the Committee on Libraries, will present the 2006/2007 annual report and discuss this year's committee agenda. Michael Keller, Director of University Libraries, will also present a report on current events and activities among the University's libraries.
On February 7th, Bob Reidy, Vice President for Land, Buildings and Real Estate, will present a report on land and buildings; Jan Thomson, Manager, Faculty and Staff Housing, will report on Stanford Housing; and the Committee on Research will present its findings on an issue currently under review.
On February 21st, Richard Saller, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, will present his first report to the Senate.
The Chair invited Senators to let him or other members of the Steering Committee know of items they would like to place on the agenda.
B. Steering Committee
The steering committee has asked the Committee on Committees (CoC) to consider the recommendation in the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics as presented to the Senate by Professor Tom Wasow, October 25th. Chair Callan will meet with the CoC next week to discuss the next steps and any committee oversight that may be appropriate.
C. Committee on Committees
Professor Chang had no report.
D. President's and Provost's Report
President Hennessy had one item to report:
"I mentioned at an earlier Senate meeting that we would create a combined committee of trustees and faculty to examine the issues surrounding whether or not we should embark on an increase in the size of the undergraduate population. We have now completed the appointment of that committee. The committee will be co-chaired by Professor Ramon Saldivar [School of the Humanities and Sciences] and James Canales [member of the Board of Trustees]. Joining him will be Professor Sheri Sheppard, Professor Timothy Bresnahan, Professor Norman Naimark, Professor Sue McConnell, and Professor Yoshiko Matsumoto.
"In addition the committee will have the following current or former trustees, including Robert Bass, Peter Bing, George Hume, Wendy Munger, Isaac Stein and Tom Steyer.
"We have also asked Dr. Stephanie Kalfayan to join the committee on behalf of the provost's office. Hershey Avula will represent the undergraduate population. The committee will be staffed by Jeff Wachtel and Tim Warner…There are a number of issues [for the committee to consider], ranging from the depth of the [student applicant] pool to a large number of financial issues, to the more difficult subjective issues about what the undergraduate experience would [be like] if we enlarged the class, and what would happen to the campus as a result of additional housing that would be required.
"So I expect [the committee] will take all of the academic year and probably …the summer before we have a preliminary report…early in the fall, hopefully, of next year. But I just wanted to make my colleagues aware of that so that they knew who they could contact if they had points they wanted to make sure were covered in this process."
Chair Callan asked if there were any questions for President Hennessy.
Professor Phillip Buc, citing the attempt by the Roman statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero, to expand the array of audiences and groups with which politically binding decisions could be made, noted that the President Hennessy had expressed his position regarding former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in another forum [the President's column in the Stanford Magazine]. Professor Buc continued, "I, as a senator, would like to query you further on one aspect of a Rumsfeld issue in front of a differently representative body. Should the Hoover Institution extend Dr. Rumsfeld's appointment beyond this academic year, either as distinguished visiting scholar or with another title, would you have any reservations or objections?"
President Hennessy, noting that it was speculative to guess what would happen, replied, "I would hope that the Hoover Institution, just as any body appointing an individual to an ongoing or renewal of an appointment with the university… would review the contributions that that individual made to the efforts of the university as the primary criteria in re-extending that appointment. And that is certainly what I would expect from the Hoover Institution."
Chair Callan thanked the president and asked Provost Etchemendy, if had any reports or announcements.
Provost Etchemendy affirmed that he did. "…Yesterday, we had a town hall session discussing the Meyer Library demolition and the decision not to replace the stacks that are in Meyer Library… [that lasted] three and a half hours.
"One of the things that came up [was the issue] of what books can be stored remotely [and] whether the technology will be in place…to do an effective job browsing online so that then you can find the work…you need and order it from the Livermore library and get it in a half day or a day. And some skepticism was expressed about whether or not it will be ready [before the library is moved off campus]… I'm quite convinced that it will [be ready] very soon.
"…I've asked the capital group to determine how long we can delay the demolition of Meyer safely. As I said before…Meyer Library is not a life safety hazard [but]…it is not up to our current standards…So I believe that we probably can delay [the demolition of Meyer] for as much as a decade…And my intention is to delay it [until we will] be able to see and use the new technology. I think we will be much more comfortable about the necessity of sending books to remote locations at that point."
Professor David Burke had a question for President Hennessy. "You mentioned that you thought it would be next fall before any preliminary report from the committee on expansion of the undergraduate population. That committee is obviously going to affect a lot of constituents around the university. [Could] reports be made during that time, on progress in particular, perhaps back to this body before the end of this academic year?"
President Hennessy replied that it would be up to the committee. There was quite a bit of work to be done including financial modeling that will take some time, but it is quite possible that the committee could give an interim report. He would ask Professor Saldivar, as co-chair of the committee, to come and report on an interim basis. The president also promised to provide to the Senate the formal charge to the committee.
Turning back to the provost, Professor Bob Simoni alluded to an article that appeared in the New York Times sports section concerning housing for coaches and assistant coaches at Stanford, framed in the context that it is exceedingly difficult for them to live here, given the cost of living, particularly housing. He asked the provost if he could clarify some of the details so they may be more understandable.
Provost Etchemendy replied, "…The athletic department, through the good offices of some donors, is purchasing some housing to rent to coaches and assistant coaches, not purchase houses for them…Coaches are in some ways similar to faculty in the sense that [they are identified through] a nationwide search." He noted that housing is expensive and at times coaches and assistant coaches do not turn out to be long-term employees.
"We… have no intention of providing housing assistance of the sort that we provide to faculty, which is assistance to purchase a house. But… the Department of Athletics has adopted this program as the next-best thing to help them afford to live in the area.
In answer to another question, he said, "You should understand that rental assistance is simply salary…given a particular name. And the question is whether or not the salary is legitimate, market-justifiable salary, which we always make sure that [it is]…And I think…you need to remember the immense amount of resources the university puts into housing assistance for the faculty. We loaned, at a loss to the university, on the order of $45 million last year. We currently have a third of a billion dollars in money that we have lent to faculty to allow them to purchase houses…this is a massive amount of resources necessarily going into housing assistance to attract the high-quality faculty that we have."
Chair Callan reminded the faculty that this issue would be discussed in detail at a forthcoming meeting of the Faculty Senate.
He thanked the provost.
V. Other Reports
Vice Provost for Graduate Education (SenD#$6031)
Chair Callan: "Today we welcome fellow senator and newly appointed Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Patricia Gumport, to present her report on the activities and programs of the newly created Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
"I should point out something about Patti's report in advance and that is, when she gave a preview of the report to the Senate Steering Committee, we found its content so interesting that it quickly became apparent she would never actually be able to complete her presentation if we were to allow senators to interrupt her with questions and comments. So I'm asking you, in order that you actually get to receive the full report, to restrain yourselves until she has completed the presentation. And then she will be happy to entertain your questions.
"There are several guests in attendance today for this report. Among them are the two associate vice provosts, fellow Senator Mark Horowitz, and Chris Golde."
Vice Provost Gumport thanked Chair Callan and expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to describe the priorities for the new office which opened in January of 2007. She augmented her presentation with a series of slides. Excerpts of her report follow. [It should be noted that a draft of these minutes was edited by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education at the request of the Academic Secretary to insure that her comments, in particular the data illustrated by the slides, were accurately summarized.]
In 2004 President Hennessy convened a Commission on Graduate Education to assess the present status and potential future of graduate education at Stanford.
Vice Provost Gumport commented, "Over a year's worth of extensive institutional self-study [was undertaken]… Hundreds of faculty, students, staff, and alumni weighed in with their views about what is going well and what could be better….It culminated in a report in 2005 [in which] the commission encouraged us to build on the many strengths at Stanford, [including] academic excellence across a broad range of disciplines, the fact that we attract the highest-caliber graduate students and faculty in so many fields, and the fact that we have a very long track record of innovation and active collaboration across departments and schools.
"At the same time the [authors of the report] pushed us to imagine new practices…We could do better in preparing our graduates for interdisciplinary work...and for the new demands of leadership roles. And they encouraged us to expand diversity in our student body and in our faculty."
The report also recommended the creation of a Vice Provost for Graduate Education, VPGE, with a university-wide perspective, someone who would look across the seven schools and represent graduate education at the highest levels of university decision-making, so that meant a cabinet-level position.
The report was clear that it did not wish to recentralize graduate education. There was much emphasis on all that's going well within the present decentralized structure.
The role, then, of the VPGE office is to assist in problem-solving for shared concerns across these units and bring additional resources to support innovation within and across graduate programs.
Vice Provost Gumport continued, "I was especially interested…to serve the institution in this role for several reasons. One is that I've been a faculty member here since 1989. The second is I have [a special] perspective in that I have gotten three graduate degrees from Stanford. And the third is that I study higher education."
The Commission's report, "…called for someone who would wake up and go to sleep thinking about graduate education…They actually found someone, because I was already thinking about higher education, so it was easy to focus on graduate education. To me, it's really fascinating. There are so many very complex organizational and intellectual challenges that are involved in this kind of work. And I love it for all these reasons, for the practical relevance as well as analytically, it's just so interesting, and historically, what we're really doing is redefining what this great institution in our society is doing. So I'm thrilled to be able to serve the institution in this way.
"…We identified three priorities as an initial focus: First and foremost, to advance diversity; second, to support innovation within and across ourgraduate programs; and third, to assist in problem-solving…Today… I'm going to devote most of my time to reporting on diversity, since the Senate has requested an annual report updating trends."
Vice Provost Gumport gave an overview of graduate education at Stanford from 1985-2007. Applications have increased by 58%; the admission rate [reflecting selectivity] has decreased to 13% and the yield rate -- the proportion of those admitted who actually enrolled--increased to 55%. Since 1985 graduate enrollment has increased 23% while undergraduate enrollment has increased only 3%.
There are 65 graduate programs and 18 different distinct degrees [awarded by Stanford]. Enrollment in the masters and PhD degrees programs increased by 28% while professional degree program enrollment (MD and JD) increased less, about 6%.
By school, enrollment in the School of Medicine increased by 62%, and Engineering 31%, the two largest increases. Enrollment in Education is the only one that declined--by 22%.
This year of the total graduate enrollment--masters, professional and doctoral degree students--the largest percentage is in engineering, 38%, and the next largest is in Humanities and Science, 26%.
The Vice Provost devoted most of the remainder of her report to diversity. She noted that Stanford's commitment to diversity is broadly defined, incorporating race, ethnicity, first-generation students, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and national origin--all of the dimensions students bring with different work and life experiences.
Vice Provost Gumport noted, "We believe this enhances the educational environment for all of us."
Within the context of specific academic fields, there are critical needs. One is women, especially in the natural science and engineering fields, and the second is greater ethnic diversity, especially in underrepresented minority (URM) students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. That includes African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students. She pointed out that Stanford monitors trend data on students in these categories.
The "academic pipeline" is the route followed by students after getting their bachelor's degrees to earn a PhD and then get a faculty appointment. Vice Provost Gumport showed a slide with data from a 2007 national study tracking 15 science and engineering fields: bachelor of science degrees granted in 2005, doctorates granted in 2005, and faculty at the top 50 research university departments. The data show a loss of talent along the pipeline for women and for underrepresented minorities. The proportion of white men increased at each level while the proportion of women and URMs in those fields decreased at each level.
Among two comparison groups, ten largest doctoral degree granting institutions and eight private institutions often regarded as peers, Stanford is in the middle of the pack in percentage of URMs and towards the bottom of the list in percentage of women enrolled in all graduate schools combined. Stanford's small proportion of women (38%) is largely explained by the large school of engineering; without engineering graduate enrollment at Stanford is 44% women.
In terms of admission rates and yield rates at Stanford graduate schools, in the last four years they have become nearly identical for men and women. Among individual graduate schools, there is significant variation in graduate enrollment for women. The largest proportion of women graduate students are in Humanities and Sciences (H & S) and Education. Those schools with the lowest percentage of women graduate students include H & S Natural Sciences, and Engineering. The differences across schools are comparable to that of some of our peer institutions.
A summary of Stanford doctorates awarded to women in 2007 shows that Education, Medicine and Humanities had over 50% while the lowest percentages were in Natural Sciences, Business and Engineering.
Vice Provost Gumport turned next to report the trends on underrepresented minorities, (URMs).
Undergraduate enrollment of URM increased 20% from 1995 to 2007. Enrollment of Hispanic students increased 5%, African-American, 32%, and Native American, 72%. In contrast in Graduate enrollment, the direction was down: total URMs -13%; African-American -22%; Hispanic -5%; and Native American -21%
Examination of the admissions and yield data for URMs showed that enrollment varies with the applicant pool, indicating the schools must continue to work hard to get applicant pools that are increasingly diverse. It is also important to note another fact: the yield — the proportion of those we admitted who enrolled— is consistently the lowest for African-American students and highest for Native American and Hispanic students, among all groups.
Vice Provost Gumport commented, "This is what we're very concerned about and this is why [we have] a number of our initiatives [aimed at both] increasing the diversity of the applicant pools and increasing the yield [of URMs]…"
There is variation by school in terms of URMs in the graduate enrollment. Education, Law and Medicine have a large proportion of URMs. On the other hand, science and engineering areas have a lower proportion.
Turning to doctorates awarded, the percentages were 27% for Education, about half that in Humanities and Social Sciences, and single digit percentage for all other schools.
Vice Provost Gumport observed , "What's particularly striking to me about this slide is the small [absolute] numbers….And what it means to me is that every student we work with matters a lot…It also…points out the issue of… [insufficient] critical mass...It's a very sobering picture and it means we need to do a lot—and we are."
Vice Provost Gumport turned to the last part of her comments on diversity--the proposals to expand it, "Diversity Initiatives". She indicated that these are highlights of VPGE initiatives and directed the audience to visit the vpge.stanford.edu website for additional information.
"One set of initiatives has to do with recruitment; the second, retention; and the third, promoting academic careers. I'm just going to mention a few highlights of each category…As I said, they're supplementing much good work that's already going on at the school level."
Recruitment. STANDOUT (STANford Diversity OUTreach, Nov. 2, 2007). By this program diversity officers in the schools brought in 52 prospective graduate students in early November. They were promising undergraduates who visited the campus and talked with many of deans, faculty, graduate students, and staff. G-RADD (Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Day, February 29, 2008). In February, the most promising applicants are invited to campus to meet with deans, faculty, and graduate students, and staff. We want them to learn about our programs and have the opportunity to ask questions and get a sense of what their graduate school experience could be like.
Vice Provost Gumport commented, "The first trial of G-RADD, by the way, was in April. And we found that was way too late. So that's why it was pushed up to late February. Last year, over 100 students visited the campus for G-RADD and it went really well. In addition, we're also continuing to provide travel supplements up to $500 apiece for… promising Ph.D. applicants [whom faculty] want to bring to the campus."
CSRE (Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity) Graduate Fellowships is a program that provides three-year doctoral fellowships in the area of comparative studies of race and ethnicity. These fellowships will be three-year fellowships for incoming doctoral students... And CCSRE-affiliated faculty will nominate students. They consider it a promising recruiting tool.
Vice Provost Gumport commented, "This is a small program. When it's fully ramped up, it will have six Ph.D. fellowships. But we're starting it very quickly [to be part of] this coming admission season."
Retention. The overall objective is to enhance the quality of the educational experience of the students, and also at very critical junctures provide funding where it could be helpful.
Vice Provost Gumport noted, "Three things are going on… One is that…we've been allocating [funds] to student groups and departments to support events and projects… that enhance diversity. Second is dissertation research support …with small grants...We were very surprised and happy to receive 25 proposals right off the bat for students…doing diversity-related dissertations who want help covering research expenses.
"The third program is an experiment…with the School of Engineering and some of the science areas to provide bridge funds for doctoral students who haven't yet connected with a lab…It's very common for Ph.D. students to be in a lab with an advisor working on a funded research project, and sometimes making that connection just takes a little longer. We've set aside a small pot of funds to provide a few quarters of support, matching funds with the school, to help bridge that period."
Promoting academic careers. As Vice Provost Gumport explained, "The Distinguished Alumni Scholars Program--Sally Dickson, associate vice provost for student affairs, came up with this great idea and has hosted it for the past two years. Faculty of color who are alumni return to the campus to work with our graduate students and undergraduates to help mentor them and talk with them about their own academic career trajectories…This went so well in the first two years that we decided to expand it…to involve more scholars and more fields. Lastly, we also have the Walker Seminar Series for science and engineering where faculty talk about similar topics.
"But I'm now ready to announce something even more grand, new, and exciting.
"This is a new fellowship program called DARE [Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence)…[by which] we are addressing the national academic pipeline challenge. [This program will provide] fellowships to doctoral students in the last two years of their program. The aim of the program is to better prepare diverse doctoral students for academic careers and to have them in turn serve as mentors to others. DARE Fellows will be given a set of activities that will prepare them as future faculty. They'll be able to hit the ground running. We designed the program based on research findings… [about] doctoral students and transitions to faculty careers: Women and underrepresented minorities in particular have reported that they value mentoring. They also have reported less confidence in thinking about academic careers, and at the same time are drawn to academic careers because [of the] potential to apply knowledge in more socially meaningful ways.
"DARE is a four-year pilot program that the provost has just approved and funded. We'll be able to [have] three cohorts of 12 fellows each --36 doctoral students in all -- who will be able to go through this program and be prepared as future faculty…A faculty selection committee will review applications…Diversity [will be] as broadly defined as possible.
"The program is aimed at students in the last two years of their Ph.D. program. The aims will be to cultivate skills, confidence, and mentoring networks…There will be additional mentoring by senior faculty—not just the dissertation advisor.
"The third component of the program will be to promote diversity. The students will be funded to do a small project. This could be mentoring undergraduates at Stanford; it could involve going to high schools to talk with students about [seeking] further education in the disciplines of interest; it could be inviting people in their fields to talk about their academic career and what's been helpful to them.
"The final component is the one that I'm actually most excited about and I think it's really distinctive nationally for Stanford to do this in addition to the other program elements: There will be a small number of one-year acting assistant professorships that the DARE fellows will be eligible to compete for in the second year of the program. These will be…in a relevant Stanford department. And I want to work closely with the possible departments once we see who the fellows are to see if this can meet departmental needs in certain areas. And if there's a good match there, then it will enhance the chance of a fellow being selected.
"The key point of the acting assistant professorship is that [it] will be a year where the DARE fellow, as a new faculty member, can begin to design [his or her] own courses, have a teaching experience, have additional mentoring, and have some time to [prepare] additional publications, [to be] better positioned for the academic labor market.
"At the same time, we know that their very existence on campus in these positions will inspire other students, both undergraduates and other graduate students."
Vice Provost Gumport turned her attention to initiatives in two other areas.
Facilitate innovation that involves collaboration across schools.
Vice Provost Gumport set the stage by noting that in the last decade, interdisciplinary activity on campus has increased. She identified a few tangible measures. The number of independent labs at Stanford has doubled under the Dean of Research office. Graduate joint degree programs have increased from 2 in 2003 to 21 this year, with more proposals under consideration. Moreover, about a third of the undergraduates have interdisciplinary majors and report very high levels of satisfaction.
Vice Provost Gumport commented, "One of the biggest components of our interdisciplinary initiatives the president announced last May at the Academic Council meeting, is the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) Program for students in their second or third year of their doctoral program. These will be three-year fellowships for them…to do interdisciplinary research.
"We will begin launching the SIGF program this spring…because the president has provided some startup funds for us…The big-picture goal is to raise $100 million to support 100 SIGFs…about 33 new fellows a year.
"There are three other…kinds of interdisciplinary initiatives I'd like to highlight …One is the Stanford Graduate Summer Institute...[now] going into its third summer. These are one-week interdisciplinary courses that are no cost to students. They're offered at the end of the summer [and] team-taught. They're really going well…we had six this past summer and we're looking to launch some more for next summer…To give you a sense of scale, in the first two years there were 400 students who applied and 200 who actually took part in these [courses].
"We also had more outward-facing courses on campus that we're trying to publicize and encourage. There's a 'Thinking Like a Lawyer' course that was offered fall quarter by faculty in the law school. In Winter quarter… the business school is offering [a course] on interpersonal influence and leadership. [These are examples of] schools that are actively interested in drawing graduate students from beyond their own school.
"The third thing [is] to support more workshops that cultivate the communication and leadership skills of the graduate students…As one example, this past quarter, we supported a workshop called I-RITE. This was a communications skills workshop that enabled students to learn how to talk about their research to nonspecialized audiences… We had about 40 students go through it and I think they did well."
Support within current graduate programs
Vice Provost Gumport turned to another topic: "I want to spend a couple of minutes in closing to talk about some of what we're doing [for] graduate programs themselves…The notion is that we need to invest in the core to maintain our excellence.
"One way that we're doing it is by working with the Committee on Graduate Studies…the Senate committee that makes academic policy at the graduate level. There are a number of issues that C-GS wants to undertake and we're going to be providing data to help. For example, time-to-doctoral degree completion is one thing C-GS is going to tackle this year.
"Second, we're going to convene the faculty directors of graduate studies [on December 10th]. To my knowledge, this hasn't been done university-wide [before]…we're… getting very positive RSVPs not only from the faculty directors of graduate studies, but other people in the department who want to attend [the meeting]…We want to talk about the many good things going on locally, [and] also [provide] an opportunity for people to talk about pressing concerns that are shared across departments…One example is the graduate student funding situation…We can benefit from talking about these challenges…and how people in departments are figuring out how many doctoral students can we afford to admit.
"There's also an exciting new fund that I want to announce. This is what I'm calling 'Strengthening the Core' or SCORE, innovation funds. These will go to departments. Departments can submit proposals for one- to two-year projects to rethink something fundamental in their graduate education program. It could be masters [or doctoral] programs… it could be…rethinking the curriculum requirements, it could be reconceptualizing mentoring from single or dyadic relationships to mentoring networks and making better use of alumni and people outside the university. It could also be rethinking career preparation--how we're doing that for our students…The History Department actually did that on its own.
"We want faculty in departments to think in very bold, ambitious terms…The grants we'll provide are…on the order of $20,000 to $50,000…we think we can do in total about a handful of these in the next year. So we're looking forward to getting proposals…and I'll be happy to talk to anyone regarding their ideas about that.
"At the same time, we're going to be accepting proposals from graduate students in departments for smaller grants…to propose projects that will enhance the intellectual community in their graduate programs.
"The last thing I wanted to mention is tuition shortfalls with a number of grants. The NIH training grants and the NSF fellowships are two grants that have a gap between [the amount] the grant provides for tuition and the actual cost of tuition. The provost, the deans and I and several other folks have been working hard to identify possible sources of funding to help cover this gap…Two sources we've identified will provide some immediate relief. [To cover the tuition gap in] the NIH training grant, we're going to use four and a half million dollars from the Stanford Graduate Fellowships Program fund balance…we'll allocate that over the next five years. For the NSF fellows, the Dudley Chambers bequest is directed to the area of engineering and natural sciences. The provost has committed over the next five years…what we anticipate to be approximately one million dollars payout each year from that gift, and we will use it [to cover] some of the tuition gap for the NSF fellows. We will continue to analyze the situation and look for additional sources of funds.
"So…to close, what I want to convey is that in the last 11 months, we've been working really hard. I have learned a tremendous amount about what's going on in the seven schools…So many of you have been helpful…The more that I learn about what's going on in the schools, the more helpful my office can be in providing assistance and bringing additional resources to address some of the issues that are of concern to you.
"As I think about the big picture of graduate education, the mandate for my office and where we're headed, I was reminded of this lovely little piece I found in the archives that Jane Stanford wrote…What she said in 1904 letter to the Board of Trustees was, 'Let us not be afraid to outgrow old thoughts and ways and dare to think on new lines as to the future work under our care. Let us not be poor copies of other universities. Let us be progressive.'
"I think it's that spirit that we're bringing to this period in graduate education as we try to envision the future and what we can do better at Stanford to build on our current strengths. …I'm really privileged to be able to do that. And I'd be happy to answer any questions about things I mentioned or take any comments."
There was sustained applause.
Chair Callan invited questions from the Senate.
Professor David Spiegel thanked Vice Provost Gumport and directed his question to the acting assistant professor part of the DARE program:
"Typically, an acting assistant professor position means you're holding a position before becoming an assistant professor here. It's not clear to me that that's what you have in mind…I worry about an expectation 'explosion' if this is a different kind of acting position that does not result in joining the faculty."
Vice Provost Gumport responded: I'm glad you mentioned that, David. I wasn't aware of that expectation. We'll need to make that clear. The way we designed the program is that it would be a one-year position. In fact, we imagined our program will be so successful that many of the DARE fellows will already have tenure-line positions by the time they finish the fellowship program."
Professor David Burke also had a question about the DARE program;
"You described it as a competitive program, but you didn't say anything about the criteria for that competition. I spent a number of years supervising programs for underrepresented minorities at SLAC, bringing in graduate students…It's always a difficult thing to look at these things and decide who benefits from it the most or who would be most successful. And those are not always the same thing.
"The person who can oftentimes best express what [he or she] expects to get from the program is the person who needs it the least, whereas the person who is incapable of telling you what [he or she] wants is the one who needs [the program] the most and the one whose skills may benefit from it the most.
"So your statement that you expect to have your DARE fellows all going on to tenure-track positions or faculty positions might lead you to choose those who are performing best at their research and [best able] to express what they need the most and therefore not necessarily getting to your goal of diversification.
"How do you define that competition and how do you perceive making the judgments?"
Vice Provost Gumport responded: "Two responses: One is that the elements of the DARE program are those that we should have for all of our graduate students. And we would like to do that…In fact some of the components of the program will open up more broadly beyond DARE--some of the seminars and workshops that we'll offer. [Second]…in terms of selection, this is where faculty governance really comes into play…I expect that we'll have a very thoughtful faculty committee that will…work hard at identifying these criteria and identify them in the particulars…Of course, we'd like to make the program larger, but this is the scale we felt [with which] we could begin and [at which] we would be most effective."
Professor Burke asked, "Would you see your primary goal [as] improving your numbers of these fellows who achieve faculty position or perhaps working backwards [on] the pipeline and seeing improvement at the next level coming forward into successful departments?"
Vice Provost Gumport replied, "I would say all of the above. We're…hopeful… that, first of all, [many of] the DARE fellows…will go to other institutions. I think if this program is successful, other institutions will emulate [it] and then we'll all begin to be putting more students into the pipeline."
Professor Andrew Fire asked if some of the slides used in the presentation could be made available and was assured by Vice Provost Gumport they would.
Professor Debra Satz began by complimenting Vice Provost Gumport and then said: "You gave a lot of aggregate data [and] some disaggregated data. …Will you be disseminating information about 'best practices'? Because, clearly, people do different things to cultivate the [academic] pipeline and diversity and some people may have more success than others…I don't think there's [now] very much sharing of information--not only across the schools, but even within schools. It would be a great service to know what other people are doing."
Vice Provost Gumport said, "That's a great suggestion. This is one of the reasons we are convening the Faculty Directors of Graduate Studies. Whatever I learn I'm happy to share. We'll have to figure out what's the best mechanism to do that…"
Chair Callan: Thank you very much, Professor Gumport.
There was renewed applause.
VI. Unfinished Business
There was no new business.
Chair Callan's invitation for a motion for adjournment was responded to by a chorus of voices. The motion was moved, seconded and passed, and the Senate was adjourned at 4:30 PM to reconvene in Executive Session in the Law School Lounge.
Rex L. Jamison, M.D.
Academic Secretary to the University