Faculty Senate minutes - June 12, 2008 meeting
TO THE MEMBERS OF
THE ACADEMIC COUNCIL
Report No. 13
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS, JUNE 12
At its meeting on Thursday, June 12, 2008, the Fortieth Senate of the Academic Council heard reports and took the following actions:
By unanimous voice vote, the Senate conferred baccalaureate degrees on the Spring Quarter candidates listed in SenD#6119, as recommended by the Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy (C-USP).
By unanimous voice vote, the Senate also conferred the various advanced degrees on the Spring Quarter candidates listed in SenD#6120, as recommended by the Committee on Graduate Studies (C-GS).
EDWARD D. HARRIS
Academic Secretary to the University
Minutes, JUNE 12
I. Call to Order
Debra Satz, Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society and member of the Steering Committee, and sitting in for Professor Eamonn Callan who was away, called the Senate to order at 3:20 PM.
II. Approval of Minutes - (SenD#6112)
The minutes of the May 29, 2008, meeting of the Senate were approved.
III. Action Calendar
A. Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policies (C-USP): List of Candidates for Baccalaureate Degrees (SenD#6119)
The list of candidates came moved and seconded by C-USP.
Chair Satz asked the Registrar if there were any changes to the list. The Registrar said the list was correct.
The list of candidates for baccalaureate degrees was approved by unanimous voice vote.
B. Committee on Graduate Studies (C-GS): List of Candidates for Advanced Degrees (SenD#6120)
The list of candidates came moved and seconded by C-GS.
Chair Satz asked the Registrar if there were any changes to the list. The Registrar said the list was correct.
The list of candidates for baccalaureate degrees was approved by unanimous voice vote.
IV. Standing Reports
A. Memorial Resolution
David Perkins (1919 - 2007) SenD#6110
Chair Satz welcomed Professor, Emeritus, Charles Yanofsky, to present a brief memorial statement in honor of his colleague David Perkins, emeritus professor of Biology. The full length Memorial Resolution will be published in next week's Stanford Report.
Dr. David Perkins, emeritus Professor of Biological Science in the School of Humanities and Sciences, was born in 1919, and died on January 2nd, 2007. David was a dedicated, active researcher and teacher, and was performing research with his own hands until the week before he died. He made many outstanding scientific contributions in cytogenetic analyses with the fungus, Neurospora crassa. But he is best known for his success in maintaining the scientific community's continuing interest in Neurospora as a model experimental organism. In 1949 David Perkins replaced George Beadle and Edward Tatum of our Biological Sciences Department, two scientists who shared a Nobel Prize for their outstanding accomplishments at Stanford, in studies with Neurospora. During much of David Perkins career at Stanford, his research was performed in collaboration with his wife, Dr. Dorothy Perkins, also an outstanding Neurospora geneticist. Dot died a few days following David's death. David was well recognized for his many accomplishments. He received several awards, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, in 1981, served as President of the Genetics Society of America, and was an editor of the journal "Genetics".
Madam Chair, on behalf of the committee consisting of myself, and Dr. N. Raju, a former Research Associate of David Perkins, I have the honor to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a Resolution in memory of Drs. David and Dorothy Perkins.
All present stood in silent tribute.
Chair Satz thanked Professor Yanofsky and Dr. Raju.
Fernando Alegria (1918 - 2005) SenD#6111
Chair Satz welcomed Professor Michael Predmore to present a brief memorial statement in honor of his colleague, Fernando Alegria, emeritus professor in the Humanities. The full length Memorial Resolution will be published in next week's Stanford Report.
Fernando Alegría, the Sadie Dernham Patek Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, and a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese since 1967, died at his home in Walnut Creek on October 29, 2005, at the age of 87.
Fernando Alegría was an internationally renowned Chilean poet, novelist, short story writer, literary critic, and author of a classic history of the novel in Latin America. Recipient of many awards and honors, among them the Latin American Literary Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Alegría was appointed by Chilean President Salvador Allende to serve as Chile's cultural attache in Washington D. C. from 1970 to 1973. Years later, upon Chile's return to democracy, he was appointed honorary consul to the United States in 1992.
An inspiring teacher during his many years at Stanford, and mentor to hundreds of literary scholars and authors throughout the Spanish-speaking world, he was a pioneer in the field of Latin American literary studies in the United States. A much esteemed colleague with an abiding engagement with issues of social justice and a gifted speaker with the most "simpatico" sense of humor, he served as Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese on three different occasions.
Madame Chair, I have the honor on behalf of a committee consisting of Professors Jorge Ruffinelli, Terry Karl, Mr. Adan Griego, and myself, to lay before the Senate of the Academic Council a Resolution in memory of the late Fernando Alegría, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Portuguese in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
All present stood in silent tribute.
Chair Satz thanked Professors Predmore, Ruffinelli and Karl, and Curator Griego.
B. Steering Committee
Chair Satz had several announcements:
She extended a special welcome to the newly elected members of next year's Senate and the Academic Council Committee Chairs as well as several members of Board of Trustees who were in attendance and who at the conclusion of today's Senate meeting will join the Senators at the President's Reception at the Faculty Club.
"On Eamonn's [Chair Callan] behalf, I pass on his thanks to the energetic members of this year's Steering Committee--David Stevenson, Vice Chair, Russell Fernald, Al Camarillo, Hazel Markus, and Debra Satz--and Provost Etchemendy and Academic Secretary Rex Jamison.
"Enormous thanks to the Chairs of the seven Academic Council Committees, upon whom the Senate relies so heavily for accomplishing its responsibilities in academic policy formulation, and in oversight of the academic offices that implement academic policies."
Chair Callan enumerated the Chairs for this past year:
Fabian Pease, Committee for Review of Undergraduate Majors
Phil Lavori, Committee on Graduate Studies also a Senator
Hester Gelber, Committee on Undergraduate Standards & Policy
Steve Monismith, Committee on Research
Doug Brutlag, Committee on Libraries
Serge Plotkin, Committee on Academic Computing & Information Systems
Paul Switzer, Committee on Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid
She also thanked the hard working staff persons of the committees.
Chair Satz continued, "Also, the Senate very much appreciates the work of all members of Committee on Committees during this year—thank you for facilitating University governance by identifying the right faculty colleagues to participate in the many different standing and ad hoc committees at Stanford.
"And a special thank you to our new Academic Secretary, Rex Jamison, Trish Del Pozzo, Assistant Academic Secretary and Priscilla Johnson, assistant to Trish Del Pozzo, and [last but not least] Laura Brewer, the Senate stenographer, who just remarked that she has been stenographer through 15 Chairs. Chairs come and go, but the stenographer goes on."
Chair Satz concluded by noting that last year's Senate Chair, Professor Sheri Sheppard, introduced what she called a "minute paper", a brief questionnaire designed to get quick feedback about the Senate. She relayed the request of Chair Callan that the Senators complete and return the minute paper.
C. Committee on Committees
In response to Chair Satz's invitation, Gordon Chang, Chair of CoC, said he had no report.
D. President's and Provost's Report
Chair Satz invited President Hennessy to comment.
President Hennessy thanked the Chair and said, "I want to give a brief update on our data loss…I'm sure you all saw the e-mail that went out on Friday. This incident occurred during the installation of an update to the PeopleSoft system [during which] the entire database is copied to a backup machine...By some method yet to be determined, the database was accidentally, apparently, copied also…to somebody's laptop machine. And unbeknownst to that individual, when that laptop machine was lost…a copy of the personnel database was included on the machine.
"We discovered when we went to…replace the contents of the laptop from the standard backup files that, in fact, the database was contained [in those files].
"Within 24 hours after discovering that loss, we sent out the [email] message [reporting the loss]. So far, we know of no reported attempts to access or misuse anybody's credit record. But we have engaged a service that will provide ongoing monitoring of people's credit records, should they want to sign up for that service. We're hoping that, as in most cases, what's actually happened is that the…disk has already been wiped out and the laptop has already [been] sent through various nefarious channels to be resold as a used but clean PC.
"Needless to say, I've asked Randy Livingston [Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer] to put together a group of individuals to examine the standard procedures and how such a serious compromise of data could occur, one that is clearly outside of explicitly stated policies of the university…We'll be investigating that in the time to come. But, hopefully, we've at least covered our initial bases and will continue to monitor the situation as we move forward.
"I'll be happy to answer any questions. And that's my report."
Chair Satz opened the floor for questions."
Professor Philippe Buc commented, "Doesn't it seem really bizarre that somebody's getting [this] probably massive [amount of] data onto his hard disk and doesn't know about it?"
President Hennessy answered, "Yes, except when you think about it, 72,000 personnel records are a fairly small amount of data--probably no more than [the equivalent bytes required by] a few minutes of video. And that [amount of data] easily fits on our disks these days. In an era where you have 80-gigabyte hard drives, you can map a lot of data.
"And this individual happened to be working from home at the time, using a system we have which basically allows him to log onto the server. What appears to have happened is that the drive [of the PC] was mapped to the hard drive of the server. And that's how the data ended up on the PC.
"But we need to…improve procedures so that there will be no possibility of this [event happening] in the future."
Dean Philip Pizzo reminded the President of other similar incidents. "There have been some, as you know, very public examples where laptops have been lost containing patient-sensitive data, most notably, at the VA in a couple of settings, and then more recently at the NIH. And those [incidents] are leading to fairly significant stringencies in terms of how information is used. At the VA, the pendulum has swung all the way to an extreme intolerance to any intrusion that [is almost a] firewall [and which creates its own set of difficulties]. Hopefully, we'll not go in those directions. I'm sure that your intent, in the committee that Randy is leading, is to evaluate procedures that we'll all have to pay attention to.
The dean continued, "I think, as you know better than probably any of us, as computers become smaller and more portable and most of us switch to laptops as compared to other types of computers, and…as the iPhone becomes more powerful, the potential for loss is going to grow exponentially. I think these are things that we're going to have to, obviously, pay a lot of attention to."
President Hennessy agreed. "…As you say, computers are more powerful. There's a lot more information that can be quickly secured…We have been focused much more, actually, on attempts to break into the systems…We thought that was our primary risk exposure, rather than an internal compromise of security. So it's a reminder to us that we have to pay attention to both.
"By the way…this laptop was stolen from a car parked on campus. We've had a rash of break-ins of cars on campus, recently, parked not in the center, but not very far away from the center of campus. So if you choose to park your car on campus, I would advise against leaving a briefcase or laptop [in open view]. In all these cases [as in the current instance], they involved peoplebreaking the window, grabbing a briefcase out of the car, and [getting away]. And it happened so quickly that there's little opportunity to catch individuals. So I advise you, get it out of sight, put it in a trunk, somewhere where it can't be seen."
Professor David Spiegel asked if the service that the university has retained is going to be scanning for evidence of identity theft.
President Hennessy responded, "They will ask you to do it. You can choose to lock your credit information access…The way these systems work is they…lock your credit database. But then [for] anything which might require a credit request, you have to explicitly unlock [your data base]…for example, if you change your phone service, your cell service, add cable, change your cable TV service, any of these things.
"So that is an alternative. And some people do that as a security measure to prevent identity theft…But it has the extra burden of having to unlock your credit report periodically."
Professor Mark Applebaum commented, "A few of my colleagues and I wanted to [express our] appreciation for the alacrity and transparency with which this was reported to us…I just wanted to thank you and Randy Livingston, despite this very difficult situation, for that straightforwardness and the quickness with reporting."
President Hennessy replied, "Well, I think the staff played a [role in the] decision…to do this quickly. And I think, happily, the staff were willing to come in and figure out a way to do it quickly so that we could respond to e-mails. Of course, what was fascinating was when we sent out the mass e-mail, most of the responses that came back were bounces because the e-mail addresses were out of date!"
President Hennessy continued, "The second largest number of responses asked whether these were "phishing attacks" of people trying to get you to log-in someplace. So at least we can say that many of the members of our community are alert to these things being a fraud. So there's some good news."
Chair Satz thanked the president.
Chair Satz invited the Provost to present his report.
Provost Etchemendy first commented, "We should have put at the top of that e-mail, 'This is not a fraud.'"
Then he noted, "We have some visitors from the Board of Trustees, and among them is Burt McMurtry, who at 12:00 o'clock today adjourned his last trustee meeting as Chair of the Board of Trustees. I first met Burt about nine or ten years ago…I was a faculty member on the presidential search committee. And that was actually the first time I had any substantial contact with any member of our Board of Trustees. I came away just blown away by what a wonderful board we have and how supportive, thoughtful, sensitive--academically sensitive--our trustees are. I think this comes from many, many years of wonderful leadership by a series of Chairs of the Board of Trustees. And Burt McMurtry, has continued that tradition. Burt was an incredible contributor to the search committee. Just the fact that the search committee was half faculty and half board members is itself very unusual, if you know how most universities run.
"And Burt has been a wonderful chair, and I think we all owe him a lot of thanks. We also owe Leslie Hume, who's sitting next to Burt, thanks, in anticipation of her becoming the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Leslie is the second woman to lead the Board of Trustees of Stanford, the first having been Jane Stanford [1828-1905, who led the Board from 1893-1895]. So not only has she to fill Burt McMurtry's shoes; she has to fill Jane Stanford's shoes. We have high expectations.
"Burt, thank you. And, Leslie, thank you."
[The applause was sustained for quite a while.]
There being no questions, Chair Satz thanked the provost.
V. Other Reports
A. Emeriti Council report to Senate (SenD#6117)
Chair Satz welcomed Professor, Emeritus, David Abernethy, this year's Chair of the Emeriti Council, now completing its fourth year, to present the annual emeriti report.
Professor Abernethy introduced his report by saying, "Our students are told when they graduate that there is, indeed, life after Stanford. The same can certainly be said of a large and growing number of people who retire from this institution after years--in some cases--entire careers, serving Stanford.
"By the latest count, there are over 530 faculty emeriti and about 180 staff emeriti-- that's a portion of the staff who have performed special administrative duties--and over 150 spouses of deceased emeriti.
"It's striking how many--roughly 90 percent of this sum total--continue to live on campus and in neighboring communities. As of a few years ago, about a third of campus housing was, in fact, occupied by emeriti or the spouses of emeriti. I assume that that percentage has only grown. So this is a 'residential university' in a double sense--for our students, and for a large number of former as well as current employees--who make Stanford, quite literally, their home."
The following figures were contained in his report.
Faculty members taking retirement:
2007-08 27 (current estimate)
Professor Abernethy commented, "If all goes according to plan, may you, too, join this club. We are happy to welcome you."
Professor Abernethy briefly summarized the history of the Council. It was the brainchild of a former Provost, Professor of Human Biology and Psychology, Emeritus, Al Hastorf, and Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, Jim Mark. The Faculty Senate chaired by Hank Greely in 2003 established the emeriti council, the idea being that one of the members of this council would remember emeriti interests and perspectives and [serve as a member of the Senate] on a nonvoting basis.
"Tony Siegman [McMurtry Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus] has represented us this year, and Saul Rosenberg [D'Ambrogio Professor in the School of Medicine, Emeritus], who is in the back of the room, will be representing us next year.
Professor Abernethy expressed his appreciation to the provost for financial support and Vice Provost for Faculty Development Pat Jones and Pam Moore, Administrative Associate for administrative support.
He summarized activities of the Council over the last year.
Quarterly Lecture Series
"Our principal activity is to sponsor a series of lectures, one per quarter, at which we ask distinguished emeriti to reflect on their lives and professional career. This year, we heard some quite riveting talks by Sidney Drell [Professor at SLAC, Emeritus], George Shultz [Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institute and Jack Steele Parker Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business, Emeritus] and Luigi Cavalli-Sforza [Professor of Genetics, Emeritus]…They talked about whatever they thought we would like to hear about who they were and who they have become.
"The average attendance of these sessions is about 170. We publicize them only for emeriti. Thanks to Susan Schofield [Academic secretary to the University, Emeritus] and the Stanford Historical Society, of which she has been president, funds were made available to video record Professor Cavalli-Sforza's talk. We hope to make that available on Stanford iTunes and…to make future talks available on iTunes to others…"
Informal Discussion on Topics of Interest to Emeriti
These are informal meetings to talk with selected members of university administration about matters of interest, for example, issues emeriti face as they try to make sense of the arcane and complex medical benefits system, including Medicare. A meeting was held with members of the benefits office to see if the office could provide assistance to navigate that system. Professor Abernethy was pleased to announce that the benefits office, as of September, will be enabling emeriti to call in to get some counseling over the phone on some of these questions. And as of 2009 and 10, there will be additional funds for the benefits office to provide [guidance] in person, as well as over the phone.
A meeting with held with members of the university library and information technology services to discuss ways in which retired people could hear more about and get access to library resources and IT resources that are made routinely available.
Professor Abernethy noted, "We met with Laura Carstensen, Professor of Psychology, who is director of the new Stanford Center on Longevity. [There is an] obvious reason why we're interested in this. But we thought there was some mutual benefit. We could ourselves be research subjects, with all these years asking other people questions, why couldn't people ask questions of us, treat us as those subjects? And we could benefit by being part of the programmatic activities the center carries out."
Other Activities of the Council
Elizabeth Bernhardt [Professor of German Studies and Dean of the South Row], invited several emeriti faculty to have dinner with students in row houses. Professor Abernethy commented, "That was a delightful event for those of us who participated. I think we can see next year, many more opportunities to have the resident faculty in dorms invite emeriti to come and talk about their lives, their careers, [and] current events that might be of interest. The benefit, again, is mutual. We will benefit simply by being around young people. It's just an incredibly rejuvenating experience…At the same time we think we can help them in talking about our careers and providing career counsel."
"One thing that comes out of these lectures by emeriti is that a life is an incredibly interesting thing. To ask somebody, 'How can you get started in your field? Why did you go into physics? Why did you go into English literature? Why did you go into French? Why did you go into genetics? What event, planned or often random, led you off in a particular path?' [are] really interesting questions. There's no reason why that kind of question can't be asked of people who are full-time employees of the university, as you might reflect…on your own lives and careers…What are the main questions you've asked during your career? What, in language available to a lay audience, have been your answers to those questions? How has your field evolved over the years? How do you see it moving forward?
"All of these questions are ones which don't have to be saved until one retires. They can be asked at any given point, certainly for people who are in mid-career. And what I would suggest is that you might want to consider other ways, other venues within the university where people can be encouraged to reflect on their own lives, their career paths. You just will not hear a pin drop when this discussion takes place. We really think it's an idea whose time has come and can be designated elsewhere."
Professor Abernethy concluded, "Finally…we think there are a variety of ways in which emeriti can be of use to the university, as chairs of doctoral oral committees, as lecturers invited to lecture on a particular topic in existing courses, as members of university committees, and the like.
"In general, we think it is not a good idea for us to invite ourselves to serve in these ways, because we might be turned down for a variety of good reasons, and it doesn't feel good to be turned down. On the other hand, we think it's up to you, as chairs of departments, as chairs of oral committees, as university administrators, to invite us to serve. That reflects the due diligence you've done on us, which is entirely appropriate, and it also, frankly, feels good to be invited to serve in interesting and challenging ways the university which we have, in fact, served for a long time.
"So those are two suggestions--that you help the rest of us by reflecting on your own fascinating lives, and that you invite us, as is appropriate, to help the university in its ongoing work.
Chair Satz opened the floor for questions.
Professor Andrew Fire asked if there is a list of the emeritus faculty who are in residence for such events.
Professor Abernethy replied, "There is a list. There are privacy concerns whether that list should be made generally available. It's something…we can talk about with emeriti. We might, for example, ask anybody if they have a concern. And if they do, then their names could be kept off the list.
Chair Satz thanked Professor Abernethy.
B. Report from the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions (SenD#6116)
Chair Satz invited Richard Shaw, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, to present his report. She also welcomed several members from his office and several members of the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid who were in attendance.
With the aid of slides, copies of which were distributed in advance, Dean Shaw began his report by thanking Chair Satz and noting that it had been two years since he last addressed the Senate. He outlined the topics he intended to cover.
Outreach objectives and results
Class of 2012
Applicant Evaluation including the Reading Process and Committee Structure
Plans for 2008-2009
Outreach objectives and results
Dean Shaw noted, "Over these last three years we have increased significantly outreach initiatives…All 50 states have been touched by our admissions operation every year. That includes large-scale outreach presentations and visiting of many, many high schools. We talk to large, competitive student audiences and we have developed initiatives that reach broadly diverse and first-generation populations in the nation.
"We've traveled not only in this country, [in all seasons including summer] but we've also traveled in Europe and the Middle East, East and South Asia, Central and South America, Canada, and Mexico. We're trying to establish an international reach for Stanford and get the word out about what an extraordinary place this is for undergraduates.
"We've also developed our programs as it relates to key constituents. We have developed a…program called OVAL, the Outreach Volunteer Alumni Link. We…already have almost 2,000 alumni who have signed up to be a part [of OVAL], with a target of 5,000 to 6,000...It's an effort to have people in every community in the world representing Stanford that they know and love.
"We've also developed strong communications with every academic department on this campus…this year. We've established liaisons with individuals within those departments. That's resulted in spectacular response from the academic faculty in terms of the many programs we are engaged in. We will continue to develop [these] relationships with the faculty and also get your input about the work we do and your perception of the classes we admit to the institution.
"We're also very active with nonprofit organizations around the country. Over 400 of them work often with prospective students not in the high schools, but supplemental to the high school experience, often with first-generation students or students from environments where there [isn't] good counseling in their high schools.
"We established last year a national teacher recognition program in which teachers are nominated by the incoming class. We review those nominations, acknowledge how important they were…to the students that are coming to Stanford and we send them an acknowledgment signed by President Hennessy.
"We have developed a newsletter that reaches out to secondary schools around the country, called 'The Dish.'"
Dean Shaw showed a slide summarizing the out reach activities of his office since Labor Day 2007:
200 Joint-travel receptions
65 High school guidance counselor breakfasts
30 Regional information Sessions
450 High school visits
63 Visits with community-based organizations
100 College fairs and workshops
Figure 1 Trends in Freshman Admission
Legend. Apps = applications; Matrics = matriculated; Yield = percent of those offered admission who accept the offer. *As of May 27, 2008.
Dean Shaw commented that Stanford is becoming more competitive as an institution. "The applications are going up. We also…have been able to accomplish a stronger yield. This year, we have had extraordinary success in admitting an extraordinarily diverse student body from all walks of life, and seeing at the moment [this year] around a 72 percent yield. This is one of the highest yields in the nation. And the progression suggests that we must be doing something right in terms of attracting students to the institution.
"We have a program called 'Single Choice Early Action' [in which the applicant requests an early notification]. We've...had it over the last four years...Several institutions that we compete with -- Princeton, Harvard -- eliminated their early programs. This slide gives a reflection of students that we admit through those programs, the number of applicants, the admit rate. [The slide showed that there are about 4,500 applicants for early decision each year, that the admission rate ranged from 18.3% four years ago to 16.2% this year, and that the yield rate varied from 87.6% four years ago to 84.7% this year.] "These are kids that apply by November 1st and then are notified mid-December. You can see that for the class of 2008, the yield rate went down ever so slightly. But we were really not significantly impacted by these other institutions… [going] to a one-cycle [admission] program.
"This [early admission] is followed by regular review. The vast majority of applicants are regular applicants, by January 1st. [The slide showed that of the 20,747 applicants in 2008, the admission rate was 8.0% and the yield rate was 63.7%.]
"The yield rate has gone up 5.7 percent [from last year] in the regular applicant group. That is absolutely unbelievable in an environment that nobody can predict. Again, [it's a] a reflection of the amazing opportunities that students see here. We are very, very pleased with the outcome."
Dean Shaw reviewed the last 11 years of applicant trends. "In the class of 2012, 51.2 percent of the enrolling students are men, 48.8 percent women. Median testing values [800 is the perfect score], 720 verbal, 730 math, 720 writing, stands fairly common with previous years. The American College Test composite score [36 is the perfect score] was 32. 92 percent of the enrolling students are in the top ten percent of their graduating class…Greater than 95 percent have high school grade point averages of 3.6 or higher. 58.9% are from public high schools and 31.8% from private schools. Another 9 percent are from international schools all over the world. A very [few], 0.2%, are home-schooled."
Class of 2012
Demographics and Intended Major
All 50 states and 61 countries represented
Natural and Earth Science 20.6%
Social Science 13.1%
Dean Shaw commented, "The subcommittee had great interest in the term 'pre-professional'. Those are students that have already designated pre-med, pre-law, i.e., they have, at 17 years old, determined what they're going to do the rest of their lives. Hopefully, you will change their minds and show them all the different possibilities after they arrive on campus.
"The 'undeclared' number has gone down and has been going down nationally. Students believe they need…to designate what they're going to do. We know that many will change their mind."
In terms of geographic distribution a slide illustrated the home state of the applicants by region over the last 3 years. California as a source of applicants declined from 41 to 35%. All of the other regions were less than 10%, except for the South, steady at 14-15%, and mid-Atlantic, up from 10.4% to 11.9%.
"The major increases are in the mid-Atlantic states and the mountain states, with a
strong showing for two years in the South. And in the last two years, for international students…around nine percent international--we're very pleased with that.
"My own opinion is--this is an international university, and we are working very hard to attract the best and the brightest from all around the world. We feel we're having some major success. We certainly are seeing better yield rates in other parts of the country, where over four years ago, the yield rates were lower. This is good news and we have great geographic diversity.
"I am sharing with you cross admissions comparisons for the Class of 2011 where data are complete. This represents other colleges and universities who we compete with for admitted students. So you can see that Cal is has the largest number of admits followed by other campuses of U.C. system Then you can see Harvard, Yale, and, interestingly, on this chart, USC, then MIT, and Princeton a little bit farther down. But these are institutions that students were admitted to last year's class."
Dean Shaw then drew some comparisons with other universities in the US.
Figure 2. Top Colleges Attended by Non-Enrolling Students
The X axis is the percent of the applicants offered admission to Stanford who enrolled in another institution. The data are from last year for the Class of 2011. For example, if the number of applicants offered admission to Stanford who chose to go elsewhere was approximately 700, 19% (133 in all) chose to attend Yale (in the Class of 2011).
"Last year Harvard took 27 percent of those that didn't enroll [at Stanford], Yale 19 percent, MIT, 15 percent, and Princeton 7 percent…These are consistently our top competitors."
Then Dean Shaw showed a table for this year's group. The percent of non-enrolling students choosing Harvard remained at 27%, rose to 18.2% for Princeton, but dropped to 12.5% for Yale and 11% for MIT.
Said Dean Shaw, "This is not official yet, but I think it's important. Remember that Harvard and Princeton eliminated their early [admissions] programs. So we're seeing more overlap [now] with Princeton. Harvard is still first, [now] followed by Princeton [which jumped up two places over Yale and MIT]. Yale, then, is next. I don't know why I take some joy in the fact that now it's 80 (going to Yale) vs. 80 (going to Stanford). That's substantially changed over the last couple of years. We're making real headway in terms of our competition with the best institutions in the world."
Applicant Evaluation including the Reading Process and Committee Structure
"We implemented a committee process this year. It's a much more democratic process…Our staff read the applicant files, and code many characteristics in the process …We had over 25,000 applicants. We spend a lot of time focusing on the academic qualities of their classrooms and the rigor of their courses. 'Intellectual vitality' is an important characteristic that we look for.
"Our staff become very familiar with the territory they represent [consisting of] specific states and specific high school areas…We look at files and candidates in direct concert with that which has been determined as [important according to the Senate] over the years. We take into account their essays, answers to short questions, extracurricular accomplishments, engagement in research at the secondary level, teacher recommendations and so forth.
"For new staff members, their [reviews of an application] are always read by a second staff member. For [reviews from] continuing and more [seasoned] staff, if a student is [deemed] competitive, that application goes to a second reader as well. At the end of the reading process, the [staff members] have summarized the candidacies of the [applicants] and the [process now proceeds] to a committee, [chaired by a] senior member of the staff, perhaps myself, where they represent the candidates they believe are the most competitive for a position in the class.
"All applicants for the institution come through that committee room…We see lots…of accrued data about those candidates. Then the advocate, the admissions officer, represents that candidate to the committee, and we take a vote. So it's a democratic process."
Dean Shaw explained that for more difficult cases where it's uncertain whether a subcommittee is able to refer an applicant to the larger committee, the large committee than will consider that applicant.
The committee process is "…something I've been doing for a number of years. I find it to be an excellent way to go about the final evaluation of the candidates. It has checks and balances. And the staff is adapted to it very well."
Plans for 2008-2009
New Web site
New Visitor Center
Pilot Interview Program in six cities (Portland, Denver, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia and London
Summer academy 2009
Ongoing research from the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid (C-UAFA) focused on admissions criteria, student outcomes and faculty input
Cooperation with the WASC accreditation process, particularly surveys of the enrolling class
Dean Shaw turned to plans for the coming year. "We have brand new print publications due in July. They're stunning. I'm quite proud of them. I think you will be, too. We will see that Senate receives copies of these.
"We are developing a new Web site in concert with the university's Web site that also will be available in July, much more navigatable…in concert with what young prospective 17-year-olds know.
"We have planned a new visitor center, which will be [housed in what is now] the Track House Store…That's scheduled to open in Early winter 2009.
"We are implementing a pilot interview program with oversight from our academic advisory group in six cities.
"We are also involved in faculty surveys with C-UAFA. We will be identifying academic outcomes of students admitted to Stanford. And we'll be cooperating with WASC [Western Association of Schools and Colleges] team, starting with a survey of enrolling students in July."
Dean Shaw concluded his presentation by commenting on the new financial aid plan announced earlier this year by the provost. "That had tremendous influence on our ability to [obtain the high] yield of an extraordinary class—that additional $15 million in the budget didn't hurt us at all. The opportunity for a [son or daughter of a] family [with an income] of $100,000 or less to be able to come to the university tuition-free…or [with an income] under $60,000, tuition and room and board free contributed to our ability to have 17.5% of our incoming class to be 'first generation' [meaning a child of parents who had not attended college] this year is pretty extraordinary.
"We're very proud in so many ways of all of these things coming together and presenting you, the faculty, with the class of 2012.
"And that concludes my comments."
Chair Satz thanked Dean Shaw and opened the floor for questions.
Professor Hank Greely commented, "I saw one trend that worried me a little. It looked like there's been a fairly significant decline in the percentage of our entering class coming from public high schools…from about 65 percent to about 58 percent. Thoughts about that? Explanations?"
Dean Shaw replied, "The answer is that when we read and evaluate, and advocate for these students…we do the best job possible to make the selections. We don't drive it towards a certain number [from a public or private school]. I think we'll see that number [of students from public schools] fluctuate. But it did go down this year, and…you nailed one statistic that I thought would be asked about. I think the jury is out. We'll have to see how you feel about the class. And on the other hand, we also have more first-generation, and first- and second-income quartile [referring to family income levels] kids than we probably had in many years. So there's a balance here, I think."
Professor Greely asked, "Are the first-generation kids and lower-income quartile kids coming more from private schools now than they used to?"
Dean Shaw replied, "Many do. The reason for that is there are many nonprofit programs in the country, like one that's pretty well known, 'Prep for Prep', that take kids from lower-income backgrounds and give them full 'rides' in the private schools. They are extraordinarily good candidates. The [schools] prepare them well and they may very well be in that statistic [coming from private schools]. But…we want to be cautious about that being the only reason…We'll watch this very closely, because, obviously, we want to serve public high schools."
Professor Mark Zoback commented, "You seem to express some satisfaction about the number of international students going up slightly. And I agree, I think that's a good trend. Can you say more about that, what the future is likely to hold, what barriers might exist to increasing the number of international students in the undergraduate class?"
Dean Shaw responded, "Well, one of the challenges that we have -- and certainly the president would concur -- is that we are still 'need-aware' for international students, not yet 'need-blind', which is a very expensive program. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to build an endowment. It worries me a little that the diversity of the international pool still has 80 percent whose families have the ability to pay [all expenses].
"We compete with Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT. All four of those schools are now need-blind [in considering applicants from other countries]. It is, I think, an objective in the future for Stanford. We have put our resources in this new financial aid program that is focused at domestic students. [Nevertheless] our yield among international [applicants] has been amazing this year. We feel very good about [the success we have had in] going out and meeting students in other countries and trying to attract their attention...But…it's an institutional commitment to have a strong presence of undergraduate international students here. The challenge for us will be…to have a process for the world that's completely need-blind."
Professor David Spiegel asked, "Dean Shaw, I wonder if you could expand on…the topic of academic outcomes and evaluation. You talked about the percentage that responded positively to Stanford when they're admitted as to 'immediate outcome'. But as you engage in initiatives that may change the characteristics of the class, it would be helpful to know how they do once they get here. Can you tell us how you'll evaluate that?"
Dean Shaw replied, "That's actually going to be a focus of the Senate subcommittee [C-UAFA] in the years to come…We'll learn a great deal with the WASC accreditation process, because [WASC is] looking at outcomes over a four-year period, and [will] know the characteristics of students as they come in.
"I think it's also been a significant discussion item for the faculty who represent you on [C-UAFA]. They are interested in seeing how students fare…in their experience both in the freshman year, and then beyond.
"We're beginning, also…to solicit input from you. We're going to do more of that. We sent out a short survey this spring many of you may have completed. It gives us your opinions."
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) John Bravman has committed to
C-UAFA that his office is going to host dinners to get together to talk about the perception of faculty about undergraduates that they teach. Said VPUE Bravman, "Many have said they would be interested in having those conversations. We have to measure [the results] quantitatively and engage in research so we can really see what the predictors are."
Professor Jerry Harris asked, "Could you say a bit more about the ethnic and racial mix of this fall's class and how this compares to peer colleges and universities?"
Dean Shaw described the breakdown among students from under represented minorities and commented, "This is an amazingly diverse and representative class of the country and the world in which we live, and we've always been out ahead of the curve in this. We will continue to work towards reaching out to diverse populations and first-generation populations…This is part of the national dialogue, that we need to serve the whole nation…We've actually seen some pretty substantial increases in yield among these populations."
Chair Satz, in ending the discussion, said, "I'd like to thank Dean Shaw and his committee for all the work that they've put into this effort and for giving a very interesting, compelling report to the Senate."
VI. Unfinished Business
There was no unfinished business.
VII. New Business
There was no new business.
The motion to adjourn this last meeting of the 40th Senate was moved, seconded and approved. The Senate adjourned at 4:30 PM.
Rex L. Jamison, M.D.
Academic Secretary to the University