Annual Meeting of the Academic Council
MAY 17, 2007
I. Call to Order
President Hennessy called the meeting to order at 4:32 p.m.
II. Report from the Faculty Senate.
President Hennessy introduced Professor Sheri Sheppard, the Chair of Senate 39. She began by asking for approval of the minutes of the annual Academic Council meeting in 2006, when Professor Eric Roberts was chair of the Senate. These were approved.
She then moved on to discuss the highlights of the Senate activities during the past year in the interval between Academic Council meetings. "The members of the 38th and 39th Senates have been particularly grateful to the President and Provost for the extensive reports that each has given to the Senate at its fortnightly meetings. These have been a major attraction for Senators!
"I want to give special recognition and thanks to the chairs of the Academic Council committees. During the '06-07 year they have been:
Alex Aiken, C-ACIS, Academic Computing
and Information Systems
Philip Lavori, C-GS, Graduate Studies
Doug Brutlag, C-Lib, Libraries
Bernd Girod, C-Res, Research
Howard Zebker, C-RUM, Review
of Undergraduate Majors
Ross Shachter, C-UAFA, Undergraduate
Admissions and Financial Aid
Eric Roberts/Hester Gelber, C-USP,
Undergraduate Standards and Policies
"In the past 12 months, Senates 38 and 39 have conferred more than 4000 degrees, and have heard numerous reports and 13 memorial statements. Among action items were approval for degree granting nominations of numerous IDPs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We approved several joint graduate programs, many of which involved the law school or graduate work in public policy.
"Among the many stimulating reports were those from:
Bob Bowlsby, Athletic Director
Larry Kramer, Dean of the Law School
Jeff Koseff and others responsible for the sustainability initiative
Helen Quinn/Kenji Hakuta on the K-12 initiative
Gail Mahood on demographics of our graduate student populations
Pat Jones on the diversity of our faculty and retention/recruitment of minority and other faculty
An Ethics Panel, including Eammon Callan, Deborah Rhode, Rabbi Patricia Karlan
Michelle Marincovich and Roger Printup on ways that we teach and how our students learn
An executive session on the role of interdisciplinary research at Stanford.
"I close with thanks and a challenge. The thanks are to the senators of Senate 39, for your good questions and active engagement, my fellow steering committee members for your fresh ideas and wise counsel, and the wonderful staff of the Office of the Academic Secretary. The challenge is for Senate 40: Have conversations and debates that continue to question what we in this great University do and how we go about doing it!"
Report from President Hennessy
She then handed the gavel back to President Hennessy who commented on events at Stanford during the past year. These are reported as spoken in the Stanford Report on May 23. Among other items he mentioned
a record-breaking 23,956 applications for undergraduate admission with ~70% acceptance rate
on-going commitment of Stanford to need-blind admission
recognition of faculty for achievements, including
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Andrew Fire (Professor of Pathology and Genetics)for his work done while at the Carnegie Institute on interference RNA
Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Professor Roger Kornberg (Professor of Structural Biology and SLAC) for work on RNA transcription
appointments, including Richard Saller as dean of H&S, Ann Arvin as vice provost and dean of research
Arthur Bienenstock in a new role as special assistant to the President
Patricia Gumport as the vice provost for graduate education
Bob Bowlsby as Director of Athletics.
The President noted the significant progress in recruiting women to the Stanford faculty during the past decade (24.3% compared with 17.8%), but he noted that Stanford shares with peer institutions the difficulties in increasing numbers of racially and ethnically diverse faculty and graduate studies. Helping this latter effort would be Professor Lawrence Bobo who now directs the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, along with a $2 million gift from Jeff and Tricia Raikes, and addition by the Provost of support of up to 10 new faculty and six new graduate fellowships. In addition, Professor Al Camarillo has accepted the position of special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity.
In discussing, with enthusiasm, the Stanford Challenge now underway, he focused upon new programs that the funds already garnered by this campaign will support, including
Arts Initiative - Helen and Peter Bing have provided $50 million to help build a new concert hall at Stanford
Appointment of Kenji Hakuta, Professor of Education, and Helen Quinn, Professor of Physics at SLAC to lead the K-12 initiative. Judy Avery's $10 million gift will help provide loan forgiveness for graduates from our teacher education program who teach in public schools
Jay Precourt's $30 million gift will fund a new effort on energy conservation led by Professor James Sweeney, working in concert with the Woods Institute for the Environment
Alumni Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki have given $50 million to fund building of the Environment and energy Building.
A gift of $7.5 million from Susan Ford Dorsey will support a two-year master's degree program in International Policy Studies.
Alumnus Lorry Lokey gave more than $33 million for a new research facility to support stem cell research, going along with the $26 million received by Stanford faculty from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
He noted with pleasure the return to our faculty from Harvard of Professor Carla Shatz to lead Bio-X, the success of Bioengineering in building faculty and attracting graduate students, and designation of Stanford by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
President Hennessy was pleased to announce creation of a new Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship program to complement the existing Stanford Graduate Fellowships. The new ones will be available to Ph.D. students pursuing interdisciplinary research. Named SIGF, the goal will be to raise funding for 100 of these, and a $25 million anonymous commitment has just been given to the president.
What about the Stanford Challenge, the campaign to raise $4.3 billion? Already, $2.5 billion has been raised. He thanked, with enthusiasm, the alumni, friends, faculty and development staff who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to help reach the goal.
Graduate education and Panel discussion Patricia Gumport is the new vice provost for Graduate Education and will coordinate efforts in this arena. The president pointed out that in the section of U.S. News and World Report's best graduate schools - 2008 that Stanford was the only institution to have all five graduate/professional schools [Business, Law, Engineering, Education, and Medicine] ranked in the top ten. After describing some of the activities in several of these schools, the president went on to introduce the panel that will focus on innovations in graduate education. They were:
Patricia Gumport, Professor of Education, director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, and Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Robert Joss, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Business
Larry Kramer, the Richard E. Lang Professor and Dean of the School of Law.
Dean Joss spoke first. He pointed out the multidisciplinary activities of the GSB, interacting with social studies, mathematics, engineering, political science, religion, and medicine. The primary goal of the GSB is to help students understand organizations, their structure and function. If organizations don't work well, there is a loss of jobs and money. His faculty shapes minds by emphasis on the power of ideas, the power of advocacy. The curriculum is diverse, with much emphasis on global understanding, leadership and community service. Interdisciplinary courses, such as those designed with the medical and engineering schools develop real products with business plans. He formally invited faculty from all over the University to come learn about the GSB programs and find out ways to participate collaboratively.
Dean Kramer spoke next, focusing his remarks along the lines of his presentation to the Faculty Senate on March 8, 2007. The primary goal for law schools is to teach students to "think like lawyers", done with emphasis on problem spotting followed by analytical thinking. He noted that the first dean of the law school in 1901 commented that this process does not take 3 years, and, agreeing with that, Kramer pointed out that during the second and third years students will focus on special problems and be involved in multidisciplinary activities, frequently in other schools. In addition to the JD/MBA program, others will be available, creating a mix of intellectual cultures. He has been able to have acceptance of counting courses for both degrees, enabling the joint degrees to be completed in three years, causing no greater expense for students.
Vice Provost Gumport talked about her first several months on the job and being especially pleased to have Mark Horowitz and Gail Mahood on her staff as associate VPGEs. She admitted to thinking about graduate education while being awake and asleep. With, across the country, 2.5 million enrolled in graduate programs and with 700,000 graduate degrees conferred there is a challenge to anticipate graduate program needs. At Stanford, graduate students are generally happy; 84% would select Stanford again. She is committed to reviewing each program and recognizes that the many resources being invested in graduate education by the University is a defining moment for Stanford.
She and others are very concerned with building diversity in the graduate student population. Recruitment activities will be funded to encourage women, first generation college attendees, underrepresented minorities, and lower socioeconomic groups to come into graduate education here. We must increase flow through the metaphorical pipeline. She emphasized the summer institute program, available without charge to graduate students, the constraints being related to time availability for them.
Discussion There was limited time remaining for questions/discussion, but the President took several. Professor Bravman asked about the potential funding of 4th and 5th year students. He was told that these continuing students will have support. Once again, the importance of increasing diversity among graduate students was expressed. Enthusiasm for the newer concept of "double-counting" courses for joint degrees was noted.
IV. Adjournment The meeting was adjourned by acclaim at 5:40 pm.
Edward D. Harris, Jr., M.D.
Academic Secretary to the University