Vice Provost Patricia Jones to return to teaching

Thursday's senate meeting focused primarily on faculty issues, including demographics, the percentage of women and minority faculty, and the success of the program to hire scholars whose research focuses on the study of ethnicity and race.

After more than a decade as vice provost of faculty development and diversity, Patricia Jones is stepping down and returning to her full-time faculty position in the Biology Department, Provost John Etchemendy announced at Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting.

He said that Jones, the Dr. Nancy Chang Professor in the Department of Biology, will return to her department at the end of the academic year.

Etchemendy also announced that Karen Cook, the Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor in the Department of Sociology, will succeed Jones, joining his staff in September.

He made the surprise announcements at the end of the meeting – the first senate meeting of spring quarter – after Jones had presented the annual Report on the Faculty and returned to her seat in the Law School auditorium.

"As you know, Pat Jones has served as vice provost for faculty development and diversity for 11 years now," he said.

"During that time, she's institutionalized a set of workshops for department chairs and workshops for faculty. She's championed concerns of women faculty, faculty of color, junior faculty, faculty with childcare needs and those caring for elder parents. She's chaired the diversity cabinet since I created it in 2006 to maintain the focus of the university on building diversity among students, staff and faculty."

Etchemendy said the number of things Jones has accomplished during those years was far more than he could possibly list.

"I feel very lucky to have had Pat through my entire 10 years as provost helping me on these issues," he said. "I would ask you all to thank her."

The senate reacted with extended applause.

Most of the presentations at Thursday's meeting focused on faculty issues:

Jones presented highlights of the annual Report on the Faculty: Professorial Gains, Losses and Composition.

Albert Camarillo, special assistant to the provost for faculty diversity, gave a progress report on the Faculty Development Initiative, a five-year program to hire 10 scholars whose research focuses on the study of ethnicity and race.

Shelley Correll, the chair of Stanford's Panel on Faculty Equity and Quality of Life, and an associate professor of sociology, discussed the Report on the Quality of Life of Stanford Faculty, which was released in January. 

In addition, Professors Harry Elam Jr. and James Campbell, co-chairs of the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford, gave a progress report on the task force, which held its first meetings during winter quarter.

Report on the Faculty: Professorial Gains, Losses and Composition

The 61-page report contains dozens of charts and tables that provide a demographic breakdown of the faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, school and faculty line. Many of the charts and tables contain historical data, allowing readers to compare the makeup of the faculty of 2009-10 with the faculties of one, five, and 10 years ago.

This year's report combines two sections – faculty gains, losses and composition, and the status of women faculty – in a single document. Since the annual survey on factors affecting faculty recruitment and retention was not conducted this year due to budget cuts, there is no section on that topic.

The report provides a snapshot of the faculty in the university's seven schools, including divisions within the Medical School and within the School of Humanities and Sciences, and at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

As of September 2009, Stanford employed 1,908 faculty members, including tenure line (tenured and not tenured), non-tenure line and Medical Center line.

By comparison, Stanford employed 1,873 faculty members in September 2008.

While the university hired 100 faculty members in 2008-09 (similar to recent years, despite reduced numbers of searches last year), Stanford also recorded the departure of 65 people, including two dozen professors who retired.

This year, 1,044 individuals hold tenured faculty positions on the Farm, including 830 men and 214 women.

Women faculty

All told, this year women hold 488 tenured and non-tenured faculty positions – 25.6 percent of the total.

By comparison, women held 469 positions – 25 percent of the total – in 2008-09.

The School of Education reported the highest percentage of female faculty on its roster – 44.4 percent – this year. The Humanities division of the School of Humanities and Sciences had the second highest percentage (35.3 percent), followed by the Law School (34.7 percent). The School of Engineering reported the lowest percentage of women on its roster – 12.7 percent.

Faculty of color

This year, Stanford has 290 faculty members with Asian heritage, about 15 percent of the faculty, roughly the same percentage as 2008.

The Clinical Science division of the School of Medicine reported the highest percentage of Asian faculty on its roster – 21.2 percent – for 2009-10.  The Natural Sciences division of the School of Humanities and Sciences had the second highest percentage of Asian faculty (15.1 percent), followed by the School of Engineering and the Graduate Business School (both with 14.4 percent). 

The Law School reported the lowest percentage of Asian faculty (4 percent) for the current year.

As of Sept. 1, underrepresented minorities – blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans – composed 5.9 percent of the faculty, roughly the same percentage as in 2008, 2004 and 1999.

Stanford's faculty included 113 people from those groups – 49 blacks, 61 Hispanics and 3 Native Americans.

By comparison, there were 109 underrepresented minority faculty members working on the Farm in 2008.

While Stanford hired four blacks and four Hispanics in 2008-09, the university also reported the departures of four individuals within those groups that same year.

The School of Education reported the highest percentage of underrepresented minorities on its roster – 16.7 percent – as of Sept. 1. The Law School had the second highest percentage (12.2 percent), followed by the Humanities division of the School of Humanities and Sciences (8.0 percent).

The Natural Sciences division of Humanities and Sciences, the Basic Sciences division of the Medical School, and SLAC reported the lowest percentages of underrepresented minorities on their rosters – 1.9 percent each – this academic year.

"We're very successful in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, but our progress has been slower than we'd like in the case of diversity, which is really important to the excellence of our teaching, learning and research," Jones told the senate during her Thursday presentation.

"We need to undertake special efforts; the same search practices that we've all been doing for many years aren't going to help us make any progress. And it's really important that individual faculty, as you're out there going to your conferences and talking to your colleagues, proactively think about and identify candidates who  might make terrific faculty colleagues who would add both excellence and diversity."

Faculty Development Initiative

Over the last three years, Stanford has made "significant progress" toward its goal of hiring 10 young and established scholars whose research focuses on the study of ethnicity and race, Professor Albert Camarillo told the senate.

The university has hired six such scholars – in comparative literature, education, English, political science and sociology – since launching the Faculty Development Initiative in September 2007, said Camarillo, who is leading the effort.

He said the appointments will help ensure that Stanford "continues to have a high visibility in the intellectual engagement of the study of race and ethnicity," an expertise it has established through the work of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, considered the preeminent center of its kind in the nation.

Camarillo, the Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in Public Service in the Department of History, attributed the success of the initiative to the commitment the administration, deans and department chairs have made to the program.

"Align all those together and you have success," Camarillo said.

Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford

The task force studying undergraduate education has been holding bi-weekly meetings and weekly lunches, and will hold a retreat each quarter, said co-chair James Campbell, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History.

The 18-member task force, announced in February, is reviewing undergraduate education at Stanford, with a particular focus on general education requirements.

Campbell said the task force, which has been meeting for a quarter, is spending its first two quarters "thinking very broadly about what we imagined our work to be about."

"We hope to appoint a series of subgroups in the coming year that will investigate particular issues that we think may be in line for some reform or some recommendations," he said, adding that the task force hopes to present its final report in the fall of 2011.

Campbell said the task force has been meeting with students every Wednesday night for dinner in gatherings he called "dorm storms."

He said the task force is also investigating what peer institutions are doing.

The full minutes of the April 15 meeting, including the question-and-answer sessions that followed the presentations, will be available on the Faculty Senate website next week.