Faculty Senate to meet Thursday

Provost John Etchemendy will present next year's budget plan. Stephen Monismith, chair of the Committee on Research, and Ann Arvin, dean of research, will discuss proposals to implement "trial period" exceptions to Stanford's policy on principal investigator eligibility.


The Faculty Senate will convene Thursday for the third meeting of spring quarter.

Provost John Etchemendy will present the university's Budget Plan 2010/11, including the Consolidated Budget for Operations, which includes all of Stanford's anticipated operating revenues and expenses for next year, and the Capital Budget, which includes next year's expenditures on major construction projects.

The senate also will consider a request to further refine, implement and evaluate two requests for "trial period" exceptions to Stanford's policy on principal investigator eligibility. Under the proposals, Stanford would:

  • Permit the director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to approve principal investigator status for certain senior and distinguished scientists so that they can pursue significant research opportunities outside the Department of Energy; and
  • Extend the existing exception for Career Development Awards in order to permit postdoctoral scholars – in specified circumstances and numbers, and with specified approvals – to submit one proposal for a traditional investigator-initiated research award, such as a research project grant from the National Institutes of Health or a research award from the National Science Foundation.

The senate will hear reports on the topic from Stephen Monismith, chair of the Committee on Research, and a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Ann Arvin, vice provost and dean of research, and a professor of pediatrics and of microbiology and immunology.

Four documents explaining the current policy and the rationale for the proposed exceptions can be found on the online agenda for the May 27 meeting.

In a memorandum to the senate, the Committee on Research emphasized that it is not recommending a change to Stanford's current policy. The memo said the trial period for evaluating potential changes to the policy would not exceed four years.

"By this we mean that those researchers belonging to these trial categories of PI-eligibility may submit proposals at any time during the four-year trial," the May 27 memo said. "During this period, the Committee on Research will report to the Senate via its regular annual reporting as to the progress of these evaluations."

The senate will meet at 3:15 p.m. in Room 180 of the Law School. Discussion is limited to members of the senate, but members of the Stanford community may request to attend the meeting by contacting Assistant Academic Secretary Trish DelPozzo at 723-4992 or delpozzo@stanford.edu.

After the meeting, the senate will meet in an informal executive session in the foyer of Room 180 in the Law School.

Prior to the meeting, from 1:50 to 3 p.m., the senate's steering committee will meet in an administrative session to consider recommendations from the Committee for the Review of Undergraduate Majors to renew honors-nominating authority for the Goldman Honors Program in Environmental Science Technology and Policy; to approve a New Interdisciplinary Honors Program in Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law; and to establish an Honors Program for the Individually Designed Majors in Engineering.

In addition, the steering committee will consider recommendations from the Committee on Graduate Studies to renew degree-nominating authority for the Interdisciplinary Program of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering; the Interdisciplinary Program in International Policy Studies; and the graduate division of the Interdisciplinary Program in Public Policy.