Trustees give site OKs for SLAC science and user support building and campus energy center

Buildings are part of $438 million Stanford Energy System Innovations project.

L.A. Cicero Leslie Hume portrait

Stanford Board of Trustees Chair Leslie Hume

The Stanford University Board of Trustees has given concept and site approval for a new Science and User Support Building at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a $65 million project that will be funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

At its Feb. 6-7 meeting, trustees also gave site approval for a new campus energy center and new electrical substation on the west side of campus. Both buildings are part of the $438 million Stanford Energy System Innovations project, a comprehensive plan designed to meet Stanford's energy needs through 2050.

In other business, trustees delegated authority to sign the implementing agreement for the university's Habitat Conservation Plan to the vice president of Land, Buildings & Real Estate at Stanford. The university created the plan several years ago in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Services. Stanford and the federal agencies are expected to sign the implementing agreement this year.

The board reelected James G. Coulter and Thomas F. Steyer to serve second five-year terms. Coulter and Steyer joined the Board of Trustees in February 2007.

The board also elected Steven A. Denning as its new chair. Denning, who has served as a trustee since 2004, will begin a two-year term in July. He will succeed Leslie P. Hume, who has served on the board for 11½ years, including four years as chair.

In addition, trustees approved tuition increases for the 2012-2013 academic year, including a 3 percent rise in undergraduate tuition, and increases for students in all seven schools, including business, engineering, law and medicine.

The board approved expendable distributions for fiscal year 2012-2013 from endowment funds invested in the Stanford University Merged Pool in the amount of $15.26 per share, compared with $14.13 per share during the current fiscal year.

In an interview Monday (Feb. 13) Hume said the board took a moment to "celebrate and savor" the successful completion of The Stanford Challenge, the five-year campaign that raised $6.2 billion. The board also thanked the leaders of the campaign who sit on the Board of Trustees, including university President John Hennessy; Isaac Stein, MBA '70, JD '72; Steven A. Denning, MBA '78; and Christine U. Hazy, Parent '04, '07, '11. The board also thanked Trustee Jerry Yang, who serves as chair of its Development Committee.

"We had been talking about this campaign – what it meant for Stanford and what it was going to make possible for the university – for some time," Hume said. "We thanked President Hennessy for his vision and leadership. Anytime you have this kind of successful endeavor, which has involved so many parts of the university and so much work, and promises so much good for the future, you want to take a moment to say 'thank you' and reflect on what has been accomplished."

Presentations on entrepreneurship education

During the meeting, trustees attended a panel discussion on entrepreneurship education moderated by Tom Byers, a professor of management science and engineering and the founder and co-director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. The panel featured Peter Reiss, a professor of economics and the co-director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Graduate School of Business; Paul Yock, a professor of medicine and the director of the Stanford Biodesign Program; and alumna Caroline Stokes, MS '11, management science and engineering, who is an associate product marketing manager at Google Inc.

"We talk all the time about entrepreneurship as being a defining element of the Stanford culture," Hume said. "The panel gave us an opportunity to find out more about the programs on campus in which entrepreneurship education is pursued, to highlight what is unique to Stanford, what has worked well, and to talk about some of the possibilities for expanding these programs to other schools and departments."

Presentation on online education

Trustees also attended a panel discussion on online education.

"As you know, this is a field that is moving very quickly and in which there are a lot of developments," Hume said.

"There were three parts to the panel. First, it was an opportunity to find out what had gone on traditionally and historically with online education at Stanford. Second, it was an opportunity to look at the experience with the three online courses that were held last fall at Stanford, and some of the issues those courses have raised, including the economics of online education and intellectual property issues. And third, it was an opportunity to talk about what Stanford's mission has become in the context of online education."

Last year, Hume noted, the board created a Special Committee on Online Education, which is chaired by Trustee Ram Shriram. The special committee acts as an adviser to President Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy.

"It was an interesting and engaging discussion," Hume said. "This will be a subject that returns to the board for discussion often at coming meetings."

Science and User Support Building at SLAC

Trustees gave concept and site approval for a new Science and User Support Building at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

The building, which will replace an outdated facility, will provide SLAC with a world-class research facility for its users, staff and visitors.

Preliminary plans call for the construction of a four-story (maximum) building, with a gross square footage between 47,000 and 70,000 square feet. The building will be energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, and designed to accommodate approximately 90 employees.

Construction is expected to begin in August 2013. The building is expected to open by the end of 2015.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science will fund the project costs, estimated to be $65 million. The federal agency will build the facility on land leased from Stanford. SLAC personnel will manage the project.

SLAC's campus is located on 426 acres of Stanford property, just three miles west of the university campus. SLAC is home to a two-mile linear accelerator – the longest in the world. It is a multipurpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research.

Reducing Stanford's carbon footprint

Trustees gave site approval for a $169 million Central Energy Facility on the west side of the central campus at the corner of Oak and Searsville roads, on a site currently occupied by the temporary golf practice facility. They also gave site approval for a $54 million electrical substation next to the center.

Both buildings are part of the $438 million Stanford Energy System Innovations project, a comprehensive plan designed to meet Stanford's energy needs through 2050. The board gave concept approval to the project last year.

The Stanford Energy System Innovations project is the largest component of Stanford's Energy and Climate Plan. The major components of the plan will return to the board for approval later this year and into 2015.

Board action on other construction projects

Trustees gave project approval for lab renovations at two Porter Drive buildings leased by the Stanford School of Medicine for research programs. The projects are expected to return to the board for construction approval in June.

Finally, the board gave construction approval – the final step in the university's construction approval process – to the Satellite Research Animal Facility and the Stanford Research Computing Facility.