Stanford trustees plan for the future, bid farewell to one of their own

 At its autumn meeting, the Board of Trustees gave its blessing to a state-of-the-art X-ray science facility and other buildings; discussed online learning; attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Anderson Collection at Stanford; and bid farewell to outgoing trustee Robert Bass.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Rendering of the planned LCLS-II.

This rendering shows the planned LCLS-II, highlighted in yellow, which will be built alongside the existing Linac Coherent Light Source, pictured in gray.

At its first meeting of the academic year, the Stanford University Board of Trustees approved a facility that will keep the United States at the forefront of X-ray science, heard a presentation on online education and held a farewell dinner honoring one of its own: Robert M. Bass, who has served on the board for 23 years.

Trustees also attended a Tuesday afternoon groundbreaking ceremony for the Anderson Collection at Stanford, which will house 121 works by 86 artists that include some of the foremost examples of post-World War II American art.

At its Oct. 8-9 meeting, the Board of Trustees gave concept, site and design approval for the Linac Coherent Light Source II Experimental Complex at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science will pay for the $405 million construction project, which will be managed by SLAC personnel.

Trustees heard a presentation from John Mitchell, whom Stanford recently named its first vice provost for online learning.

"We're in a period of very intense experimentation in online education," said Steven A. Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees, adding that Stanford is currently offering 16 online classes through three platforms: Coursera, Venture Lab and Class2Go.

"Stanford is firmly committed to using the technology to enrich the educational experience we have here on campus and, at the same time, explore other means of providing these kinds of tools around the world," he said.

On the evening of Oct. 8, President John Hennessy and his wife, Andrea, hosted a dinner at Hoover House for Robert M. Bass, who is leaving the Board of Trustees after serving for a total of 23 years, including serving as chair (2000-2004).

Bass, '74 (MBA), joined the Board of Trustees in 1989.

"Bob has been exceptionally generous in terms of his time and his leadership," Denning said. "He has made an enduring and indelible mark on this university. Very few individuals have committed that level of time and energy and leadership to ensuring that Stanford remains one of the very best universities in the world."

Bass is a longstanding member of the board of directors of the Stanford Management Company, which invests and manages Stanford's endowment and other financial assets.

Denning said Bass had shown exceptional devotion and dedication to Stanford. His name can be found on several buildings, including the Bass Center at the Graduate School of Business that houses the library, classrooms and dozens of study rooms, and the Bass Center of Excellence in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases at the Stanford School of Medicine. He also endowed the faculty fellowship program  known as the Bass University Fellows in Undergraduate Education.

Linac Coherent Light Source II Experimental Complex

Trustees gave concept, site and design approval for the Linac Coherent Light Source II Experimental Complex, a facility that will build on the success of the world's most powerful X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), which is located on the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory campus.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, LCLS has been a spectacular success, consistently exceeding goals and expectations. The upgrade will keep the United States at the forefront of X-ray science.

Its highly focused beam arrives in strobe-like pulses just a few millionths of a billionth of a second long. This allows researchers to take crisp pictures of atomic motion and changes in chemical bonds, shedding light on the fundamental processes of chemistry, technology and life itself. The LCLS is open on a competitive basis to researchers around the world, and has proven so popular since its opening in 2009 that only one in four experimental proposals can be accepted.

LCLS-II will add two new X-ray laser beams and room for more new instruments, greatly increasing the number of experiments carried out each year. Its new capabilities will allow scientists to do important research that cannot be done anywhere today, including work in drug development, energy science and advanced materials.

The LCLS-II has two major aspects: the construction of buildings, tunnels and an underground experimental hall to house technical and experimental apparatus; and the fabrication and installation of the accelerator components and scientific instruments to go in those housings.

Construction of the buildings, tunnels and hall is expected to begin in January 2014 and to take about two years. LCLS-II is expected to open to users in September 2019.

Florence Moore Hall Renovation

Among the other planned construction projects on campus, trustees gave concept approval – the first step in the process – to renovating Florence Moore Hall, affectionately known as FloMo, a complex of seven houses – some all-frosh, some four-class – built on a hillside near Lake Lagunita. The residential complex, which was designed by Milton Pflueger, head of California's oldest architectural firm, was built in 1956 and was renovated in 1994 and in 2004.

Under the preliminary plans approved by trustees last week, FloMo's restrooms and shower rooms will be renovated. The four student lounges will be upgraded, including new furnishings, fixtures and finishes, as well as the installation of smart boards and overhead projectors to assist students with educational projects.

The existing roof-level walkways will be removed from the residential buildings for a variety of safety and risk issues, allowing students to move between the residential wings at the common circulation path level – as originally designed.

FloMo's entire kitchen and servery will be renovated to make it more efficient.

The total anticipated cost of the project is $13.15 million.

The project is expected to return to trustees for a combined project and construction approval in December. Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2013 and to be completed in the fall of 2013.

Science and User Support Building at SLAC

Trustees gave design approval to the Science and User Support Building at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The proposed project calls for the demolition of the Panofsky Auditorium and the cafeteria seating area to begin next summer. The new building is expected to be open to users at the end of 2015.

C.J. Huang Building

Trustees also gave design approval to a proposed three-story clinical research building, which will be named the C. J. Huang Building. The name recognizes the donors – C.J. Huang and Ha Lin Yip Huang – who provided a $20 million gift that enabled the project to move ahead. The primary beneficiary of this naming gift is the Asian Liver Center, which will occupy the ground floor of the new building, to be located at 780 Welch Road.

The Asian Liver Center is the first non-profit organization in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian Americans. Founded in 1996, the center uses a three-pronged approach toward fighting hepatitis B through outreach and education, advocacy and research.

The $23.2 million C.J. Huang Building is expected to return to the Board of Trustees for project approval in December and construction approval in February 2013. Demolition of the building that now occupies the site is scheduled to begin in March  2013. It is anticipated that the building will be completed in the summer of 2014.

Windhover Contemplative Center

Finally, trustees gave design approval to the proposed Windhover Contemplative Center, a campus center where people could rest in quiet reflection while viewing the late Stanford Professor Nathan Oliveira's paintings inspired by birds in flight.

"It will be a fabulous space for students, faculty and staff," Denning said. "Maybe even a trustee from time to time."

The estimated cost of the center has risen to $5.3 million since trustees gave the project concept approval earlier this year.

The increase in the project budget to $4.9 million from $4.2 million is primarily due to refinement of the design, the addition of a full security system and the use of rammed earth walls as part of the structural system.

The center's budget also provides for $400,000 in landscaping costs that will be implemented in a separate phase.

Comstock Graduate Housing

Trustees gave design and partial construction approval for the proposed Comstock Graduate Housing complex – a quartet of four-story graduate residences in Escondido Village.

The budget for the graduate housing project has decreased to $110 million from $120 million since it was approved in June, due to detailed estimates for finishes and furniture and a reduction in utilities.

The graduate housing project is expected to return to trustees for project approval in December and construction approval in April 2013. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2014.