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John Sanford, News Service (650) 736-2151; e-mail:

Beasley to step down as dean of Humanities and Sciences

Malcolm Beasley has announced that he will step down as dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at the end of the academic year.

"I will have achieved the major things I wanted to do," Beasley said, noting that he took the position in 1998 with an eye toward improving the school's budget and organization.

"When I agreed to take this job on, my goal was to try to understand and to begin to fix the structural problems in [Humanities and Sciences], and by that I mean both organizational and financial aspects," he said.

During his first year as the dean, the school faced a deficit "of substantial measure," he said. "And I think on the basis of that we really began to understand deeply the finances of the school and made some administrative changes to get better control over the budgetary side of things."

A university-wide needs assessment being conducted this year will also help to define the long-term needs of the school, he said.

During Beasley's term as dean, the school has recruited a number of key senior faculty members.

"I have no doubt ... that the school is stronger in terms of the faculty now," he said.

The school also secured a $20 million donation for a planned 85,000-square-foot laboratory to serve the departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

Humanities and Sciences is the largest of Stanford's seven schools. It accounts for about 33 percent of the university's faculty. Roughly 81 percent of bachelor's degrees and about half of the doctoral degrees at the university are awarded in departments or programs the school administers. National Research Council rankings place 74 percent of its departments in the top 10 nationally.

President John Hennessy praised Beasley's efforts as dean.

"Mac has worked tirelessly to take the School of Humanities and Sciences to an even higher level in his two years as dean," Hennessy said. "Moreover, the needs assessment process he and his staff are now engaged in will prepare the school for innovative academic programs and faculty development for years to come. Stanford owes him a great deal of gratitude for his devotion and commitment, and I personally wish him the best as he returns full-time to teaching and research."

Beasley, 60, is the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, a professor of electrical engineering. He earned his bachelor's degree in physics in 1962 from Cornell Univeristy, where he was also a member of the basketball team. He earned his doctoral degree in physics at Cornell in 1968.

Beasley joined Stanford's faculty in 1974. He is a specialist in the properties of matter at very low temperatures. He also is involved in basic and applied research in high-temperature superconductivity and artificially structured materials. He has taught courses in physics, applied physics and engineering.

He won the 1983 Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities & Sciences for a science course he developed for non-science majors, and he was instrumental in establishing the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials and the Stanford Archaeology Center.

Beasley is a member of a superconductivity research team the so-called KGB Group which took its title from the researchers' last initials. The other members are Stanford's Aharon Kapitulnik, a professor of applied physics and physics, and Theodore Geballe, the emeritus Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor of Applied Physics.

In an e-mail sent to faculty at the school announcing his intention to step down as dean, Beasley wrote:

"Through the work of the past two years and the current needs assessment process, I believe we will finally understand the long-standing needs of the school and will be poised for a bright future.

"I look forward to working with you as we complete the needs assessment process, and I look forward even more to returning to the ranks among you."


By John Sanford

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