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James Robinson, News Service (650) 723-5675;

Hennessy holds forum on university future Thursday

Faculty, staff and students are invited to join President John Hennessy and members of the Academic Council for "Taking Stock: Five Continuing Successes and Five Challenges for the Future," a presentation and panel discussion scheduled for Thursday, March 8, at 4:15 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

The discussion, which also will feature five members of the faculty, is open to the entire Stanford community.

The presentation and panel discussion is designed to celebrate recent successes while beginning a campus-wide dialogue about challenges that affect the university's successful pursuit of its mission.

In a short address, Hennessy will first review what he considers to be five continuing successes of the university, including:

  • improvements in undergraduate education;
  • the strength of faculty and staff and notable recent appointments;
  • cooperation between the university and the Stanford Alumni Association, as evidenced in the construction of the new Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center;
  • the successful passage of the General Use Permit and Community Plan, which will allow initiation of new housing and academic facilities; and
  • exciting opportunities created by new programs, including such interdisciplinary programs as the Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

Hennessy then will outline five challenges facing the university, including:

  • maintaining an emphasis on academic innovation despite finite resources in key areas such as budget, staff and space;
  • managing the impact of the Bay Area's high cost of living on the university and its staff in areas such as housing, child care and compensation;
  • promoting equity and increasing diversity among the faculty;
  • ensuring the survival of academic medical centers in the face of a deteriorating health-care marketplace; and
  • strengthening relations with the local community.

Joining Hennessy for a discussion of the challenges will be Albert Camarillo, professor of American history and director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Jeffrey Koseff, senior associate dean of the School of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering; Patricia Jones, vice provost for faculty development and professor of biological sciences; Lynn Orr, dean of the School of Earth Sciences; and Judith Swain, the Arthur L. Bloomfield Professor of Medicine and chair of medicine.


By James Robinson

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