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Jean Fetter to be assistant to new president

STANFORD -- Jean H. Fetter, for seven years Stanford University's dean of undergraduate admissions, will be assistant to incoming President Gerhard Casper.

Casper and Fetter both assume their new positions Sept. 1.

Fetter, 54, has been at Stanford since 1975 and will be in her fifth administrative position. She recently was executive vice chair of the search committee that selected Casper to be Stanford's ninth president, and from 1977 to 1980 was assistant to Stanford President Richard W. Lyman.

Casper said that Fetter's duties would evolve over time and that he particularly valued her knowledge and experience.

"I need someone who is intimately familiar with Stanford and its various components, and I consider myself lucky that Jean Fetter is available," he said. "She has extensive prior experience, both as assistant to President Lyman and as a former dean of admissions. She will provide, right in my own office, a good feel for the problems and issues of both undergraduate and graduate students.

"I found it particularly attractive that, due to her recent responsibilities with the search committee, she is very familiar with the current opinions and concerns of the university's various components."

Fetter, who has been on sabbatical leave writing a book on undergraduate admissions, expressed her delight.

"I am very pleased on a number of counts," Fetter said. "The first is to assist Stanford and our ninth president as we prepare to meet the university's second century. On a personal level, it is a great opportunity to stay at an institution I love and have served for 17 years.

"I hope my historical knowledge of Stanford will be helpful to a president coming from a different institution."

Originally from Swansea, Wales, Fetter earned degrees from St. Hugh's College of Oxford University - a bachelor's degree in physics in 1959 and a master's and doctorate in solar physics in 1962. As an undergraduate, she captained the varsity basketball team and won the Hurry Prize as the college's best all-around undergraduate.

A physics lecturer and assistant professor at San Jose State University between 1966 and 1974, she came to Stanford in 1975 as associate director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and of the Lilly Program for Faculty Renewal.

In 1977, she became Lyman's assistant for the last three years of his presidency. When new President Donald Kennedy took office, Fetter became associate dean of graduate studies and research. During her four years in that post, she coordinated the recruitment of minority graduate students and was active in recruiting women to study science and engineering.

In 1984, Fetter became dean of undergraduate admissions, Affectionately known as "Dean Jean" to the students she admitted to Stanford, Fetter is credited with a key role in broadening the university's student base. During her time as dean of undergraduate admissions, the percentage of African American, Mexican American, Native American and Asian American students among Stanford's incoming freshmen grew from 27 percent to 41.3 percent.

After leaving that post Aug. 31, 1991, Fetter was invited by James Gaither, then president of the board of trustees, to be the executive vice chair of the presidential search committee chaired by Trustee John Lillie.

At Stanford's 1992 Commencement in June, Fetter was awarded the university's Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding service to undergraduate education.



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