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Student Affairs vice provost outlines goals for 1993-94

STANFORD -- Completing a three-year strategic plan, hiring a new director of residential education and reviewing the student judicial system were among the goals listed by Vice Provost and Dean Mary Edmonds in her second annual "State of Student Affairs" address Oct. 20.

Among her other goals for 1993-94: continuing to address the needs of graduate students; continuing "to work cooperatively with university faculty, staff and students in the restructuring of Stanford University"; stepping up student affairs development efforts; and exploring new ways of gathering and evaluating student information.

The vice provost also pledged to work with President Gerhard Casper's new Commission on Undergraduate Education "to assist in their understanding of the value of the support systems that reside in student affairs, and where change is mandated to see that the transition is a smooth and successful one."

"Make no mistake about it," Edmonds told staff members assembled in Memorial Auditorium, "the recommendations that the commission makes could affect student affairs in profound ways."

Looking back over her first year at Stanford, Edmonds cited a number of positive changes, including the inauguration of a new president, the restructuring of the senior administration, the appointment of a new provost, the centralization of graduate policy, the "miracle" renovation of Wilbur Hall, and the development of the university policies on sexual harassment and smoking.

She also cited development officer Cecilia Burciaga for her work in securing new sources of student affairs funding, President Casper's statements to freshmen on cultural diversity, and the appointment of new leadership in the Registrar's Office, Cowell Student Health Center and the Haas Center for Public Service.

On the less positive side, Edmonds acknowledged the difficulties that many staff members have gone through in the wake of university layoffs and office restructuring.

In a recent morale survey, she noted, more than 60 percent of student affairs staff members said they were either fairly satisfied or very satisfied in five areas: how their supervisors valued their work, how others in their units valued their work, with the amount of satisfaction their jobs offered, with the degree of autonomy they had, and with their job overall.

On the other hand, she said, 40 percent were either not at all satisfied or only slightly satisfied with the resources available for new initiatives, opportunities for advancement, the effects of budget cuts on work efficiency, time to plan and reflect on work, and the ability to work without interruption.

"The reality is that we can no longer do more with less," Edmonds told the staff members. "The reality is also that we will be asked to think of new ways to do business as the university restructures over the next few years. Therefore, burnout is a no-no, and it is my job to try to minimize that possibility for you."

Change, she said, "can bring discomfort and frustration to those of us who have been set in our ways. But change can be exciting and rewarding if we stretch our imaginations, think the impossible and see it happen because we allow ourselves to take the risk, to chart a course that moves us in new and positive directions. That is the way we must think in this new environment."

Edmonds' unit includes the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions and need-based student financial aid program, Dean of Students' Office (which oversees Tresidder Union and the ethnic program centers, among other offices), Cowell Student Health Center, Residential Education and Housing Center, Housing and Dining Services, Registrar's Office, Career Planning and Placement Center, Center for Teaching and Learning, Haas Center for Public Service, and Undergraduate Advising Center.



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