Stanford University News Service



CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558

Response of the president and provost to Chicano students and faculty

STANFORD -- May 5, 1994

Three committees will examine the issues raised by Chicano students and faculty, and report back to the provost by the end of the fall quarter.

Amplifying their Wednesday response to the students, Stanford President Gerhard Casper and Provost Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that chairs have been named and the full committees will be formed within 10 days. The chairs will consult with students and faculty on the committees' membership, which will include faculty, students and, as appropriate, staff or community members. The president and provost made it clear that they are committed to the process that they have proposed, that the committees will seriously engage the issues submitted to them, and that the recommendations of the committees will be dealt with fairly.

The committees are:

  • Chicana/o Studies. The School of Humanities and Sciences informed the provost that it has asked Ramon Saldivar, professor of English and incoming associate dean of undergraduate studies, to head a committee to examine the Chicano Fellows Program and associated academic issues. The school also will examine the pending requests concerning Asian American studies.

This study recognizes the need for all academic programs to be considered and approved within existing faculty, school and academic senate structures, the provost said. Some of these concerns - such as that of the Chicano Fellow Program, which she called a valued contributor to the strength of the School and Humanities and Sciences - can be handled more expeditiously, she said. The school will report on a schedule that will allow consideration of the findings in the context of the next planning and budget cycle.

  • Request for a Ban on Grapes on Campus. Luis Fraga, associate professor of political science and director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research, will chair a committee to consider actions that go beyond the present policy, which leaves it to students in each dining hall to determine whether to serve grapes. The president explained that in his role as president, he must listen to all views and that the committee would include staff, students and faculty from all parts of the university.
  • Relations to East Palo Alto Community. Chairing a committee on the university's programs in East Palo Alto are Tim Stanton, director of the Haas Center for Public Service, and Magdalena Fittoria, a 1982 Stanford graduate, former member of the Haas Center staff, and now manager of the Even-Start Programs in the Ravenswood School District. The president and provost were careful to note the importance of close coordination with the East Palo Alto community and dialogue with the city's elected representatives. Stanford units and students conduct more than 30 programs in East Palo Alto, ranging from medical and legal clinics to tutoring and education partnerships with Ravenswood Schools to athletic programs. Provost Rice said that the university also has applied for funding for two new proposals - "Replication of a School-University Partnership," which would include Ravenswood School District, East Palo Alto and the Haas Center; and a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development urban and regional planning program, in which Stanford and East Palo Alto would be partners.

Casper also repeated his strong condemnation of comments made during the film "No Grapes," shown before the feature movie at the May 2 ASSU Sunday Flicks.

"Let me state unequivocally that I am appalled by the lack of respect shown by some members of the audience," Casper said. "As reported to me, remarks that were at best stupid, and at worst racist, were made during the showing of a short film about pesticides and grapes. Such behavior is inexcusable, and I condemn it in the strongest possible way. As a community, we must discuss this incident, and Sally Dickson, director of the Office for Multicultural Development, will convene a group of faculty, staff and students to lead that discussion.

"Stanford, the provost and I remain strongly committed to diversity - in everything from faculty and student recruitment to ensuring good leadership and programs for all students, including minority students. Times of scarce resources always create strains, but we will seek to be creative and sensitive in addressing these issues."

# # #


This is an archived release.

This release is not available in any other form. Images mentioned in this release are not available online.
Stanford News Service has an extensive library of images, some of which may be available to you online. Direct your request by EMail to

© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300.