Stanford News


CONTACT: Diane Manuel, News Service (650) 725-1945;

New endowed deanship for School of Humanities and Sciences

The Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Deanship of the School of Humanities and Sciences has been established with a $4 million endowment to provide discretionary funds for the dean of the university's largest school.

"This magnificent gift will provide critical venture capital for us to invest in the best people and ideas to ensure that H&S maintains its competitive edge into Stanford's second century," said John Shoven, the first dean to hold the position. "This is indeed a milestone for H&S, and I am enormously grateful to our friends Vern and Lysbeth for their generosity and vision."

Both Andersons are alumni of Stanford and have served on the Humanities and Sciences Council since 1996.

Vernon Anderson was co-founder and CEO of Vidar Corp., an early leader in the field of digital telephone transmission systems. He also was an original investor in and the first president of Silicon Graphics, the leader in computer graphics super-workstations. He has been an active fundraising volunteer for Stanford since 1964, serving on the Alumni Association Executive Committee, the Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, the Center for Economic Policy Research Advisory Board and the Libraries and Information Resources Advisory Council. From 1985 to 1990 he was a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

Lysbeth Anderson was a fundraising volunteer for Stanford during the Centennial Campaign, and she currently serves on the board of Planned Parenthood-Mar Monte and is president of the V&L Anderson Family Foundation. Her interests include anthropology, geology, history and religion.

The original proposal requesting an endowment for the deanship noted that it was "critical that the dean of the school have sufficient discretionary resources at his or her disposal." Such funds "would provide important supplementary support often needed by the dean in recruiting and retaining the school's most stellar faculty."

The proposal said that discretionary funds would enable the dean of the school to offer competitive compensation packages and also provide seed money for new initiatives and departmental colloquia, funding for graduate student research and travel, and research support for junior faculty. "The dean might also allocate discretionary funds to selected department chairs, placing expanded resources at one of the most important points of decision-making in the school," the proposal added.

In addition, the proposal suggested that funds made available by an endowed deanship "would help to persuade candidates for the deanship that they can achieve more substantive results in the position than may have been possible in the past."


By Diane Manuel