Jeffrey Raikes, chair of Stanford’s Board of Trustees, reflected last week on his first year in office and provided insights into some of the many topics addressed by the trustees at their meeting held June 13-14.

Jeff Raikes and Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Jeff Raikes and Marc Tessier-Lavigne listen to a committee report at the meeting of the Stanford Board of Trustees. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Trustees discussed the long-range vision, approved the university’s 2018-19 Budget Plan, heard a report on Stanford Medicine’s integrated strategic plan, honored departing trustees Chris Hazy and John Gunn and approved the construction of the Center for Academic Medicine.

A highlight of the two-day meeting was a tour of University Terrace, the new faculty housing complex that recently opened in Palo Alto.

Long-range vision

Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne updated the board on the long-range vision for the university, Navigating a Dynamic Future, which he presented to the Academic Council on May 17.

Praising the inclusive and comprehensive approach taken by the university in long-range planning, Raikes said that it produced a framework that focuses on two important aspects: how Stanford can better serve the world through research and education, and how the university can strengthen the foundations of its community.

“This is a vision that sets important and compelling priorities about how Stanford can be purposeful about its future, and be of greatest service to the broader world,” Raikes said.

In addition to some near-term actions being taken, next steps in the process include the appointment of design teams to develop specific plans over the 2018-19 academic year.

Stanford Medicine

Closely related to the university-wide vision, Raikes said, the trustees also heard a report on Stanford Medicine’s Integrated Strategic Plan from Dean Lloyd Minor, Stanford Health Care CEO David Entwistle and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Interim CEO Denny Lurd.

Raikes said that this was the first time the medical school and the two health care delivery systems had joined together to create an integrated strategic plan. The process began at the same time as the university initiated its long-range planning process; as a result, the Stanford Medicine plan is aligned with the overall long-range vision for Stanford.

The plan sets three strategic priorities:

  • Value focused: Ensuring the quality and excellence of patient experience while keeping down costs
  • Digitally driven: Using the digital revolution to facilitate data-driven decision-making and to increase collaboration
  • Uniquely Stanford: Taking advantage of Stanford’s ecosystem of interdisciplinary, team-based science and education to accelerate discovery

More on the Stanford Medicine strategic plan.

Budget plan, affordability, investment responsibility

During the June 13-14 meeting, trustees approved Stanford’s $6.5 billion budget for 2018-19.

Trustee Srinija Srinivasan, left, discusses a committee report at the meeting of the Stanford Board of Trustees. Trustees Angela Filo, center, and Tonia Karr listen. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Raikes said that he was pleased to see that the budget provides strong funding for the university’s academic program and makes early investments in some of the initiatives emerging from the long-range planning process.

Describing the budget as “very robust,” Raikes said it includes increased funding in undergraduate financial aid, compensation for staff and postdoctoral scholars, community centers, faculty diversity efforts and shared research computing resources.

The trustees also discussed affordability issues facing the Stanford community, an area of concern that is reflected in both the 2018-19 budget and the long-range vision.

The cost of living in the Bay Area, and in Silicon Valley in particular, has become a significant issue for the Stanford community, and university leadership understands that this is a large challenge that needs to be addressed, Raikes said. “This is a very, very high-priority issue for the university community.”

As Tessier-Lavigne previously announced, an Affordability Task Force will be formed to delve into these issues and deliver a set of recommendations by spring 2019. The task force will study all dimensions of affordability – including housing, transportation, child care and benefits – and propose solutions tailored to each segment of the campus population.

The board also discussed investment responsibility issues related to the management of the Stanford endowment, Raikes said.

Last fall the board initiated a review of the Statement on Investment Responsibility. The Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, the campus community body that provides advice to the board on these issues, has been gathering input from members of the campus community on the university’s approach to investment responsibility. Raikes said that the board has not made any decisions on this issue and will continue discussions at its next meeting in October.

Trustees tour University Terrace housing

The trustees toured University Terrace, the new faculty housing development located a few blocks from campus in the Stanford Research Park, where residents continue to move in. The project consists of 180 units – 68 single-family homes and 112 condominiums – that provide a variety of options for faculty, including affordable housing for first-time home buyers.

Raikes noted that the project is one of Stanford’s many efforts to expand local housing and it has resulted in the creation of a walkable new neighborhood within an easy bicycle commute to campus.

“I was particularly pleased to hear that [this project] was an outgrowth of a very effective working relationship with the city of Palo Alto,” he said. “We want to be sure that we are very good neighbors, and this is a great example.”

Construction approval

The board also took action on a construction project on campus, approving construction of the new Center for Academic Medicine along Quarry Road.

The new building will provide consolidated office space for several departments that are currently located throughout the Stanford Medicine complex.

Completion of the project is expected in July 2020.

Departing trustees honored

Trustees held a dinner to recognize two departing board members: Chris Hazy and John Gunn, both of whom began their service on the board in 2008.

Raikes said that, in addition to her role as a trustee, Hazy had been an extraordinary Stanford volunteer and supporter for many years. During her board tenure she served on five committees: Academic Policy, Planning and Management; Athletics; Development; Globalization; and Student, Alumni, and External Affairs.

“Chris is unfailingly upbeat and enthusiastic,” Raikes said. “She brings an optimistic approach to challenging issues. We’ve greatly valued her contributions.”

Raikes praised Gunn as a “valued sounding board for university leaders who helped us keep our eye on the long term as stewards of Stanford’s future.”

Gunn was chair of the Committee on Stanford Medicine, providing leadership on some of the most pressing issues facing the medical enterprise. He also served on the Finance and Globalization committees.

“I’m continually impressed by our colleagues on the board – their dedication to Stanford and its students and the quality of their insights and contributions as trustees. It’s truly an amazing group of people to work with,” said Raikes.

Reflecting on his first year as chair, Raikes described his role as having three parts: setting the board agenda for the year; being an effective thought partner with university leadership on key issues and priorities such as long-range planning; and what he called the “unknown-unknowns” – unexpected campus issues that need to be addressed quickly.

Raikes said he also sees where he can contribute on a national level to issues affecting colleges and universities. “It’s important for me as board chair to be a good ambassador for higher education and for Stanford,” he said. “It’s important for me to step up.”