The Affordability Task Force, formed as a part of the long-range vision initiatives, is gathering Stanford community input about affordability challenges affecting those who live and work in the Bay Area. An online assessment is open to faculty, graduate students, academic staff, postdoctoral scholars and staff through Feb. 8.

There are over a dozen long-range vision initiatives currently underway in the areas of mission and values; supporting the foundation; education; research; and community. The Affordability Task Force is one of the community initiatives, based on ideas submitted as part of the long-range planning process that identified challenges faced by groups within our community.

The task force, which has been doing research since last fall on the regional affordability challenges that impact our community, has partnered with a third-party consultant firm to develop and administer the confidential assessment. Elizabeth Zacharias, vice president for human resources and chair of the task force, notes that the assessment is an opportunity to convey what matters: “Our regional affordability challenges present issues that affect transportation, housing, child care and benefits, so we’re asking community members for specific input about the personal impact of these issues to directly inform our recommendations.”

The affordability assessment differs from recent surveys to gather input about the workplace, as the focus is on the preferences and satisfaction community members assign to the programs and plans currently offered.


The assessment is confidential, with results used in aggregate by the third-party consultant firm and reported back to Stanford. No individual responses/results will be reported, and it will not be reported who has or has not completed the assessment.

Chairs, advisers, principal investigators, lab managers, managers and others who work with faculty, graduate students, academic staff, postdoctoral scholars and staff members are asked to convey the importance of the affordability assessment and encourage participation.

Use of results to drive solutions

Affordability assessment results will be used as the task force develops recommendations. In addition to the comprehensive research task force members have done, the assessment will inform recommendations based on the various offerings community members most value. Task force recommendations will be presented to the executive cabinet later in 2019.

Learn more by visiting the new Affordability Task Force microsite on the Our Vision website, which includes an overview of the assessment, frequently asked questions and a list of task force members. Questions can be emailed to the task force directly: