The university’s external engagement – with the region, nation and world – was a major focus of the Feb. 11-12 meetings of Stanford’s Board of Trustees.

The board also heard a presentation on the arts, moved forward on some building projects, dined with the first cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars and had an opportunity to meet Paul King, the new president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

External engagement

Board Chair Jeffrey S. Raikes said a major theme of Stanford’s long-range vision is how the university reaches out to the broader world and makes contributions for the benefit of humanity. That theme was a major part of the board meeting as trustees heard presentations on Stanford’s global education efforts and on the work of a discovery team focused on Stanford’s regional and national engagement.

Co-chairs of that discovery team, Juliet Brodie, professor of law and associate dean for clinical education in the Law School, and Marcia Cohen, senior associate dean of finance and administration in the School of Medicine, reported that the team’s first task was to complete an inventory of the university’s current activities in the area of regional and national engagement.

Every year, Stanford engages with hundreds of thousands of people outside of campus through efforts such as Stanford Live, Athletics, the museums, the hospitals, the Continuing Studies program, the Haas Center for Public Service, and academic conferences and symposia. In addition, the discovery team identified many other less visible activities benefiting the broader community that involve expanding educational opportunities, improving access to health care, advancing diversity and inclusion, providing direct service to communities in need and pursuing partnerships with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations.

The next phase of the initiative will focus on developing more coordinated strategies for engaging with regional and national communities beyond Stanford.

The trustees also heard from two university leaders on global education efforts, Raikes said.

Ramón Saldívar, director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, gave the trustees an overview of the program. Each year between 850 and 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 40 faculty participate in 11 term-based programs and between 9 and 15 smaller seminars each summer. About half of Stanford’s undergraduates currently take advantage of study abroad opportunities offered through the program.

Saldívar spoke about strategies the program is using to encourage more participation, including offering distinctive academic coursework and increasing the number of alternative programs that are not on the full-quarter model. While both approaches have showed some success, the board agreed that, because of the great benefits of overseas study, the university should continue to find ways to promote it and make it feasible for as many students as possible, Raikes said.

In his presentation, Jonathan Levin, dean of the Graduate School of Business (GSB), emphasized the global nature of the school, Raikes said. More than 40 percent of the school’s MBA students are international, representing 60 countries. The program requires every student to participate in a global experience such as a study trip, seminar or internship.

Stanford GSB has increased its global reach and impact in recent years, including greatly expanding its executive education offerings, allowing faculty to reach global audiences. Levin also described the Stanford Seed program, which works with entrepreneurial business leaders in the developing world so they can create economic opportunities in their own communities.

“Clearly, the vision for Stanford as a purposeful university includes using our academic strengths to benefit the broader world,” Raikes said. “There is a great deal of activity in this area now, and there is a lot of enthusiasm university-wide for connecting in even more, and deeper, ways.”

The arts at Stanford

Vice President for the Arts Harry Elam and Associate Vice President for Campus Engagement Matthew Tiews gave the board an update on the arts at Stanford.

An important development for the performing arts on campus is the renovation of Frost Amphitheater, which is set to reopen this spring. The extensive renovation project includes the addition of a state-of-the-art stage and other front- and back-of-house amenities to improve conditions for audience members and performers.

8/8/2011 Peter Wegner, ''Monument to Change as It Changes,'' 108 in. x 384 in., steel and polycarbonate, 2,048 flip digit modules each with 80 custom-printed colored flaps, permanently installed at the Knight Management Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto CA. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

The university is noted for its outstanding collection of public art located throughout the campus, including Peter Wegner’s Monument to Change as It Changes at the Knight Management Center. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Stanford Live will co-present a series of concerts at Frost later this year in partnership with Goldenvoice and the San Francisco Symphony. The full lineup of Goldenvoice concerts hasn’t been announced, but Raikes expressed the board’s enthusiasm for bringing outdoor music back to campus and sharing the Stanford Arts experience with the broader community.

In their presentation, Elam and Tiews also spoke about public art on the Stanford campus. The university is noted for its outstanding collection of Rodin sculptures, as well as for the numerous modern and contemporary works located throughout the campus, both outdoors and in the public spaces of many buildings.

Raikes said that a task force had been working to develop a strategy to bring more public art to the campus, including rotating, temporary installations.

“This is an exciting opportunity to continue putting art front and center in our campus community, and to make it a vital part of the experience of visiting the campus,” he said.

New leader of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

The trustees also heard from Paul King, the new president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH), who assumed his position last month. King was formerly executive director of the University of Michigan Health System’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

In his remarks to the trustees, King spoke of the hospital’s mission of care and healing for children, its goal to provide the best possible patient and family experience and his intention to work closely with the other parts of the medical enterprise at Stanford, according to Raikes.

Raikes said the board has great confidence in King’s leadership and the future direction of the hospital. He also commented in general on the “enormous contributions” of Stanford Medicine and the university’s two hospitals. “We’re very proud of their work, the quality of patient care they provide and what they offer to the people of this region,” he said.

Building projects

Trustees gave design and construction approval for the third phase of the off-campus Stanford Auxiliary Library III in Livermore.

Managed by Stanford University Libraries, this facility provides environmentally controlled storage for overflow collections from across the Stanford libraries. Materials are available for retrieval back to campus when requested.

The board also gave design and partial construction approval for the Cabrillo-Dolores faculty homes project. The project calls for the removal of two existing unoccupied homes in the faculty neighborhood and replacing them with seven homes that will be available for faculty to purchase.

Dinner with the Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Board members also enjoyed dinner with the first cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Denning House, the home base for the program. Students in the program come from around the world to pursue graduate degrees at Stanford and to become part of a community of future leaders focused on addressing complex global challenges. This year’s cohort of 51 scholars hails from 21 countries and is pursuing degrees in 31 different graduate departments in all seven schools.