This afternoon at the annual meeting of the Academic Council, we presented a high-level vision for Stanford’s future, building on the input of many hundreds of people from across the university community over the last year. We’re excited to share this vision with our community. We believe it reflects the optimistic, pioneering, energetic spirit of a community eager to strengthen Stanford’s foundations and to expand its contributions.
This quarter, for the first time in more than ten years, the Muslim festivals of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr will fall entirely within the academic calendar. Ramadan begins this evening, Tuesday, May 15, and will conclude on Thursday, June 14, followed by Eid al-Fitr on Friday, June 15. The Stanford community is invited to participate in a series of special events on campus.
Throughout the long-range planning process, we have been reminded of the great value that our postdoctoral scholars bring to faculty and to the university. Numerous submissions and white papers also highlighted the fact that postdocs face significant affordability challenges. Marc Tessier-Lavigne and I will be sharing next steps on the long-range vision for Stanford later this month, addressing a wide range of issues across the university. Today, however, I'm writing about one specific action we are taking to help our postdoctoral scholars.
Earlier this academic year, I asked an advisory committee of students, faculty and staff to give me advice on how Stanford should approach its next campus climate survey. I'm writing now to share the news that, informed by the committee's very helpful input, we are planning to join the Association of American Universities (AAU) survey that will be conducted in spring 2019.
One of the things I reflected about over spring break was how inspired I have been by the participation of high school students across the country and the world who have raised their voices about the all-too-frequent tragedies of gun violence.
I am writing to share the news that Stanford has completed a resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education. This concludes an investigation that OCR has been conducting for the last three years regarding our response to sexual violence at Stanford and our compliance with Title IX.
Questions continue to be asked by members of our community about a contemplative garden we built last summer at the site of a sexual assault that happened in January of 2015. I would like to correct any misimpressions that have arisen.
Students and other members of our community often ask me how they can have a voice in decision making at the university. One way is by providing input when we have comment periods on important issues before the university. We have several comment periods under way right now.
This continues to be a time of anxiety and uncertainty for many people in our country, as the federal government works to define a future for those who have been covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Stanford continues to stand in firm support of our community, including undocumented students.