September 24, 2018

Welcome to fall quarter!

Dear Stanford Community,

We are delighted to welcome so many new and familiar faces to Stanford for the fall quarter. As we think about all that we have to look forward to in a new academic year, we are especially encouraged by the work going on around campus to build a strong and engaged Stanford community.

As we take this opportunity to highlight a few of these initiatives, we would also like to invite you to join us for further discussion at our next “Conversation with the President and Provost” on Monday, October 1, at 12:30 p.m. in Tresidder Oak Lounge. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

We are excited to update you on the status of Stanford’s long-range vision, announced last spring. A great deal of work has been done this summer to establish design teams and otherwise develop the infrastructure needed to move from a high-level vision to a detailed, actionable plan. An update on all of the recent work will be provided in Stanford Report next week. Since the beginning of the long-range planning process, we have relied on the wisdom of the broad Stanford community, and there will continue to be many ways to be involved.

The year ahead also promises a number of exciting initiatives in student affairs. As Susie Brubaker-Cole begins her second year as Vice Provost for Student Affairs, her office continues to focus on working with students to create an environment that allows every student to thrive at Stanford. Last spring, Susie asked the co-chairs of the long-standing Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisory Board to pivot their work this fall to designing a comprehensive approach to improving student mental well-being at Stanford. We expect the board to begin rolling out its recommendations in the coming months. In the meantime, we encourage all members of our community to make use of Stanford’s wellness resources.

Alongside Senior Vice Provost for Education Harry Elam, Susie also co-chairs the ResX Task Force, which was convened to develop a new vision for our undergraduate residential communities. This summer, members of the task force visited peer institutions to learn about their approaches to residential life and hosted virtual town halls to allow Stanford students an opportunity to share their thoughts about residential life at Stanford. The panel continues to invite feedback from students and other members of our community.

Free expression and an inclusive culture are vital to a strong academic community, and safeguarding both imperatives is an ongoing priority and obligation for Stanford. Cardinal Conversations will be returning this year with new faculty and student leadership, who will apply lessons learned over the last year to improve the program. The goal of the new program remains to promote a diversity of perspectives on campus and model respectful disagreement on substantive issues. We look forward to an engaging series of events.

In the spirit of encouraging dialogue and civic participation, we hope all eligible voters in the Stanford community will register to vote this fall. Stanford in Government and the Haas Center for Public Service are leading the Stanford Votes project. Learn more and register to vote at http://www.stanfordvotes.org.

Lastly, we would like to note several new senior-level appointments that have been announced in recent months to help lead efforts across our community: Debra Satz, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences; Kam Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research; and Martin Shell, Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer. Welcome to these new members of our leadership team!

We will continue to be in touch through the Notes from the Quad blog, office hours with the president or provost for students, and many other interactions with you, both formal and informal, throughout the year. As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions at [email protected] and [email protected]. Thank you all for making Stanford a strong and vibrant academic community. We wish you an engaging and productive academic year!