Faculty Senate Meeting

Faculty Senate Meeting on April 15, 2010

The Senate offered their congratulations to Varun Sivaram ’11 who was named last month as a Truman Scholar.  He is one of 60 students nationwide to receive this scholarship for graduate school for students committed to careers in public service.  Sivaram is majoring in engineering physics and international relations, serves as chair of the Undergraduate Senate and is a member of the Stanford University Bhangra Team.

The Senate congratulated Vice Provost John Bravman on the birth of his son as well as his new position as President of Bucknell University.

The Faculty Senate celebrated Patricia Burchat, the chair of the Physics Department, for receiving the 2010 Judith Pool Award for mentoring young women in science.  The award, named for one of the first full professors in the School of Medicine, is given to well-established researchers in science who serve as inspirations to others.


The Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES) shared their work with the Faculty Senate.  SUES “has a two year appointment to review general education requirements” stated Professor Campbell, one of the chairs of SUES.  Through input from the faculty and students, SUES hope to “know why we’re asking [students to take GERs} and be able to reiterate that to students.”  Faculty Senators expressed concern over the nature of interdisciplinary courses, the nature of general education, and what value a Stanford education has.

Patricia Jones, Vice Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity

Patricia Jones-Vice Provost of Faculty Development & Diversity
, presented information about the growth of the faculty and particularly the University’s growth in diversity.  In the past year, the faculty grew by 35 hires or 1.9%.  Although the percentage of women serving on the faculty is increasing, the percentage of faculty of color has not increased over the past 10 years.  Jones attributed this to the amount of departures as well as hires.

Professor Shelley Correll, Panel Chair 2009-10 of the Life of Stanford Faculty and an associate professor in Sociology, articulated interesting date about faculty life.  43% of  the faculty is “very satisfied”  while 36% of the faculty is “somewhat satisfied”.  Major factors that contribute to stress include the high cost of living in the Bay Area and childhood care.  The panel found that job satisfaction is greatly correlated with colleague and academic unit support.

Provost John Etchemendy’s Announcements:

A generous donor will ensure that a second child care center in Escondido Village will be built.

Bright Horizons will now provide emergency care for faculty with dependent family members or children.

Patricia Jones will be stepping down as Vice Provost of the Faculty Development and Diversity, while Karen Cook, professor of Sociology, will take over her position in the fall.

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