Stanford Provost Urges Professors to be Lenient with Orange Bowl Attendees

Etchemendy approved.
Well, it looks like the [petition I mentioned last time]( hasn’t resulted in spontaneous days off. However, in deference to the spirit of that petition (which now [tops 1600 signatures](, Provost John Etchemendy has apparently written to faculty urging them to be understanding about students who miss the “first day or two of classes to travel to Florida.” In an email to the Symbolic Systems list, Program Associate Director Todd Davies reprinted the entire message, encouraging students to tell faculty if they will be missing class in order to get a jump start on making up any work. This action by the administration seems to be a middle ground between ignoring the successes of the Stanford team (arguably the most successful in the history of the school) and actively reshaping the school around the team’s successes. It’s exactly this sort of moderation that I’d hope for from this administration. The full text of Etchemendy’s letter is below.

Dear Colleagues:

On Jan. 3, the first day of Winter Quarter classes, Stanford’s football team will play in the Orange Bowl, one of the premiere football championship games in the nation.  It is a tremendous accomplishment for the players and a source of pride and excitement for our students and alumni.

Stanford faculty have always been very supportive of our athletes and other students whose talents give them opportunities and obligations to participate in outside activities that enhance their educational experiences.  It is remarkable how well these students balance their commitment to their studies with their commitment to sports, performance or other pursuits.

I’m writing to ask that you show the same support and flexibility for students who want to accompany our football team to the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.  This Cardinal football team is exceptional in its success, and we can understand the students’ eagerness to attend the game and show the team the support they deserve.

The president and I hope you will remain flexible with students who miss the first day or two of classes to travel to Florida.  This may be a unique event for our students, and we understand their desire to fully embrace the opportunity.  We hope you do, too.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!


John Etchemendy


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