The Chair of the Board of Trustees, Steven Denning MBA ’78, gave a debriefing discussion on Oct. 7 for their recent Board meeting.
Denning noted that the McMurtry Building was dedicated on Oct. 6 and represents the third building completion in the last three years, following the Bing Concert Hall in 2013 and the Anderson Collection last year. Denning said that he now sees Cantor as anchoring an arts district on campus and noted that almost 3,500 people were in attendance for Cantor’s recent Party on the Edge.
In regards to decisions made at the meeting, the Board approved the construction phase of renovating the graduate housing Rains House. The Board additionally approved construction of what is known as the Hoover Conference Center, also known as the David and Joan Traitto Building. The center’s 400-seat auditorium will complement existing facilities and host functions that previously only used tents.
The meeting also discussed the design of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Biology Research Building; the design phase was approved and construction will likely begin in June 2016. For this new biology center, a quad structure will be constructed as well. Aesthetically, this new building is viewed as a transition between the medical school and the rest of campus.
The Board received an update from the chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, Isaac Stein, who was selected by the Board to identify members for the committee over the summer. The committee is composed of 19 individuals.
The committee will ultimately recommend a single candidate to the Board of Trustees. The finalized decision will likely be announced next spring. Denning says that the committee is currently in Phase One of the overall process, which involves asking for recommendations. They are looking at both internal and external candidates.
The Board of Trustees also had a presentation from John Etchemendy and others in regards to the campus climate survey. Denning highlighted the Stanford-specific survey and described the results in great detail — in particular, assessments on sexual assault and sexual misconduct. The Board recognized that sexual assault and misconduct are clearly issues on campus, and that the Board and University are working to address them. The Board noted that Stanford has taken steps in response, support and ultimately adjudication, and the Board fully supports the University leadership in terms of its approach.
The Board also had a report by Vice Provost Harry Elam and Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life, in regards to OpenXChange. The Board was briefed in regards to the program’s nature and goals; Denning noted that all present felt good about the program’s design.
Persis Drell, the dean of the Engineering School, also reported updates on a new review process to determine suggestions and recommendations for the School of Engineering going forward. The process generated a number of suggestions for cooperation across departments and schools.
The board acknowledged and thanked the ASSU for the statement regarding fossil free initiatives and materials that the board received from Fossil Free Stanford.
Denning emphasized the university’s operations commit to sustainability, and that the university has a made a very significant capital commitment to the new Stanford energy facility, known as SESI (Stanford Energy System Innovations), which has improved conservation and efficiency on campus. SESI was the university’s largest single capital commitment ever outside of the hospitals.
Please contact Skylar Cohen at skylarc ‘at’ stanford.edu.