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Craig Kapitan, News Service (650) 724-5708;

Stanford University launches new program to recognize professors, raise funds for undergraduate education

Stanford Provost John Etchemendy on Thursday announced the establishment of University Fellows in Undergraduate Education, a new category of appointment designed to reward faculty who make truly outstanding contributions to Stanford's undergraduate experience.

Etchemendy made the announcement at a Faculty Senate meeting where he and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education John Bravman also named the first eight faculty to be honored as University Fellows. The university seeks to establish as many as 40 such appointments over the next five years.

"One of the goals of the Campaign [for Undergraduate Education] is to find a way to recognize some of the most dedicated undergraduate educators," Etchemendy said, prompting applause from within the Faculty Senate chamber. "Not just people within the three schools dedicated to undergraduate teaching, but to anybody who teaches undergraduates in any of the seven schools in any way whatsoever."

Stanford's Campaign for Undergraduate Education seeks to raise $300 million for the Stanford Endowment for Undergraduate Education so as to make permanent the university's recent innovations to the undergraduate experience, which include the Introduction to the Humanities Program, Sophomore College and Stanford Introductory Seminars. The new program to honor faculty will allow donors to have a University Fellow in Undergraduate Education named after them for $3 million. However, anonymous donors have come forward to make a gift that will be used as 50 percent matching funds in order to encourage others to endow individual University Fellows. Another anonymous donor has come forward to name a University Fellow in honor of President Emeritus Gerhard Casper. Individual appointments will bear their donors' names in perpetuity, as is the practice with endowed professorships.

Eight close friends of Stanford have stepped forward to create the inaugural class of University Fellows. As a result, Etchemendy announced the first class of fellows:


John Boothroyd, professor of microbiology and immunology, becomes the Dunlevie Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Boothroyd studies parasitic organisms and their devastating effects upon their hosts, with an ultimate goal of alleviating the suffering that they cause. He shares this passion with undergraduates through his freshman seminar on infectious diseases and by engaging them in his lab, introducing many to the world of biomedical research.


Thomas H. Byers, associate professor (teaching) of management science and engineering, becomes the Barbara and Buzz McCoy University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Byers has played a critical role in bringing entrepreneurship education to Stanford. As the leader of the Mayfield Fellows program, which teaches undergraduates entrepreneurship through classroom and internship experiences, and as a key partner in the Stanford Technology Ventures program, he is heavily engaged in both undergraduate and graduate education.


Harry J. Elam, Jr., professor of drama, becomes the Robert and Ruth Halperin University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Elam merges the study of society and the stage, and his passion is to use the theater to affect social reality. He has taught in Sophomore College, and was the inaugural director of the Introduction to the Humanities Program, in which he also taught.


Patricia P. Jones, professor of biological sciences and vice provost for faculty development, becomes the Duca Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Although she loves working in her lab, leading a group studying genetics and immunity, Jones has made a parallel career of peerless university service. For undergraduates, however, she is more likely known as an outstanding teacher and a tireless mentor and advocate, a freshman adviser, and the faculty adviser to the Women's Science and Engineering network.


Terry L. Karl, professor of political science and a senior fellow at the Institute for International Studies, becomes the William R. and Gretchen Kimball University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Known by scores of students as an outstanding teacher, Karl has been the intellectual and scholarly mentor to generations of students pursuing a wide variety of research topics regarding the social and political landscape of Latin America. As the former director of the Center for Latin American Studies, she has been instrumental in building and sustaining a scholarly community, inclusive of undergraduates, around these vital topics.


David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, becomes the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Kennedy is one of the university's most recognized scholars. Having first encountered the Pulitzer and Bancroft prize winner through his textbook, The American Pageant, scores of entering freshmen soon come to know him more directly through his seminars and Introduction to the Humanities courses.


Douglas Osheroff, the J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor of Physics, becomes the Gerhard Casper University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Osheroff is the first Nobel Prize winner that Stanford undergraduates are likely to meet. A long-standing lecturer in the introductory physics sequence, he also teaches students in a small group setting through his seminar course on photography.


Eric Roberts, the Charles Simonyi Professor in the School of Engineering and professor (teaching) of computer science, becomes the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Roberts has designed and implemented an internationally recognized program in undergraduate computer science education. He is an extraordinary teacher and educator, a tireless advocate for students and a dedicated servant to the university.


The appointments, which last for a term of five years, can run concurrent with school-based professorships. University officials hope the appointments soon will be viewed as among the most prestigious that Stanford has to offer.

Candidates were considered from all seven schools, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for International Studies and many other centers.

"It was important not to limit ourselves to just the three undergraduate-degree granting schools," said Bravman, who helped choose the final candidates along with Etchemendy and President John Hennessy. "We really wanted to emphasize the fact that everyone who supports undergraduate education is eligible."

One example of the cross-campus effort is Boothroyd, a new fellow who hails from the Medical School. Although the school issues only graduate degrees, professors there made up 30 percent of those teaching Sophomore Seminars last academic year.

"This was a wonderfully pleasant, but as you might expect, difficult task to work with deans of the schools to select just eight of our colleagues," Bravman told the Faculty Senate. "Even in full steady state, 40 [fellows] is not a sufficient number to recognize all the wonderful work that people do."

Being named a University Fellow in Undergraduate Education will provide each faculty member with a modest annual award. At the end of the five-year term, each fellow may have his or her title renewed for one more term.

University officials hope to name approximately eight new fellows each year over the next five years.


By Craig Kapitan

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