By David F. Salisbury
ALMOST EVERY MEASURE, John Hennessy has been successful in his 43 years:
An international reputation for his work in computer architecture, the successful
startup of a Silicon Valley company, the chairmanship of a prestigious Stanford
department. Forget all that. Hennessy faces his biggest
challenge when he succeeds Jim Gibbons as dean of the School of Engineering in
June, stepping up to run the school at a time of shrinking financial resources
and growing academic and technological demands.
This is a job you do because once youve been at Stanford,
the institution and your colleagues gets very large, Hennessy says.
a lot from this institution. Id like to give something back.
The burly, bespectacled computer pioneer may be the perfect person to succeed
Gibbons. After all, Hennessy made his mark by designing streamlined, more
efficient machines. He brings that considerable experience as a
equally adept at hardware and software problems, to bear on managing an
enterprise that dwarfs many colleges and companies. And there is no doubt his
entrepreneurial experience will come into play as he faces thorny financial
I think engineering needs to be cognizant of how things are done in
as well as the academic world, he says.