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There is no way I can attempt to cover a whole range of other activities we have pursued at Stanford over the last five years. They include the simplification of the university's administrative structure at the very beginning of my tenure (the first $1 million saved were added to the budget of the library to which we had also restored the position of university librarian); major investments in new information systems; intensive reviews of business practices, such as in facilities project management and sponsored projects administration. Changes also include the reorganization of the legal office under General Counsel Michael Roster and innovative approaches to outsourcing much of our legal work. An Office of Campus Relations was created under Sally Dickson to comprise formerly freestanding units such as the ombudsperson and the coordinator concerned with responses to sexual harassment.

The top administrative layer of the university now consists only of the president, the provost, the chief financial officer (who doubles as vice president for business affairs), the vice president for development, and the general counsel.

The Cabinet--which is chaired by the president and consists of the academic deans and the directors of the Hoover Institution and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center--continues as the administrative body that provides counsel and review on principles, policies, and rules of university-wide significance. Some of those matters, of course, come also before the Senate of the Academic Council.

A decentralized organization, such as a university, unfortunately needs a fair number of administrative groups, committees, councils. We are making do with a substantially smaller number than were around in 1992, and all senior officers are trying hard to control their proliferation and to keep them small and efficient. I have found that the give and take I like among senior staff and officers occurs more easily if the group is relatively small and consultations can be kept very informal.

With the exception of John Ford, the vice president for development, all senior officers assumed their responsibilities over the last five years. Condoleezza Rice, professor of Political Science, became provost in 1993, succeeding Gerry Lieberman, who had been my main support and mentor during my first year. Mariann Byerwalter, who came from the banking world and whom I had gotten to know when she served as an alumni trustee, in 1996 filled the vacancy (with considerable added responsibilities) created by Peter Van Etten's appointment as president of Stanford Health Services. Geoffrey Cox, vice provost and dean for institutional planning, served ably as acting CFO during a long interim that was necessitated by the transition arrangements concerning SHS. Michael Roster joined us as general counsel from a major Los Angeles law firm in 1993. Barbara Butterfield, who had come to Stanford in 1991 and was vice president for faculty and staff services was a strong contributor to Stanford's work in the area of faculty and staff services and benefits. With her departure, I consolidated human resources responsibilities under the CFO.

The Cabinet also is made up of relatively new leaders. The exceptions are Paul Brest, dean of the Law School; Michael Spence, dean of the Graduate School of Business; John Raisian, director of the Hoover Institution; and Burt Richter, director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. New deans have taken office over the last few years in the School of Humanities and Sciences, John Shoven; School of Medicine, Eugene Bauer; School of Education, Richard Shavelson; School of Earth Sciences, Lynn Orr; and School of Engineering, John Hennessy. Professor Charles Kruger was appointed vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy. Professor Jim Gibbons, our former dean of Engineering, accepted an appointment to a position I created as special counsel to the president for industry relations--a role in which he has now been joined on the biomedical front by Edward Holmes, senior associate dean for research at the Medical School.

Over the last five years we have developed, inter alia, a sexual harassment policy, a new faculty conflict-of-interest policy, a new early retirement policy for the faculty, a policy extending staff benefits to domestic partners of gay employees, and we have changed the staff retirement program from defined benefits to defined contributions.

I convened the so-called Committee of Fifteen to review the charter that governs the student disciplinary process. I had come to the conclusion that the existing system was too bureaucratic and, in practice, had too little student input. Under the forceful and diplomatic leadership of Professor Mark Zoback, the Committee of Fifteen made recommendations for radical changes that have since been adopted by the Associated Students of Stanford University, the Senate of the Academic Council, and me. They will take effect during the 1998 winter quarter. The provost appointed a task force on student housing, under Ramón Saldívar, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education. The task force has completed its report.

Stanford and all its people continue to work hard, very hard, to maintain and achieve as many excellences as are at all possible in these times. The work is teamwork--teamwork by an extraordinary team--to whom we all, but foremost I, are deeply indebted.

As I said at the beginning, a university is a "visionary institution" that depends on and succeeds with the active engagement of faculty, students, trustees, staff at all levels, alumni, and local, national, and worldwide friends. I have been bemused by the way some of our workers are referred to as "support staff." At a university, all of us are support staff--secretary or president, lab technician or provost, groundskeeper or dean--because all of us are here for only one reason: to support faculty and students in their vision and to support the university's core mission of teaching, learning, and research.

Lou Henry Hoover House
August 31, 1997

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