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Standard 3. Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Quality and Sustainability

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The institution sustains its operations and supports the achievement of its educational objectives through investments in human, physical, fiscal, technological, and information resources and through an appropriate and effective set of organizational and decision-making structures. These key resources and organizational structures promote the achievement of institutional purposes and educational objectives and create a high-quality environment for learning.

3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10

3.1  The institution employs faculty and staff with substantial and continuing commitment to the institution. The faculty and staff are sufficient in number, professional qualification, and diversity and to achieve the institution’s educational objectives, establish and oversee academic policies, and ensure the integrity and continuity of its academic and co-curricular programs wherever and however delivered.

In 2019, Stanford had 1,570 tenure-line faculty, 706 non-tenure line and medical center line faculty and more than 12,000 non-teaching staff. The criteria for appointment of our faculty is described under CFRs 2.8 and 2.9 and in Chapter 2 of our Faculty Handbook. The Office of Faculty Development makes an annual report to the Faculty Senate on faculty demographics and diversity.

3.2  Faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, orientation, workload, incentives, and evaluation practices are aligned with institutional purposes and educational objectives. Evaluation is consistent with best practices in performance appraisal, including multisource feedback and appropriate peer review. Faculty evaluation processes are systematic and are used to improve teaching and learning.

The Office of Faculty Development provides guidelines and best practices for faculty recruitment and hiring. Policies on faculty searches and hiring can be found in Chapter 2 of the Faculty Handbook.

The Office of Faculty Development also provides workshops and other resources for faculty development and mentorship. We also have programs for our department chairs, including a new department chair orientation, and an ongoing workshop series for department chairs several times a year. These programs are managed by the Office of Faculty Development in consultation with the provost. 

Evaluation of faculty for appointment and promotion is described in the section on CFRs 2.8 and 2.9. Evaluation includes confidential peer review. The procedures are described in Chapter 2 of our Faculty Handbook. These reviews also include teaching evaluations, and letters from students and alumni providing evaluations of the faculty candidate’s work as a teacher and advisor.

There are also rigorous review procedures for the appointment of academic staff. These are outlined in Chapter 6 of the Faculty Handbook.

We have an extensive system of course evaluation designed to provide feedback to instructors about their teaching and to students about the content of each course.

3.3  The institution maintains appropriate and sufficiently supported faculty and staff development activities designed to improve teaching, learning, and assessment of learning outcomes.

Stanford has two central offices whose purpose is to support and develop our faculty. As described above, the Office of Faculty Development provides orientation for new faculty; leadership workshops for department chairs, and special programs for junior faculty and women faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning promotes excellence in teaching at all levels. Staff are available to provide consultation and evaluation of teaching for faculty and for teaching assistants. In addition to many personalized services, they publish a Teaching Handbook for everyone who teaches at Stanford.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education provides additional resources for professional development designed to improve teaching and learning through Teaching Commons.

Individual schools also host their own programs for faculty development. An example is the School of Medicine Faculty Mentoring Program.

3.4  The institution is financially stable and has unqualified independent financial audits and resources sufficient to ensure long-term viability. Resource planning and development include realistic budgeting, enrollment management, and diversification of revenue sources. Resource planning is integrated with all other institutional planning. Resources are aligned with educational purposes and objectives.

Budgeting at Stanford is a continuous process that takes place throughout the year and occurs at nearly every level within the university. The cycle starts with planning that considers programmatic needs and initiatives, continues with the establishment of cost drivers such as the approved salary program and fringe benefits rates, and is tempered by available funding sources. Stanford’s “budget”—referred to as the Consolidated Budget for Operations—is an amalgamation of thousands of smaller budgets, including everything from an individual faculty member’s budget for a sponsored grant from the National Institutes of Health, to the budget for the Department of Psychology, to the budget for the School of Engineering. These budgets are created and managed by the areas that are governed by them, with oversight by the provost, the chief budget officer of the university. 

Two key advisory groups of faculty and senior leaders, the University Budget Group and the Capital Planning Group, ensure that resource planning is aligned with educational objectives. The budget process is managed by the University Budget Office and involves considerable work on the part of deans, administrative officers, managers and budget officers at every level of the university.

The provost submits the annual consolidated budget for the university, which includes its capital plan, to the Board of Trustees for approval. The provost also makes an annual report to the Faculty Senate on the budget for the coming year.

3.5  The institution provides access to information and technology resources sufficient in scope, quality, currency, and kind at physical sites and online, as appropriate, to support its academic offerings and the research and scholarship of its faculty, staff, and students. These information resources, services, and facilities are consistent with the institution’s educational objectives and are aligned with student learning outcomes.

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) supports the teaching, learning and research mission by making information and knowledge accessible. The collections include more than 8.5 million volumes and documents, about 1.5 million audio visual materials more than 75,000 serials, and nearly 6 million microform holdings.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Technology and Learning is responsible for providing technology and expertise to faculty students and staff in public computing areas, in the residences, and specifically for the classroom. The Faculty Senate has a standing committee, C-ACIS, whose responsibility is to oversee computing and information resources at Stanford. The Center for Teaching and Learning also provides technical assistance for students and faculty. Finally, the Office of Accessible Education provides assistance to make technology and education accessible to students with disabilities.

The programs described under CFR 3.5 also support this aspect of our educational support services. In addition, the Axess system provides web-based information for students and faculty. Students have access to their course registrations, grades and other features; faculty can view their class lists, enter grades, communicate with students or advisees and see their course evaluations. Canvas is the University’s course management system, allowing faculty to upload documents for students, communicate with their classes, calculate grades and so forth.

University IT at Stanford manages the University’s central information technology infrastructure and provides services and applications for use in academic and business activities.

3.6  The institution’s leadership, at all levels, is characterized by integrity, high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability.

The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, the president and the faculty were first outlined in the University's Founding Grant. The responsibilities of the faculty are further outlined in the Articles of Organization of the Academic Council. The University’s organization charts can be found in the Administrative Guide, a policy manual for the University. The organization charts for the president  and the provost include all of the senior administrative officers for the University. 

The University’s research policies can be found in the Research Policy Handbook. In addition to a University Code of Conduct, Stanford has separate policies outlining conflict of interest and commitment for faculty and for staff

3.7  The institution’s organizational structures and decision-making processes are clear and consistent with its purposes, support effective decision making, and place priority on sustaining institutional capacity and educational effectiveness.

Administrative Guide Chapter 1: University Organization
Office of the President Organization Chart
Office of the Provost Organization Chart

3.8  The institution has a full-time chief executive officer and a chief financial officer whose primary or full-time responsibility is to the institution. In addition, the institution has a sufficient number of other qualified administrators to provide effective education leadership and management.

The president of the University serves as chief executive officer. The president, together with the provost, supervise the senior leadership of the University. The senior administrative staff at Stanford are all full-time positions. Their organizations are described in the websites linked below (organization charts can be found on these sites or linked directly under CFR 3.7):

Office of the President

Office of the Provost

3.9  The institution has an independent governing board or similar authority that, consistent with its legal and fiduciary authority, exercises appropriate oversight over institutional integrity, policies, and ongoing operations, including hiring and evaluating the chief executive officer.

The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University administers the invested funds, sets the annual budget and determines policies for operation and control of the University. (For a list of trustees, see University Governance.) Among the Board’s responsibilities as set forth in the Founding Grant of the University is the power to appoint the University’s president.

3.10  The institution’s faculty exercises effective academic leadership and acts consistently to ensure both academic quality and the appropriate maintenance of the institution's educational purposes and character.

The roles of the Board of Trustees, the president and the faculty are first articulated in our Founding Grant. The Articles of Organization of the Academic Council goes on to describe the specific responsibilities of the faculty.

In 2004, Stanford celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Advisory Board, a committee of tenured full professors elected by the faculty and chaired by the provost. All recommendations for appointments, promotions and reappointments, and for the creation and dissolution of departments, must be submitted by the president to the Advisory Board for review and approval. The board also reviews faculty dismissals and some disciplinary cases that are not satisfactorily resolved through typical university procedures, as well as matters submitted to it by the president or provost for advice.

The elected policy-making body of the faculty is the Senate of the Academic Council, founded in 1968. The members are elected by faculty within the various divisions in the University (schools and academic clusters within the schools). All University requirements for undergraduate and graduate degrees must be brought to the Senate for approval. The Senate maintains a number of committees having oversight of academic and administrative matters. The Senate normally meets biweekly during the academic year.