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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

CFR 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 2021-22, our total count of faculty was 2,288, of whom 1,552 are tenure-line faculty and 736 are non-tenure line (see CFR 2.1). In addition to the professoriate, 2,182 academic staff support the teaching mission, including almost 1500 clinical educators, and 955 researchers, emeriti faculty, and coaches contribute to university research and athletics. Almost 12,000 non-academic staff support the institution. The IR&DS dashboards include data on the professoriate (by school and tenure status) and academic and non-academic staff. The IDEAL Diversity Dashboard shows demographics by sex and race and ethnicity for faculty and 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, Diversity and Engagement makes an annual report to the Faculty Senate on faculty demographics and diversity.

CFR 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.

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

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 2 of the Academic Staff and Other Teaching Staff Handbook for Lecturers and other non-professorial staff who teach; and in Chapter 10 of the Research Policy Handbook for research staff, including Research Scientist and Research Engineer positions. For policies and guidelines relating to the Academic Staff-Libraries, see Personnel Program, Academic Staff-Libraries (July 16, 2021), available from the Library Human Resources Office.

Policy on staff recruitment and hiring is found in the Administrative Guide (2.1.2). University Human Resources provides a Managers Toolkit that contains resources for managers on staff recruitment, hiring, onboarding, professional development, and more

CFR 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, Diversity and Engagement 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. In addition to numerous programs, staff are available to provide consultation and formative feedback on teaching for faculty, teaching staff, and teaching assistants. 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.  The School of Humanities and Sciences hosts a program for new faculty where they participate in the Course Design Institute and are assigned a teaching mentor for their first year.

CFR 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.

The university’s endowment, as of the end of fiscal year 2022, was $36.3 billion. In fiscal year 2022, the endowment disbursed $1.5 billion to support vital academic programs and financial aid. Payout from the endowment funded over 21% of the university’s 2022 operating expenses. Over the past two years, an additional $447 million was withdrawn from the endowment to address COVID-related revenue shortfalls and expenses. Our annual financial and investment reports are available on our Bondholder Information website.

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 strategic  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.

CFR 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 (SUL) supports the teaching, learning and research mission by making information and knowledge accessible. The collections include more than 11 million volumes and documents, 1.2 million audio visual materials, and more than half a million serials. Over 4 million items in the collections are available online. In addition, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives holds more than one million volumes and over 6,000 archival collections.

The Faculty Senate has two relevant  standing committees, the Committee on Libraries, C-LIB, whose responsibility is to formulate policy on the character and use of the library collections,  and the Committee on Academic Computing and Information Systems, C-ACIS, whose responsibility is to oversee computing and information resources at Stanford. Annual campus-wide technology plans guide the university’s collective strategic efforts and investments in its technology. The most recent is the 2021-2022 Campus IT Plan. Stanford’s University IT unit manages the university’s central information technology infrastructure and provides services and applications for use in academic and business activities. 

A number of offices support technology for teaching and learning. Learning Technologies & Spaces supports the shared infrastructure of learning technologies and spaces, including classroom technology, our learning management system (Canvas), and other teaching tools. The Center for Teaching and Learning also provides academic technology (software and hardware) solutions and support for faculty and teaching assistants. Finally, the Office of Accessible Education provides assistance to make technology and education accessible to students with disabilities.

In April 2021 Provost Persis Drell established a committee of faculty and staff to develop a long-term strategy for Stanford’s efforts in digital education. As a result of its work, the Office of the Vice Provost for Digital Education, also known as Stanford Digital Education, was established and officially launched in October 2021. 

Shared computing infrastructure to support research was identified through the university’s Long-Range Vision process. The Shared Research Platforms that resulted provide shared resources and facilities to enable fluid interdisciplinary research teams, including equipment shared amongst diverse groups, expertise to support new research directions and funding for faculty creating new platforms

CFR 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. These documents outline the responsibilities for evaluating the university’s officers. 

Academic Leadership reviews are conducted by the provost annually with an in-depth review every 5 years. The president conducts an in-depth evaluation for the leadership within his organization annually. 

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.

CFR 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.

The president is responsible for the management of the university and all its departments, including the operation of the physical plant and the administration of the university's business activities. To assist in the performance of these duties, the president, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, appoints a number of officers. 

Office of the President Organization Chart (pdf)

The provost, as the chief academic and budget officer, administers the academic program (instruction and research in schools and other unaffiliated units) and university services in support of the academic program (student affairs, libraries, information resources, and institutional planning). 

Office of the Provost Organization Chart (pdf)

The reporting lines for the entire university can also be found through StanfordWho (requires authorization), the university’s directory.

CFR 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 responsibilities of the president are described in the Founding Grant as well as the more recent Articles of Organization of the Academic Council (1969). The Board of Trustees delegates broad authority to the president to operate the university and to the faculty on certain academic matters. 

The Founding Grant prescribes that the Board shall give to the president the following powers:

  • To prescribe the duties of the professors and teachers;
  • To prescribe and enforce the course of study and the mode and manner of teaching;
  • Such other powers as will enable the president to control the educational part of the university to such an extent that the president may justly be held responsible for the course of study therein and for the good conduct and capacity of the professors and teachers.

The Articles of Organization provides further elaboration:

  • The President shall be primarily responsible for the enforcement of discipline in the university.
  • The President shall be ex officio Chair of the Academic Council.
  • The President shall be ex officio head of the faculty or faculties as organized by the Board of Trustees.
  • The President shall be the official medium of communication between the Professoriate and the Board of Trustees.
  • The President shall designate a member of the Professoriate in each department to serve as Chair of the departmental faculty, such Chair to hold office at the will of the President; both appointments and removals of Chairs of departments to be made after consultation with the Advisory Board and with the approval of the Board of Trustees.
  • The President may appoint members of the Academic Council to serve on Presidential Commissions and those bodies known as University Committees, and may name the Chairs of such bodies.

The president also is responsible for the management of financial and business affairs of the university, including operation of the physical plant.

The provost, as the chief academic and budget officer, administers the academic program (instruction and research in schools and other unaffiliated units) and university services in support of the academic program (student affairs, libraries and information resources, and institutional planning). The provost shares with the president the conduct of the university’s relations with other educational institutions, groups, and associations.

CFR 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.

Under the provisions of the Founding Grant, the Board of Trustees is custodian of the endowment and all the properties of Stanford University. The board administers the invested funds, sets the annual budget and determines policies for operation and control of the university. Among the powers given to the trustees by the Founding Grant is the power to appoint a president. The board delegates broad authority to the president to operate the university and to the faculty on certain academic matters. 

  • The Board currently has 34 members with a variety of areas of expertise. A full list of the board’s membership is available on the board's website.
  • The Board is an independent governing body. Members annually complete a conflict of interest certification and have no financial or employment interest with the university, are not remunerated for their service, and meet the other requirements set forth in the WSCUC Governing Board Policy. 
  • The Board of Trustees convenes a number of committees to make recommendations and advise the board on finance, development, land and buildings, and other matters.
  • Bylaws of the Board of Trustees are in the Founding Grant (pp. 5-7 and 13-16 inter alia).
  • Updates and actions of the board are posted on this page.

CFR 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.

Stanford has shared governance on academic matters with the faculty. The Academic Council is vested with the authority to decide matters of policy within the province of the Professoriate, subject to the power of disapproval of the Board of Trustees. As described in the Articles of the Organization of the Academic Council, the powers of the Academic Council are exercised through the actions of the Academic Council itself, the Senate, the Academic Council Committees, the Advisory Board, and the Academic Council Professoriate.

The Faculty Senate is the legislative body of the Academic Council and has responsibility for academic and research policy as well as the authority to grant degrees. The members are elected by faculty within the various divisions in the university (schools and academic clusters within the schools). In addition to formulating policy, the Senate reviews, via its committees, several types of curriculum matters: proposals or reviews of degree granting programs, and, periodically, broad curriculum reforms resulting from ad hoc university level review committees which examine university wide curriculum issues such as general education requirements, writing requirements and other similar programs for all undergraduates. The Senate also reviews interdisciplinary degree granting programs (IDPs) as well as proposals for new degree granting programs, including honors and joint degree programs (JDPs) and name changes of departments and programs. 

The Advisory Board of the Academic Council comprises seven full tenured professors elected by the Senate. All recommendations for appointments, promotions, and for the creation and dissolution of departments must be submitted to the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board also handles certain faculty appeals and conducts faculty discipline hearings.