Image credit: L. Cicero For the remainder of the academic year, Etchemendy will serve as special assistant to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and incoming Provost Persis Drell to help in the continuing administrative transition. He will then take a year-long sabbatical before returning to teach philosophy, higher education and leadership. In the recession, despite experiencing a 30 percent drop in its endowment, Stanford introduced the largest increase in its history for undergraduate financial aid.
|Published (Last):||2 February 2006|
|PDF File Size:||14.40 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||14.40 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Image credit: L. Cicero For the remainder of the academic year, Etchemendy will serve as special assistant to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and incoming Provost Persis Drell to help in the continuing administrative transition.
He will then take a year-long sabbatical before returning to teach philosophy, higher education and leadership. In the recession, despite experiencing a 30 percent drop in its endowment, Stanford introduced the largest increase in its history for undergraduate financial aid.
Seventy-nine percent of graduates today have no student debt. The percentage of female and minority faculty has grown thanks to such programs as the Faculty Development Initiative and the Faculty Incentive Fund, while the pipeline for minorities to academic careers has been fortified with such programs as DARE — Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence.
Any list of accomplishments, however, is unlikely to impress the modest Etchemendy, who eschews the spotlight and diverts credit to others. Being provost, he contends, is like leading a diverse armada of vessels, ranging from ocean liners to fishing schooners.
Deans, department chairs, office managers and the like know their ships well and how to steer them best. Etchemendy earned praise for leading the university through financially challenging times. Cicero The challenges of the job were never lost on former President John Hennessy, who appointed Etchemendy to the position and preceded him as provost.
In his nearly 35 years as a faculty member at Stanford, Etchemendy has also served as chair of philosophy and associate dean for the School of Humanities and Sciences. He earned his doctorate in philosophy at Stanford in When I became a provost myself, I gained a new appreciation for how he conducted himself and for all that he accomplished. At the last Ivy Plus Provosts meeting, which was held at Stanford, the respect and affection for John was palpable.
He is an inspiration at Stanford and beyond. At an official gathering, you introduced him as Provost Etchemendy, befitting the respect due the office. He returned the affection in kind. Etchemendy never missed an opportunity in countless speeches to call faculty the most outstanding worldwide, staff the best in the nation and students the most gifted anywhere.
He made it possible for deans and other campus leaders to eschew the competitive chest-thumping prevalent in so many academic hierarchies. And that led naturally to a collaborative engagement among the deans rather than competitive.
John was also wonderful at supporting us individually and collectively. His reputation for building strong faculty relationships prompted many universities nationwide to ask Etchemendy to be a candidate for their presidencies. In a detailed, hour-long presentation, Etchemendy explained to fellow faculty members with as much transparency as his charts and graphs could muster what needed to be done.
Getting the pain over with quickly, he asserted, was the best approach. Within a year after a hiring freeze, layoffs and construction delays, Stanford began to recover and rebuild, while colleges and universities that had delayed hard decisions were still reeling. In his annual welcome to parents during New Student Orientation NSO , for instance, he would forgo pleasantries to raise the difficult issue of alcohol abuse and ask for help in diminishing the drinking culture on campus.
First-year students at NSO heard Etchemendy outline his expectations that they would respect the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard and live up to the ideals articulated by students before them. Difficult truths, however, were always sprinkled with enough humor — much of it self-deprecating — to make them palatable. In , Etchemendy told the university community that Stanford would confront sexual violence on campus head-on, but that the process of cultural change would be difficult.
It has, in fact, been at times heartbreaking. Through it all, however, Stanford has persevered to create one of the most extensive Title IX educational, support and adjudication programs in the nation. Four years into the job, he acknowledged that he had gained weight, was suffering insomnia and leading a sedentary lifestyle involving too many meetings and too much computer time.
I asked my wife, Nancy, if she would find me a personal trainer. At the time, I felt too overwhelmed to even do so myself. Nancy quickly found a gym and trainer for me, and the following Saturday I began a five-year odyssey to fitness. As a result of its combination of incentives, exercise classes, wellness courses and personal health advising, two-thirds of surveyed employees say BeWell substantially enhances their work experience.
Stein and Alles say the recognition surprised Etchemendy. Since , child care capacity on campus has more than doubled through the construction of facilities that set Stanford apart from its peers and among employers in Silicon Valley, according to Phyllis Stewart Pires, senior director of WorkLife strategy.
The provost, she said, strategically understood and appreciated the recruitment and retention benefits of such programs. He even picks up garbage when he sees it. His goal was to make a Stanford education more affordable to a middle-class family with two or more students in college than attending the University of California. He was denied admission as an undergraduate. When he later applied for the graduate program in philosophy, he found himself on a waiting list. He credits his eventual admission to an administrator whom he spoke to almost every day, asking whether a position had opened up.
He shared the story at a conference of Stanford administrative assistants in She put the phone down, and I heard her walk into the hall where she accosted the department chair. They are constantly evolving. They are never done.
Supporting our Stanford workforce April 14, In a message to the campus community, Provost Persis Drell and Elizabeth Zacharias, vice president for human resources, address steps the university is taking to help campus workers facing financial challenges due to COVID New information on spring quarter March 19, Spring quarter classes will be taught online for the entire duration of the quarter, and commencement will not be held in its traditional form. New information for graduate and professional school students March 16, Provost Drell addresses academic, financial and housing issues for graduate and professional school students in response to COVID Shelter in place order: the impact on the campus community March 16, A message from Provost Drell on the impact of the "shelter in place" order on students, employees, research activities, and events.
John Etchemendy: ‘The threat from within’
Email By John Etchemendy Universities are a fundamental force of good in the world. At their best, they mine knowledge and understanding, wisdom and insight, and then freely distribute these treasures to society at large. Theirs is not a monopoly on this undertaking, but in the concentration of effort and single-mindedness of purpose, they are truly unique institutions. If Aristotle is right that what defines a human is rationality, then they are the most distinctive, perhaps the pinnacle, of human endeavors. John Etchemendy Image credit: L. Cicero I share this thought to remind us all why we do what we do — why we care so much about Stanford and what it represents. But I also say it to voice a concern.
John W. Etchemendy
John Michael Etchemendy