A 19-member committee will begin next month to search for a successor to Stanford University President John Hennessy, who announced in June that he would be stepping down after more than 15 years of leading the university.
The committee, "charged with conducting a comprehensive and inclusive global search" for a new president, is made up of members from throughout the Stanford community, including trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni, according to a university press release.
Isaac Stein, an alumnus, current Stanford trustee and a past chair of the Board of Trustees, will chair the presidential search committee. Stein, a longtime Stanford volunteer in many parts of the university, is a private investor and corporate director and also served on the 1999 presidential search committee that resulted in Hennessy's appointment, according to the university.
"The members of the Presidential Search Committee bring a deep understanding of Stanford, and their complementary backgrounds will give the committee diverse perspectives from all sectors of the university," Board of Trustees Chair Steven Denning said in the press release. "Stanford is a remarkably strong institution held in the highest academic regard worldwide. At this moment in time, there is not a more exciting opportunity in higher education. We are confident we will find an inspiring and innovative leader to build upon the trajectory of the past 15 years."
The committee will seek feedback on both presidential qualifications -- its first task will be to identify the "most important attributes of a new president" -- and possible candidates from the entire campus community, the release reads.
The university will also launch a website next month to allow members of the university community to provide direct input. "Town hall" style meetings planned for the fall will allow the campus community members to connect with the committee members.
"We intend to conduct considerable outreach, both on campus and with higher education thought leaders, as we seek diverse input not only about our next leader, but about the issues in higher education that will matter most to Stanford in the next decade," Stein said.
"This will not be a simple or short process," he added. "Our committee members are all aware of and committed to this significant undertaking. While we all understand the strict confidentiality that such a search requires, we need and welcome broad input."
The search process is expected to be finished by the spring of 2016. Hennessy said he intends to leave his post at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year and plans to return to teaching and research.
Hennessy first joined the Stanford faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and was the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1987 to 2004. From 1983 to 1993, Hennessy served as director of the Computer Systems Laboratory, a research and teaching center operated by the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that fosters research in computer systems design.
He also served as chair of Stanford's Department of Computer Science and, in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, he launched a five-year plan that laid the groundwork for new activities in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. In 1999, he was named provost, the university's chief academic and financial officer.
He became Stanford's 10th president in October 2000, placing an academic emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching and research.
Provost John Etchemendy, who has worked with Hennessy for almost 15 years, agreed to continue as provost for up to an additional year after Hennessy steps down to help with the transition. Etchemendy has previously said that he does not want to be considered as a candidate for the presidency.
The members of the search committee are:
Isaac Stein, JD/MBA '72, trustee and committee chair; president, Waverley Associates
Steven Denning, MBA '78, chair of the Board of Trustees; chairman, General Atlantic
Jim Coulter, MBA '86, trustee; founding partner, CEO, TPG
Susan McCaw, BA '84, trustee; president, COM Investments
Ruth Porat, BA '79, trustee; senior vice president and chief financial officer, Google and Alphabet
Jeff Raikes, BA '80, trustee; co-founder, Raikes Foundation
Srinija Srinivasan, BS '93, trustee; co-founder, Loove Music
Vaughn Williams, JD '69, trustee; of counsel, formerly partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Mark Kelman, committee faculty deputy chair; James C. Gaither professor in law and vice dean, School of Law
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, Ludwig professor and chair, Department of Radiology
Margot Gerritsen, PhD '97, director, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering and senior associate dean, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
Ken Goodson, Davies Family Provostial professor, and Bosch Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kam Moler, BS '88, PhD '95, professor of applied physics and of physics and Sapp Family Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Ramón Saldívar, Hoagland Family professor of Humanities and Sciences
Larissa Tiedens, Jonathan B. Lovelace professor of Organizational Behavior and senior associate dean for academic affairs, Graduate School of Business
Adam Daniel, senior associate dean for finance and administration, School of Humanities & Sciences
Robert Chun, '16, chair of Stanford in Government, economics major
Melinda Cromie, PhD '12, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine
Kathryn Ko Chou, BS '85, MS '86, senior vice president, sales and strategy, Informatica
Donna Lawrence, assistant vice president for development, will serve as executive vice chair of the committee. Ingrid Deiwiks, executive assistant at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, will serve as staff director.