News

Stanford University's first new school in seven decades takes shape

Yet-to-be-named school will focus on climate and sustainability

Stanford University yet-to-be-named school dedicated to the environmental sciences is set to open in the fall of 2022. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sinead Chang.

Stanford University is honing in on climate and sustainability issues at its new school that is dedicated to the environmental sciences and is set to open next year. This week, Stanford leaders previewed the academic departments that will be housed in the new school, which will be the university's first in 70 years.

"Stanford is taking the historic step of creating the university's first new school in 70 years in response to the scale and urgency of threats facing our planet," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in an announcement issued Thursday. "With our faculty aligned in these new divisions, and with cross-cutting themes and an accelerator integrating expertise from the entire university to drive solutions, we will marshal our resources to serve humanity's top priority, which is to create a future in which all humans and natural systems can thrive together in concert and in perpetuity."

Taking recommendations made by the faculty Blueprint Advisory Committee, the new school will house several existing academic departments and research institutes, including the university's School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences; the Stanford Woods Institute for Environment; the Precourt Institute for Energy; the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Hopkins Marine Station.

The departments will be grouped into four divisions: division of earth and planetary sciences; division of engineering for sustainability; division of climate, environment and biodiversity; and division of integrated socioenvironmental systems.

The academic shape of the school was formed based on faculty input and town halls and student surveys conducted by a nine-member student group, according to the university news release.

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In the polling of faculty members, responses showed strong support for departments that included "climate, energy, oceans and engineering for sustainability and multiple departments focused on natural and human elements of sustainability," the announcement stated.

By also merging research hubs such as the Woods and Precourt institutes, the university aims to introduce academic themes such as environmental justice, sustainable urban development and environmental communications.

"The new school will be a home for a university-wide emphasis on sustainability research," Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute and professor of biology and of Earth system science, said in the announcement. "The sustainability of the planet affects all of us, and will require people from all backgrounds working together to create solutions."

The yet-to-be-named school also will be a vehicle for creating policy and technology solutions focused on sustainability through what the university calls a Sustainability Accelerator.

The university is currently searching for a dean to lead the new school. In the meantime, Kathryn Moler, vice provost and dean of research, and Stephan Graham, the dean of the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, have led the academic design of the new school, while 13 faculty members lead the search committee for a new dean.

Students will be accepted into the school in the 2022-23 academic year.

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Stanford University's first new school in seven decades takes shape

Yet-to-be-named school will focus on climate and sustainability

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 30, 2021, 9:49 am

Stanford University is honing in on climate and sustainability issues at its new school that is dedicated to the environmental sciences and is set to open next year. This week, Stanford leaders previewed the academic departments that will be housed in the new school, which will be the university's first in 70 years.

"Stanford is taking the historic step of creating the university's first new school in 70 years in response to the scale and urgency of threats facing our planet," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in an announcement issued Thursday. "With our faculty aligned in these new divisions, and with cross-cutting themes and an accelerator integrating expertise from the entire university to drive solutions, we will marshal our resources to serve humanity's top priority, which is to create a future in which all humans and natural systems can thrive together in concert and in perpetuity."

Taking recommendations made by the faculty Blueprint Advisory Committee, the new school will house several existing academic departments and research institutes, including the university's School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences; the Stanford Woods Institute for Environment; the Precourt Institute for Energy; the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Hopkins Marine Station.

The departments will be grouped into four divisions: division of earth and planetary sciences; division of engineering for sustainability; division of climate, environment and biodiversity; and division of integrated socioenvironmental systems.

The academic shape of the school was formed based on faculty input and town halls and student surveys conducted by a nine-member student group, according to the university news release.

In the polling of faculty members, responses showed strong support for departments that included "climate, energy, oceans and engineering for sustainability and multiple departments focused on natural and human elements of sustainability," the announcement stated.

By also merging research hubs such as the Woods and Precourt institutes, the university aims to introduce academic themes such as environmental justice, sustainable urban development and environmental communications.

"The new school will be a home for a university-wide emphasis on sustainability research," Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute and professor of biology and of Earth system science, said in the announcement. "The sustainability of the planet affects all of us, and will require people from all backgrounds working together to create solutions."

The yet-to-be-named school also will be a vehicle for creating policy and technology solutions focused on sustainability through what the university calls a Sustainability Accelerator.

The university is currently searching for a dean to lead the new school. In the meantime, Kathryn Moler, vice provost and dean of research, and Stephan Graham, the dean of the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, have led the academic design of the new school, while 13 faculty members lead the search committee for a new dean.

Students will be accepted into the school in the 2022-23 academic year.

Comments

ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 30, 2021 at 11:16 am
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 30, 2021 at 11:16 am

This is excellent news. The new dept. needs to focus on cleaning up the toxins in Stanford’s Research Park. The plumes travel from the Research Park into Palo Alto
via aquifers. Refer to USGS maps to see how TCE for example has moved from a former HP site to College Terrace. Santa Clara county is sadly the largest county with superfund sites of all of the USA. All of Barron Park’s wells were shut down decades ago because of toxins from Stanford’s Industrial Park now called Research Park.


Name hidden
Downtown North

Registered user
on Jul 30, 2021 at 6:22 pm
Name hidden, Downtown North

Registered user
on Jul 30, 2021 at 6:22 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:25 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:25 am

Essentially, SU gimmick to attract big dollar contributions and woke Federal grants. Before you know it, every business and every city council will have a Dr of Sustainability guiding virtuous PR initiatives and writing new regulations, sitting next to directors (and their staffs) of diversity, equity, gender experts, race merchants, reimagined public safety officials, and socialist mayors. We need people with real skills and real training - not more activists.


community member
Registered user
University South
on Aug 14, 2021 at 3:53 pm
community member, University South
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 3:53 pm

Stanford needs some positive news to counter their voracious development. This may help, but it isn't working.

Buying up land and houses, building satellite locations, and billions and billions of endowment, etc. is what they are correctly known for. They are a mega corporation, and they act like one.


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