With the overwhelming success of the Internet crowding up phone and computer lines, a consortium of 34 universities, including Stanford, announced plans in early October to build Internet II. The new computer system will allow the universities to share research data by linking them together.
Stanford's relative standing among the top tier of American universities took a minor hit this year, at least according to U.S. News & World Report magazine, which publishes an annual ranking of the top schools. This fall, Stanford slipped from fourth to sixth, prompting President Gerhard Casper to write a letter to the magazine Sept. 25, calling the rankings "utterly misleading." The magazine rankings also fired up a student movement, born at Stanford, to ask university administrators from around the country to stop sending data to the magazine for the rankings. The Stanford, Berkeley and other student governments passed such resolutions this fall.
Douglas D. Osheroff was a bit grumpy when he picked up the phone Oct. 9. After all, it was 2:30 a.m. when the Stanford professor of physics dragged himself out of a sound sleep. But he quickly came to life when the caller told him he had just won the Nobel Prize in physics. Osheroff, who came to Stanford in 1987, was honored along with two other scientists for their discovery of superfluid helium--a find that deepens the scientific world's understanding of fundamental properties. The prize carries an award of $1.1 million, which Osheroff will split with the two other winners, Cornell professors David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson. Osheroff, who won Stanford's Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1991, became the 10th professor at the university to win a Nobel Prize.
Stanford medical researchers reported encouraging news in July that new AIDS treatments have had some remarkable success in keeping patients healthier longer. Clinical trials of new drugs at Stanford and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System have found that combinations of two, three and four drugs are proving to be effective drug therapies.
More than 2,000 Stanford students signed petitions opposing a plan to open a Taco Bell restaurant at Tresidder Union because of PepsiCo's involvement in Burma. PepsiCo is Taco Bell's corporate parent. Stanford officials then announced in mid-April that the new food franchise at Tresidder will go to Pollo Rey instead of Taco Bell.
Arthur P. Barnes, who turned the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band into "the world's largest rock and roll band," announced he will step down at the end of the school year. Barnes, who will retire as director of bands and a professor of music at Stanford in 1997, first directed the LSJUMB when he came to Stanford in 1963 as a doctoral student. He encouraged the band to be unconventional, arranging rock music and letting musicians scatter instead of march.
Stanford alumni got a new magazine to look forward to in March, when "Stanford" debuted, replacing Stanford Magazine, published by the alumni association, and the Stanford Observer, an alumni newspaper published by the Stanford News Service. The new magazine combines elements of both previous publications and will be published six times a year.
Federal budget cutbacks resulted in staff reductions at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in February and again in August. SLAC is operated entirely as a Department of Energy facility. In February, 28 SLAC workers were told they were being laid off, which followed the voluntary retirement of 42 SLAC workers. Then on Aug. 1, SLAC announced that 20-25 more positions would have to be eliminated by the end of the year.
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford was cited as being in violation of state health regulations after a Jan. 24 inspection by state health officials. The citation was for problems in the hospital's medical records department, including patient files that had records of the wrong patients. It was the third time the hospital was cited within a year for violations of state regulations.
Stanford dedicated its new Gates Computer Sciences Building Jan. 30 with ceremonies including a visit from Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates, who contributed $6 million for the $26 million building. Gates has no formal ties to Stanford except for the four Microsoft vice presidents he recruited who are Stanford graduates.
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