The Stanford University Press took center stage at the Faculty Senate assembly on Thursday, with Senate members carrying out an active discussion about the function of a college press, the challenges of academic publishing and the future of Stanford University Press.
At its very last assembly of the instructional yr, the Senate also heard an update from President Marc Tessier-Lavigne at the university’s utility to Santa Clara County for a General Use Permit. And in a longstanding Stanford lifestyle, the Senate bade a lighthearted farewell to its outgoing chair, Stephen Stedman, professor of political technology, proposing a humorous quiz on Faculty Senate records.
Also, the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity released its Annual Report on the Faculty, which outlines profits, losses, and typical composition of the faculty.
Stanford University Press
Most of the senate assembly was focused on the Stanford University Press, and senators concluded the meeting by way of approving the advent of an additional faculty committee that proponents argued will offer additional transparency and an invigorated function for college governance in topics concerning the Press.
The Press moved into the highlight in April when Provost Persis Drell introduced that, while Stanford would maintain to aid the Press with base investment, the college did now not intend to fund the Press’ request for five additional years of $1.7 million in one-time support.
Following college worries, Drell clarified that the university had no goal of last the Press and that she encouraged the formation of a college committee to increase an extended-time period plan to bolster the Press’ financial and operational model. The provost made extra one-time funds of $1.7 million available to the Press for fiscal yr 2020 to assist with this method.
The Press acquired about $900,000 annually in institutional aid from the college’s base preferred budget and profits from a small endowment, and on the Senate meeting Thursday, Drell stated that aid could maintain. The Press additionally receives about $five.1 million in revenue from e-book income and other assets; however, that income does now not cover its annual prices.
“The challenge we’ve been confronting is that the Press is working with a structural deficit, which became $1.7 million in 2008, and that has prompted a succession of requests for a one-time investment,” Drell stated. “There were attempts to cope with the structural deficit that has now not been a hit within the past. We want a strategy and a plan to ensure that our Press is great and supported over the long term, and we can be running with the school on that.”
She noted the recent formation of the faculty committee, chaired through Judith Goldstein, chair of the Department of Political Science. The committee is charged with seeking insights from the campus community, as well as from outdoor professionals, on numerous troubles relating to the Press, consisting of assessing its most suitable length, economic desires, fundraising capability, organizational shape and governance, and reporting relationships in the college.
Drell reassured the senate members of the important role of the Press. “Academic presses are a vital a part of the academic atmosphere, and I believe they may be vital to supporting surroundings of highbrow freedom,” she said. “There are areas where the Stanford Press is making a decisive effect on precise instructional fields. And we virtually need to keep to support that.
“There isn’t any purpose of final the Press. On the contrary, our goal is a Press that is healthful and notable.”
Background on Stanford University Press
Providing history and context for the discussion, Alan Harvey, director of Stanford University Press, gave a presentation on its records and operations.
The Press publishes a hundred twenty-five books yearly in a variety of fields from anthropology, sociology, and politics to literary research, philosophy and faith. Books inside the fields of records and enterprise/economics generate the maximum income, in keeping with Harvey.
Noting the function of the Press in launching the careers of younger students, he said that 35 to 40 percent of the titles are first books. “The publishing we do in this kind of numerous areas is, in reality, fundamental to the careers of many students,” he stated.
Harvey highlighted some current award-winning titles and showed some comparative facts relating to different educational presses. While presses consisting of Oxford and Cambridge post many more titles consistent with year, he mentioned that Stanford University Press is a whole lot greater specialized and is notably aggressive in the marketplace. “We punch properly above our weight,” he said.
In the discussion that observed Harvey’s presentation, several senators requested about the effect of the recent elevated focus on the Press’ operations and finances. Harvey acknowledged that it changed into “tough, morale-sensible” and that he was worried that scholars could hesitate in filing books.
Other senators asked approximately thoughts for other sources of earnings for the Press. Harvey said that many college presses derive enormous earnings from journals and distribution packages; but, those had been mounted many years earlier than and it might be extraordinarily high-priced to create such programs now. He stated that fundraising became the maximum probably supply for different earnings for the Press.
In reaction to a query approximately why Stanford doesn’t submit books on pc science, Harvey replied that the overhead in strolling a technology publishing program is very high, which can be offset through producing a great extent of books. To begin this kind of application at Stanford could require extensive funding, he said.
Motion through the Senate
A movement become placed forth calling for the established order of an advert hoc committee, similarly to the provost’s committee, to make recommendations to the senate regarding college governance and oversight of the Stanford University Press. The committee might check the instructional value of the Press and more actually outline the role of faculty governance in topics concerning the Press.
Adrian Daub, professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies, who introduced the motion, commented at the spirit of the resolution. “We need the Press to thrive, to make certain it’s on more stable footing than occasional cash infusions can provide and we want it to be terrific,” he stated.
The motion additionally requested for each committee to finish their paintings before any selections have been made about the future of the Press. It becomes clarified in dialogue that for the committee’s work to be useful in informing the finances system, their paintings might want to be completed via December. After a few debates approximately which body would set up the charge of the committee, a modification to the resolution turned into made so that the committee’s rate would be mounted by the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Committees. Following discussion, the movement was handed via the Senate.
General Use Permit replace
Tessier-Lavigne gave an update at the college’s software for a new General Use Permit, which is now earlier than the Santa Clara County Planning Commission. The proposed permit would authorize improvement of educational facilities and housing at Stanford over roughly the subsequent many years, at the same time as additionally addressing transportation, sustainability and different troubles essential to Stanford and the network.
After the Planning Commission hearings, the Board of Supervisors will behavior very last examine classes and hearings beginning in the fall, in the course of which the supervisors will vote on whether to approve the utility.
This week, the university submitted its reaction to the county’s draft Conditions of Approval, which can be the implementation guidelines for the General Use Permit. Tessier-Lavigne stated that during its response, the college expressed a willingness to deliver sufficient new housing to fully fulfill the demand for over 2,000 housing units generated by way of its proposed new instructional development.
“We are embracing the possibility to provide extra housing because looking after our team of workers is one among our maximum priorities,” he said.
To attain the additional housing, Tessier-Lavigne stated, the university is asking for changes to some of the other situations proposed through the county that chance was making on-campus housing improvement infeasible.
Also, he emphasized that Stanford remains seeking to work with the county on an improvement settlement – a contract that specifies advantages that Stanford would offer to the broader community over the lifetime of the General Use Permit – in change for the certainty that the college might have the ability to complete its lengthy-time period improvement.
He stated that in the coming months there could be additional possibilities to have interaction inside the manner because the application keeps through the county’s approval process.