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Message from the Vice Provost

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Headshot of Karen Cook
Karen Cook, Vice Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity

November 20, 2018


Dear Stanford faculty,

We will be conducting a faculty survey in early January 2019 as part of the long-range planning effort. The last Stanford faculty quality of life survey was conducted in 2008-09. Much has happened in the past decade, including the hiring of many new faculty and changes in university leadership. It’s time to reassess what promotes faculty satisfaction and productivity and determine where improvements are needed.

The survey will include questions on hiring and retention, diversity, mentoring, sexual harassment, workload, and workplace support, among other topics. A separate effort by the Affordability Task Force will be gathering  input from faculty, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars through a detailed affordability assessment immediately following the faculty quality of life survey.

The survey will be administered by the office of Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) in conjunction with the offices of the Provost and the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity. Survey responses will be kept confidential by the relevant offices (IRDS and VPFDD), and findings will only be reported in the aggregate at the unit level.

An advisory committee composed of faculty across the university has been formed to provide input and oversight of the effort. The committee is chaired by Matt Snipp, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology. The committee members are:

  • Rick Banks, Law
  • Stacey Bent, Chemical Engineering
  • Margot Gerritsen, Energy Resources Engineering
  • Prashant Loyalka, Graduate School of Education
  • Tait Shanafelt, Medicine
  • Sarah Soule, Graduate School of Business
  • Karen Cook, Vice Provost (FDD), Sociology, ex officio
  • Magali Fassiotto, (SoM) ex officio
  • Brian Cook, (IRDS) ex officio
  • Yan Li, (VPFDD) ex officio

The survey instrument will be finalized in late fall 2018 and the survey will be conducted in January 2019. For more information, visit the survey website. Please contact the committee at if you have questions or any input you’d like committee members to consider. A town hall is scheduled for December 4, 3-4pm in CCSRE Conference Room (450 Serra Mall, Building 360) and faculty members are welcome to join and ask questions in person.  

It’s important to have broad participation in the survey, especially to help determine priorities that need to be addressed as we move forward with the long range planning process.

Watch for your survey invitation in early January.



Karen S. Cook
Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity
Director, Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS)