Widgets Magazine

Etchemendy delivers final report to Faculty Senate

This Thursday, the Faculty Senate convened for the first time this quarter to discuss reports about undergraduate education and IT policy while bidding adieu to departing Provost John Etchemendy.

Etchemendy’s final report to the Faculty Senate described his thought process behind accepting the Stanford Band’s appeal to be put on probation instead of sustaining the initial suspension for two quarters. He articulated that the Band had eloquently argued that a suspension would not address the Band’s problems, and the Band had proposed an alternative approach to make the cultural and organizational changes necessary. Etchemendy received a standing ovation for his work as Provost.

Etchemendy also ended his remarks with advice for interacting with the new leadership.

“There’s been a remarkable decline in trust for any kind of leadership,” Etchemendy said. “The only thing I want to say is that the first time [incoming Provost Persis Drell] or [President Marc Tessier-Lavigne] makes a decision that you think is just stupid … step back and pause for a moment, and think that before you attribute ill will, remember that they are trying to do their best.”

Tessier-Lavigne also briefly commented about the recent acts of intolerance performed on campus. He affirmed Stanford’s support of its community members, stating that, “All members of our community belong here at Stanford.” Tessier-Lavigne later specified that this statement included undocumented immigrants. In addition, due to a leaked possible executive order restricting immigration to the country, Tessier-Lavigne also stated that the administration is reaching out to members of the Stanford community who would be affected by this possible order, although he also argued that the situation was very much in flux.

On top of these executive reports, professor of pathology and genetics Andy Fire briefly summarized the Task Force on IT Privacy and Security. Fire mentioned that the task force has created a generalized policy for dealing with requests for University information from both inside and outside of Stanford, such as a request from the U.S. Senate to obtain information on students from Middle Eastern countries after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In addition, Fire articulated that although work has been done to improve security, nobody should assume that someone cannot read their emails.

On top of this IT report, professor Russell Berman, the Chair of the Planning and Policy Board (PPB), briefly described the situation regarding students’ curricular choices and gave recommendations from the PPB on these issues. Ultimately, Berman articulated that the drift toward STEM in and of itself was not an issue; rather, marginalizing non-STEM students was the true issue. Consequently, he recommended that the University come up with a comprehensive communication strategy about the work of a liberal arts education, strengthening advising and promoting better breadth in admissions. He also argued that redesigning the curriculum of non-STEM fields, providing opportunities to explore different fields beyond the major and improving pedagogy could help address this imbalance.  


Contact Christina Pan at capan ‘at’ stanford.edu.

  • Jake W

    Stanford News

    JANUARY 24, 2017
    Provost John Etchemendy leaves remarkable legacy

    We would have to concur. Perhaps the Stanford community is lead to believe that Provost Etchemendy, was all that and a bag of chips. We’d argue over at Cal State San Bernardino, that the Stanford Provost dismantled federal regulations, knocked the wind out of student consumer protections and toppled statewide campus systems of student complaint mechanisms. it’s quite a feat, and only a man as remarkable as the Etch, could achieve it. Etchemendy’s legacy will ensure that no Stanford students will be safe from the potentiality nefarious acts of the Stanford administration, identical to thousands of students in the Calif State University system.. Title IX was a complete disaster represented with Stanford at one point having the most claims filed under Etchemendy’. watch.

    Stanford Provost John W. Etchemendy, has a dual conflicting role as a Western Senior College & University Commission, (WASC Senior, Alameda, CA), board commissioner. Commissioner Etchemendy is required under WASC Senior’s by laws and incorporation to act as an accreditation and policing agency over Stanford, California State University & University of California (tramples). Etchemendy has the lofty responsibility of overseeing Stanford’s (&CSU/UC) accreditation and academic excellence.

    Etchemendy would earn an F—for the fraud he conducted.

    Commissioner/Provost Ethemendy and four Cal State University presidents concealed a Korean diploma mill and receipt of federal student aid, which would be unlawful. We know this because we attended the graduate program. Another diploma mills was revealed by a state employee in July 2016. As provost, Ethemendy is Stanford’s chief academic and budgetary officer. But as a commissioner overseeing the vast CSU system, Etchemendy is incapable of maintaining their academic standards and the release of fraudulently received federal financial aid.

    Let’s assume that the Stanford provost is an intelligent ethical man that is invested in assuring that WASC Senior fulfills its federal mandate. WASC Senior operates under the Council for Higher Education (CHEA) and is overseen by the US Dept. of Education. Major higher education law from WW ll to the 2008 Higher Education Act, clearly shows that consumer protection has always been the central theme for accreditation. But Commissioner Ethemendy failed to protect consumers through orchestrating a bogus diploma mill investigation and re accrediting Cal State San Bernrdino (2015). The fraud is also revealed through a second international diploma mill being operated and admitted to in July 2016.

    CHEA and the rest of the accreditation establishment, however, are missing a crucial point: The expectation that accreditors protect students and taxpayer funds is nothing new. In fact, a review of major higher education legislation from World War II through the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2008 shows that consumer protection has always been the main purpose of federal legislation regarding accreditation. That was the case in 1952, when Congress first leveraged the independent accreditation system as a way to prevent bad actors from receiving federal funds. It still was the goal in 1992, when Congress rewrote many of the rules around accreditation. And it remains true today. If accreditors are still incapable of performing this role, policymakers should explore alternative ways of determining which institutions can and cannot access federal aid.