Widgets Magazine

Boardman to retire August

Greg Boardman, the vice provost for student affairs, will retire on Aug. 31 after 13 years at Stanford and a rocky past year of student criticism. Provost Persis Drell will announce plans for a search committee early in spring quarter.

Greg Boardman will step down as vice provost of student affairs in August (Courtesy of Stanford News).

As vice provost, Boardman oversees a swathe of services and community centers that affect nearly every aspect of student life, from the Registrar’s Office, which runs course registrations each quarter, to Vaden Health Center. Part of Boardman’s work is coordinating among many branches of Student Affairs. The Trump administration’s executive order on immigration and travel is one example of a campus-wide issue that has involved collaborations across community centers — such as the Bechtel International Center, the Markaz Resource Center and Vaden — in order to address student needs.

“Greg’s devotion to the whole student has been unwavering throughout his career,” former Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82 said in an interview with Stanford News. “At Stanford, he has championed students’ development as lifelong learners and leaders. He has been a supportive friend and mentor to students and staff, through both happy times and troubled times.”

At the same time, many students associate Boardman with unpopular decisions to restrict hard alcohol at undergraduate parties and residences and to suspend the Stanford Band. Over the past decade, Boardman has also come under fire for issues as varied as mental health services at Stanford and the adjudication process for Honor Code violations — in part due to the wide-ranging responsibilities of the Office of Student Affairs.

In addition to his role as vice provost, Boardman serves on the Stanford Athletics Board, the Stanford Alumni Association Board and the Haas Center for Public Service National Advisory Board. Boardman has spent much of his career in university administration with a special focus on residential programming and campus life.

Since he was appointed to his current post in 2006, Boardman has established various student life-related University divisions such as the Diversity and First-Generation Office, the Office of Sexual Assault & Relationship Abuse Education & Response (SARA) and the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities. Within Student Affairs, Boardman has emphasized long-term planning in communications, resource use and responses to student needs, launching the “Future of Student Affairs” program last spring.

As his time at Stanford draws to a close, Boardman has also pursued new initiatives to bridge the gap between students and the University, such as open office hours with students — an arrangement that Boardman first proposed to the Undergraduate Senate. However, Boardman has had to contend with a student body that some say increasingly sees Stanford’s recent decisions on hard alcohol, sexual assault and Band as symptoms of an administration that values its image over student welfare.

Contact Fangzhou Liu at fzliu96 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Fangzhou Liu

Fangzhou Liu ’19 is an editor majoring in computer science and linguistics. Raised in Singapore, she still shares her compatriots’ interests in street food and freebies and your dad’s taste in music. Contact Fang with questions and job leads at fzliu96 ‘at’ stanford.edu.
  • Joe Citizen

    From the scant facts in the public domain, it appears Boardman was yet another administrator whose cowardice empowered Michele Dauber, and that is a very bad thing, not just for Stanford but truly for all American society – and as such, though he did not ask for the job, (or reining Dauber in) his moral failings have hurt us all a great deal, so it’s great to see him leave his office being actively pilloried by the same people he tried so hard to appease.

    He really should have known better.

    If you look at what one can find of the Leah Francis case – it’s important to note here, despite many dozens of articles about her in the Daily, one does not find a timeline telling what she said, and when, specifying the alleged misconduct of all she accused, nor any indicaton of when/how she came across Dauber and other so-called vicitm’s advocates, and what actions they took part in on her behalf – but if you look at what one can find, all the facts seem to support the idea she jumped into bed with him seeking consolation for the trauma of discovering her parents were getting divorced, which she just found out about coming home for winter break, and then feeling angry and spurned when he did not want the same relationship she did, accused him of rape for revenge.
    Basically, there was no basis for sustaining any substantial complaint, or any serious punishment, against him – there was simply far too much reason to doubt her motives.

    Boardman is likely not indifferent to sexual assault as Dauber, Francis et all accuse him of being – there is no rational reason to think so.

    Nor is he so stupid or blinded by ideology, or hatred of his own sex, to believe Leah Francis had a valid complaint – one has to think he’s too smart for that.

    What he is, and, depending on your place in history this could be the biggest fault a person could have – is an appeaser.

    To make a clearly over the top analogy that is not to be taken at all literally, Boardman is Chamberlain, Dauber is that man who was in control of Germany at the time, and the student Leah Francis had totally voluntary sex with, now known as “John Doe” in his lawsuit against Stanford, is Czechoslovakia.
    Appeasers, whatever good they may do, whatever admirable traits they have, are respected by neither side, and, depending on how many people end up harmed by the appeasement, often end up universally hated. That will not be Boardman’s fate because so many people at Stanford are NOT harmed by the absurdly unfair sexual assault discipline process, but personally I believe enough will come out during discovery in the John Doe v. Stanford lawsuit, if it’s shared with the public, to put kind of a permanent scarlet letter A on his forehead.

  • One Alum

    Let no one forget that Boardman was the administrator who oversaw Stanford’s theft of the Chi Theta Chi co-op house from its alumni owners in a process that had Stanford’s lawyers attacking its own alumni.