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Stanford launches search to replace president who resigned

Stanford University officially launched its search for a new president Thursday, announcing the makeup of its committee after the recent resignation of its former leader, who failed to correct errors in his published research.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne resigned as Stanford president last month, although an independent panel concluded that he had not personally committed research misconduct and the analysis found no evidence that he knew that the data used in several of his articles had been manipulated. He said in a statement at the time that he was resigning “for the good of the University.”

Stanford’s leadership search comes as UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block also announced their resignations next year, marking a major transition for three top universities of the state and the country. While Christ will have served as chancellor for seven years and Block for 17 years, the average tenure for university and college leaders today is about six years, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Current presidents plan to resign within five years, and their reasons for leaving include fatigue with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and growing political polarization in higher education, the Chronicle reported.

Jerry Yang, chairman of Stanford’s board of trustees, told the university community in a letter that the presidential search will be an “exciting journey” to imagine and shape the university’s future.

“More than just finding one person to fill this position, this is an opportunity for us to collectively shape the future of our university and help write the next chapter for how Stanford will lead,” Yang said.

Stanford Dean Persis Drell is also resigning this fall as chief academic officer and budget director. Jenny S. Martinez, dean of Stanford Law School, will succeed him starting in October and has been hailed as a “champion of inclusion and a clear, reasoned voice for academic freedom” by the president. interim Richard Saller.

In another question-and-answer session last month, Yang praised Tessier-Lavigne and Drell for their leadership, saying they had “transformed this university through forward-looking initiatives” while managing the pandemic. He highlighted initiatives such as more generous financial aid offering potential free trips to students with household incomes below $100,000, more faculty hires and scholarships to amplify knowledge about race and origin ethnicity, a new community council to review campus safety practices and the first new school. in 75 years, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

Yang said the 20-member committee, made up of faculty, students, a postdoctoral researcher, staff and administrators, would solicit community input through listening sessions within each of the seven Stanford schools, and would also engage with other community members and alumni networks. The university has also created a dedicated email address – – for anyone to share their thoughts, including direct nominations.

The UC Board of Regents has not yet announced the search committee members for the chancellor positions at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Los Angeles Times

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