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Reader Survey Results

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Responses to Our Reader Survey 4/1/24


The Question: What should be the two or three highest priorities for Stanford's current or next president? (Click here to take the survey.)


Reader Responses

(In the order received and some with minor edits for style.)


1.   Restore student life to the students.


2.   Reestablish civility on campus.


3.   Adopt and enforce the Chicago principles.


      Over time, increase the population of faculty and staff who are more to the center and right politically.


      Reduce the number of administrators.

4.   Emphasize meritocracy and end DEI racism. End the policy of prohibiting alums from taking the initiative to           contact students. End discrimination against women applicants (favoring male applicants who are less                   qualified).


5.   Turning out students who can become functional citizens and future leaders in a diverse country: people               willing to listen to two sides of a topic, people who understand two sides of an argument, people who are             taught two sides of an argument, people who don't demonize those who disagree with them. 


      And while I am a proponent of free speech and academic freedom, it only works when there is some degree         of viewpoint diversity, when the faculty and student body are not self-selected to primarily have one view. 


      And while I am also a big proponent of STEM, students need a grounding in our history and values, with all its       good and bad, taught by professors focused on education not indoctrination, to allow our society to function       constructively, and to resolve how to best use the advances that STEM will bring.

6.   A vibrant and creative undergraduate social life. Note Bene: Live-in selective social groups are critical. Die             Luft der Freiheit Weit!  Both speech and activities.


7.   Start with ending Stanford's destructive Bias Reporting program, move all programs not associated with               teaching and research off campus, end DEI, stop funding frivolous SHARE games and similar silly programs,           trim the excessive and out-of-control administrative bureaucracy, present freedom of speech training at every       new student orientation.


8.   End the Election Integrity, Virality, Internet Observatory projects and all other projects designed to censor           citizens, sway public opinion, and essentially serve as the government’s mouthpiece.


9.   I realize my opinions are 'dated' and 'old fashioned', but here goes:


      Get back 'to basics' by emphasizing a truly, TRADITIONAL, liberal education grounded in the fundamentals of       the 'ill-named' "Western Canon";


      RESTRUCTURE and make 'free standing affiliates' of Stanford, the professional Schools of Business, Law, &           Medicine along the lines of the current [uneasy!] relationship between Hoover and Stanford; 


      Require, to the extent lawful & practicable, full financial disclosure of ALL research undertakings of more than       two years in duration and $5 million dollars of internal AND extramural financial support; &


      SHRINK the size of the Graduate School enrollment by 1/3 over a ten-year period of time, notwithstanding           the suggestion above re: the Professional Schools.  This change will have, IMO, a catalytic impact on the               Undergraduate experience for which the Stanford’s founded the University in the 19th century.


10.   The highest priority of any academic institution, particularly one at the level of Stanford should be the                   encouragement and tolerance of divergent discourse.  Suppression of free speech, whether it be from s                 conservative or liberal viewpoint cannot and should not be tolerated. 


        A secondary priority must be the cutting of the bloated administration. I have read articles pro and con                 about the "need" for administrators, and I absolutely do not believe the university needs anywhere near the         number of administrators it presently has.  Start the cuts with any and all DEI personnel. They are not                   needed.


       Students need to feel safe on campus, but not locked-down by administrative shackles. While Stanford will            never likely be as free and fun a place as it was in the past, there needs to be a significant return to a place          that is far more open and accepting than now.

11.  Bring back mandatory Western Civ curriculum.

       Reorient instruction toward truth seeking and critical thinking. Begin by firing any instructor incapable of              keeping their political views out of the classroom or unable to dispassionately part competing viewpoints.

       Drastically reduce DEI administration and purge the campus of its inclusion in instruction.

12.  Restore freedom of speech on campus, no censorship.

       Put a curb on genetic engineering and AI as leading focuses on campus.

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