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Stanford University is a trust with corporate powers under the laws of the State of California. The University is a tax-exempt entity under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the provisions of the Founding Grant, the Board of Trustees (with a maximum membership of 38) is custodian of the endowment and all the properties of Stanford University. The board administers the invested funds, sets the annual budget and determines policies for operation and control of the university. Among the powers given to the trustees by the Founding Grant is the power to appoint a president. The board delegates broad authority to the president to operate the university and to the faculty on certain academic matters. The formal legal name is "The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University."


Stanford University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Stanford Administration

  • Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President
  • Persis Drell, Provost
  • Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
  • Sarah Church, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Jon Denney, Vice President for Development
  • Stephanie Kalfayan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Michael Keller, Vice Provost for Technology and Learning
  • Farnaz Khadem, Vice President for University Communications
  • Randall S. Livingston, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer
  • Megan Pierson, Chief of Staff to the President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees
  • Robert Reidy, Vice President for Land, Buildings and Real Estate
  • Martin Shell, Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer
  • Matthew Snipp, Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Engagement
  • Robert Wallace, Chief Executive Officer, Stanford Management Company
  • Timothy Warner, Vice Provost for Budget and Auxiliaries
  • Howard Wolf, Vice President for Alumni Affairs and President, Stanford Alumni Association
  • Elizabeth Zacharias, Vice President for Human Resources
  • Debra Zumwalt, Vice President and General Counsel

Executive Cabinet

  • Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President
  • Persis Drell, Provost
  • Stacey Bent, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Condoleezza Rice, Director, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace (effective September 1, 2020)
  • Stephan Graham, Dean, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
  • Chi-Chang Kao, Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Jonathan Levin, Dean, Graduate School of Business
  • Jenny S. Martinez, Dean, School of Law
  • Lloyd Minor, Dean, School of Medicine
  • Kathryn Ann “Kam” Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research
  • Debra Satz, Dean, School of Humanities & Sciences
  • Dan Schwartz, Dean, Graduate School of Education
  • Jennifer Widom, Dean, School of Engineering

The Board of Trustees

Powers and Duties

The Board of Trustees is custodian of the endowment and all properties of the University. The Board administers the invested funds, sets the annual budget, and determines policies for the operation and control of the University. The powers and duties of the Board of Trustees derive from the Founding Grant, amendments, legislation, and court decrees. In addition, the Board operates under its own bylaws and a series of resolutions on major policy.


Board membership is set at 38, including the President of the University who serves ex officio and with vote. Trustees serve a five-year term and are eligible for appointment to one additional five-year term. At the conclusion of that term, a Trustee is not eligible for reelection until after a lapse of one year. Eight of the Trustees are elected or appointed in accordance with the Rules Governing the Election or Appointment of Alumni Nominated Trustees. They serve a five-year term.

Officers of the Board

The officers of the board are a chair, one or more vice chairs, a secretary, and an associate secretary. Officers are elected to one-year terms at the annual meeting in June, with the exception of the chair, who serves a two-year term. Their terms of office begin July 1.


Standing committees of the Board are  Audit, Compliance and Risk; Development; Finance; Land and Buildings; Student, Alumni and External Affairs; and Trusteeship. Special committees include Athletics, Compensation, and Investment Responsibility.


The Board generally meets five times each year.

Members of the Board of Trustees as of February 1, 2021

  • Felix J. Baker, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Baker Brothers Investments, New York, NY
  • Aneel Bhusri, Co-Founder & CEO, Workday, San Francisco, CA
  • DeAngela J. Burns-Wallace, Secretary of Administration & CITO, State of Kansas, Topeka, KS
  • Michael C. Camuñez, President & CEO, Monarch Global Strategies LLC, Los Angeles, CA
  • Michelle R. Clayman, Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer, New Amsterdam Partners LLC, New York, NY
  • RoAnn Costin, President, Wilderness Point Investments, Cambridge, MA
  • Roberta B. Denning, Greenwich, CT
  • Katharine B. Duhamel, San Francisco, CA
  • Henry A. Fernandez, Chairman and CEO, MSCI Inc., New York, NY
  • Angela S. Filo, Co-Founder, Yellow Chair Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
  • Sakurako D. Fisher, San Francisco, CA
  • James D. Halper, Executive Chairman, Owl Rock Opportunities Fund, Los Angeles, CA
  • Ronald B. Johnson, Founder & CEO, Enjoy, Menlo Park, CA
  • Marc E. Jones, Chairman & CEO, Aeris, San Jose, CA
  • Tonia G. Karr, San Francisco, CA
  • Sarah H. Ketterer, CEO, Causeway Capital, Los Angeles, CA
  • Carol C. Lam, Attorney, La Jolla, CA
  • Kenneth E. Olivier, Chairman Emeritus, Dodge and Cox, San Francisco, CA
  • Carrie W. Penner, Chair of the Board, Walton Family Foundation, Aspen, CO
  • Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder/President, Emerson Collective, Palo Alto, CA
  • Jeffrey S. Raikes, Co-Founder, The Raikes Foundation, Seattle, WA
  • Mindy B. Rogers, Atherton, CA
  • Victoria B. Rogers, President, Rose Hills Foundation, Pasadena, CA
  • Lily Sarafan, CEO, Home Care Assistance, San Francisco, CA
  • Srinija Srinivasan, Palo Alto, CA
  • Jeffrey E. Stone, Chairman Emeritus and Senior Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Chicago IL
  • Gene T Sykes, Global Co-Head of M&A & Chairman, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
  • Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Elizabeth H. Weatherman, Special Limited Partner, Warburg Pincus, LLC, New York, NY
  • Maurice C. Werdegar, CEO, WTI, Portola Valley, CA
  • Jerry Yang, AME Cloud Ventures, Palo Alto, CA
  • Charles D. Young, Chief Operating Officer, Invitation Homes, Dallas, TX

The President

The Founding Grant prescribes that the Board of Trustees shall appoint the President of the University and that the Board shall give to the President the following powers:

  • To prescribe the duties of the professors and teachers.
  • To prescribe and enforce the course of study and the mode and manner of teaching.
  • Such other powers as will enable the President to control the educational part of the University to such an extent that the President may justly be held responsible for the course of study therein and for the good conduct and capacity of the professors and teachers.

The President is also responsible for the management of financial and business affairs of the University, including operation of the physical plant.

The President is responsible for the safety of the campus and may take reasonable steps to protect the University including, but not limited to, barring people from campus who disrupt the normal business operations of the University or who present a threat to the safety of the University community. As an example, in extraordinary circumstances, the President may temporarily or permanently discontinue students who present a threat to the health and safety of the University community.

The President appoints the following, subject to confirmation by the Board: Provost, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer of Stanford Management Company, Vice President for Alumni Affairs and President of Stanford Alumni Association, Vice President for Development, Vice President for Public Affairs, Vice President and General Counsel, Vice President for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Vice President for Land, Buildings, and Real Estate.

For additional information, see the Office of the President web site.

Committees and Panels Appointed by the President

University Committees are appointed by and are primarily responsible to the President. Such committees deal with matters on which the responsibility for recommendation or action is clearly diffused among different constituencies of the University. In accordance with the Report on the Committee Structure of the University, Academic Council members are appointed to University Committees on nomination of the Senate Committee on Committees and student members on nomination of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Committee on Nominations. The President takes the initiative in the appointment of staff members to such committees. Although immediately responsible to the President, University Committees may be called upon to report to the Senate of the Academic Council or the ASSU. Charges to such committees are set by the President on recommendation of the Committee on Committees and others. There are four University Committees, as follows:

  • Committee on Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (C-APER)
  • Committee on Environmental Health and Safety (C-EH&S)
  • Committee on Faculty Staff Human Resources (C-FSHR)
  • Public Art Committee (PAC)

Additionally there are eleven standing administrative panels which are appointed by the Vice Provost and Dean of Research, and which report through him/her to the President:

  • Administrative Panel on Biosafety
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-01
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-03
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-04
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-05
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-06
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-07
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research-08
  • Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Non-Medical Research-02
  • Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care
  • Administrative Panel on Radiological Safety

The Provost

The Provost, as the chief academic and budget officer, administers the academic program (instruction and research in schools and other academic units) and University services in support of the academic program (including budgeting and planning, land and buildings, libraries and information resources, and student affairs). In the absence or inability of the President to act, the Provost becomes the Acting President of the University. The Provost shares with the President conduct of the University's relations with other educational institutions, groups, and associations.

Schools of the University

The program of instruction in the University is organized into seven schools:

  • Graduate School of Business
  • School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
  • Graduate School of Education
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Stanford Law School
  • School of Medicine

The deans of the schools report to the Provost.

The Academic Council

Stanford Academic Council web site.

According to the Articles of Organization of the Faculty, originally adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1904 and revised in 1977, the powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council consisting of:

  1. the President of the University
  2. tenure-line faculty: Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor
  3. nontenure-line faculty: Associate and Full Professor followed by the parenthetical notation (Teaching), (Performance), (Applied Research), or (Clinical)
  4. nontenure-line research faculty: Assistant Professor (Research), Associate Professor (Research), Professor (Research)
  5. Senior Fellows in specified policy centers and institutes
  6. certain specified officers of academic administration.

In the Spring of 1968, the Academic Council approved the charter for a Senate to be composed of 55 representatives elected by the Hare System of Proportional Representation and, as ex officio nonvoting members, deans of the academic schools and certain major officers of academic administration.

In the allocation of representation, each school constitutes a major constituency. The Senate may create from time to time other major constituencies as conditions warrant. Approximately one-half of the representatives are allocated to constituencies on the basis of the number of students in those constituencies and the remainder on the basis of the number of members of the Academic Council from each constituency.

Committees of the Academic Council

Committees of the Academic Council are created by and responsible to the Senate of the Academic Council and are appointed by the Committee on Committees of the Senate. Such committees deal with academic policy matters on which the primary responsibility for action and decision lies with the Academic Council or, by delegation, the Senate. Pursuant to the Senate's acceptance on September 25, 1969 of the Report from the Committee on Committees on the Committee Structure of the University and subsequent Senate action, the Senate has established seven standing Committees of the Academic Council, as follows:

  • Committee on Academic Computing and Information Systems (C-ACIS)
  • Committee on Graduate Studies (C-GS)
  • Committee on Libraries (C-Lib)
  • Committee on Research (C-Res)
  • Committee on Review of Undergraduate Majors (C-RUM)
  • Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid (C-UAFA)
  • Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policy (C-USP)

The Senate has also created a Planning and Policy Board of the Senate to consider long-range strategic issues of concern to the faculty. Information regarding charges to these committees is available from the Office of the Academic Secretary to the University.

Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU)

Web Site:

All registered undergraduates and graduate students are members of the ASSU. They are governed by the ASSU Constitution and Bylaws, which was last revised and approved by student vote in April 2013.


The President and Vice President serve as the chief executives and representatives for the Association. The Financial Manager acts as business manager of the ASSU, CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE), and controller of the Students' Organizations Fund in which ASSU and student organization funds are deposited.


There are two legislative bodies, an Undergraduate Senate and a Graduate Student Council, that work together to determine the Association's budgetary, financial, investment, business, and operating policies. In addition, each entity provides funding for student organizations, participates in recommending student appointments to University Committees and advocates on behalf of its constituents. Each body has 15 elected representatives and an elected chair. Both meet regularly to conduct Association business and discuss and act on issues pertinent to student life at Stanford.