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Task Forces

Photograph of assorted staff placing their hands together to symbolize team work in JPG format.

During the summer of 2018, task forces for Our Most Important Work are being formed. The task forces will begin their work together in the fall of 2018.  A survey has been sent to Student Affairs staff soliciting interest in this work. The survey is available at this link

Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Co-chairs - TBD 

  • Challenge - Students, particularly those from historically underserved populations and graduate students, indicate to us that they often do not experience equitable access to opportunities, and that they encounter systems and attitudes that isolate, exclude and marginalize.
  • Divisional Goal - Ensure that students have equitable access to opportunity at Stanford. Engage students, faculty and staff in critical thinking and practice around identity, diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Task Force Charge - Design a comprehensive divisional strategy to address the articulated challenges for equity and inclusion.  Create and gather policies, frameworks and toolkits related to your aims that can be propagated across the division and adapted to fit local contexts.  Note that you are not being asked to define all details of the solution to the equity and inclusion challenge. Rather, you are responsible for defining a clear, coherent, division-wide pathway to the solution that will empower people across the division to contribute in aligned, meaningful ways.   

Process Expectations

  • Evidence based methodology (improvement science, design thinking, etc). 
  • Engage the division and students:  Each group will create opportunity points for the broader division and students to engage in the process (open discussions, surveys, Student Affairs  forums, etc.).
  • Action - Each group should design opportunities for short-term action and long-term planning.

Membership - Team needs to be multi-disciplinary to include members familiar with all the different aspects of the area or topic.  Including managers with broad scope who are able to design systemic interventions for impact and local front-line staff who can articulate the individual experience.  Student membership is essential. 

Community and Belonging Task Force

Co-chairs:  Jennifer Calvert,  assistant vice provost for strategy and assessment, and Cheryl Brown, director of Frosh 101.

  • Challenge - Surveys suggest that many students feel a lack of belonging within the Stanford community.  Undergraduates’ satisfaction with the climate for racial and ethnic minorities on campus has steadily declined over the last several years.
  • Divisional Goal - Foster experiences, relationships and environments that ensure that every student feels a firm and abiding sense of belonging and contributes to the good of our community.
  • Task Force Charge - Design a comprehensive divisional strategy to address the articulated challenges for community and belonging.  Create policies, frameworks and tool kits related to your aims that can be propagated across the division and adapted to fit local contexts.  Note that you are not being asked to define all details of the solution to the community and belonging challenge; rather, you are responsible for defining a clear, coherent, division-wide pathway to the solution that will empower people across the division to contribute in aligned, meaningful ways.   

Process Expectations

  • Evidence based methodology (improvement science, design thinking, etc). 
  • Engage the division and students:  Each group will create opportunity points for the broader division and students to engage in the process (open discussions, surveys, SA forums, etc).
  • Action:  Each group should design opportunities for short term action and long-term planning.

Membership - Team needs to be multi-disciplinary to include members familiar with all the different parts of the area or topic.  Including managers with broad scope who are able to design systemic interventions for impact and local front-line staff who can articulate the individual experience.  Student membership is essential. 

Mental Health and Well-being Task Force

Co-chairs:  James R. Jacobs,  associate vice provost and executive director of Vaden Health Center, and Ken Hsu, assistant vice provost and director, Graduate Life Office

  • Challenge - Many undergraduates enter Stanford with low or vulnerable mental health and well-being.  This worsens at Stanford and a sense of feeling overwhelmed is particularly pronounced for our first-generation college students.
  • Divisional Goal - Develop and strengthen the foundational conditions that support students to be engaged, powerful learners.
  • Task Force Charge - Design a comprehensive university-wide strategy to address student flourishing as a surrogate for mental health and well-being.  Create policies, frameworks and toolkits related to your aims that can be propagated across the institution and adapted to fit local contexts.  Note that you are not being asked to define all details of the solution to the flourishing and well-being challenge; rather, you are responsible for defining a clear, coherent  pathway to the solution that will empower people across the institution to contribute in aligned, meaningful ways.   

Process Expectations

  • Evidence based methodology (improvement science, design thinking, etc). 
  • Engage the division and students:  Each group will create opportunity points for the broader division and students to engage in the process (open discussions, surveys, Student Affairs forums, etc).
  • Action - Each group should design opportunities for short-term action and long-term planning.

Membership - Team needs to be multi-disciplinary to include members familiar with all the different aspects of the area or topic.  Including managers with broad scope who are able to design systemic interventions for impact and local front-line staff who can articulate the individual experience.  Student membership is essential. 

Integrative Learning Task Force

Co-chairs:  Jan Barker-Alexander, assistant vice provost for student affairs and chair of community centers, and Sharon Palmer, associate vice provost for undergraduate education.

  • Challenge - There is unrealized potential to connect the realms of learning and development across domains of Stanford’s educational landscape.  Integrated learning currently occurs too often through chance than through intention and careful design.
  • Divisional Goal - Enhance opportunities for students to engage in purposeful learning that is mutually enhancing with the classroom and Stanford’s core educational principles.
  • Task Force Charge - Design a comprehensive university strategy to address the articulated challenges for integrative learning.  Create policies, frameworks and toolkits related to your aims that can be propagated across the university and adapted to fit local contexts.  Note that you are not being asked to define all details of the solution to the integrative learning challenge; rather, you are responsible for defining a clear, coherent, division-wide pathway to the solution that will empower people across the division to contribute in aligned, meaningful ways.   

Process Expectations

  • Evidence based methodology (improvement science, design thinking, etc).  
  • Engage the division and students:  Each group will create opportunity points for the broader division and students to engage in the process (open discussions, surveys, Student Affairs forums, etc).
  • Action:  Each group should design opportunities for short-term action and long-term planning.

Membership - Team needs to be multi-disciplinary to include members familiar with all the different aspects of the area or topic.  Including managers with broad scope who are able to design systemic interventions for impact and local front-line staff who can articulate the individual experience.  Student membership is essential.