Reinventing Graduate Education

New programs, buildings promote interdisciplinary learning

The first 12 Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships were awarded in 2008 by Patricia Gumport, vice provost for graduate education, ensuring that Stanford remains at the forefront of graduate education worldwide.

The innovative three-year awards provide multidisciplinary graduate research support, which is difficult to obtain, yet essential for the ability of tomorrow’s academic leaders to offer solutions to global challenges.

The graduate fellowships are one of several new programs key to the initiative to enhance graduate education by fostering innovation. Also new is the Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE ) Doctoral Fellowship Program, which awards grants to doctoral students who will strengthen the diversity of the academic pipeline.

Provost John Etchemendy told the first 12 DARE recipients in 2008, “Stanford is making a bold and forceful statement that we understand that diversity in the professoriate must be aggressively pursued. The methods of the past just aren’t good enough.”

Progress continues on buildings designed to facilitate new approaches to graduate education by promoting multidisciplinary research and teaching.

In 2008, ground was broken for the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, whose design is based on a new model of medical education that combines cross-disciplinary teaching and innovative approaches to clinical training and scientific investigation.

Ground also was broken on the Knight Management Center, a new eight-building campus for the Graduate School of Business. The design stresses small, flexible classrooms and team meeting spaces to facilitate a new curriculum and to encourage collaboration with other schools. The new campus also sets high standards for sustainable design and construction by seeking LEED certification.

The Munger Graduate Residences, which will house 600 graduate students in facilities designed to enhance interdisciplinary interaction, will be ready in early 2009.