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Undergraduate Education

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education: Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education: Martha Cyert

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The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) is responsible for building partnerships with faculty, departments, programs, and schools to promote and sustain excellence in undergraduate education at Stanford. It has a special focus on the academic programs in the first and second year that engage students in critical thinking and scholarly inquiry and that lay the foundations for their subsequent fields of concentration and future achievements. Other VPUE programs support upper class students in research, the arts, overseas study, and writing. VPUE works to ensure equity and accessibility for all students and to promote the core values of a liberal arts education. It seeks to help students create individually meaningful and coherent educational programs by guiding them in their choice of courses, programs of study, and extracurricular academic opportunities. VPUE fosters productive interactions between faculty and students and excellence in teaching through the provision of resources to departments and faculty for research with undergraduates, curriculum and pedagogical development, opportunities for mentoring, and small group seminars.

VPUE programs for first- and second-year students include New Student Orientation/Approaching Stanford, Introduction to the Humanities, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Introductory Seminars, and Sophomore College. Programs for more advanced students include the Bing Overseas Study Program, Writing in the Major, Arts Intensive Program, and Bing Honors College. Undergraduate Advising and Research, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Diversity Outreach, and the Hume Writing Center serve undergraduates throughout their time at Stanford. The Office of the VPUE works closely with the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and the Admissions Office. The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education reports to the Provost.

Policies governing undergraduate education are formulated by Faculty Senate committees and voted into legislation by the Faculty Senate. The Committee on Undergraduate Standards and Policies (C-USP) addresses such topics as general education requirements, grading, awards, advising, and teaching evaluation. The Committee to Review Undergraduate Majors (C-RUM) oversees the initiation and review of undergraduate degree programs. Committee members include the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education or his delegated staff (ex-officio) and representatives from the faculty at large, administration (such as the Office of the University Registrar), and students. The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) nominations committee selects student members. The VPUE also maintains, by rule of the Faculty Senate, the Introduction to the Humanities Governance Board and the Writing and Rhetoric Governance Board to oversee these University degree requirements. Finally, the Undergraduate Advisory Council (UGAC) was established by the Provost in 1996 to serve as the main faculty advisory body for the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

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