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H&S Leadership

Message from the Dean

It is an honor to serve as dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. As the primary school for undergraduate and doctoral education and research, H&S has always played a critical role within the university and the world of higher education.

One of the principal reasons I joined Stanford in 2007 was a belief in the university’s potential as the most creative and influential generator of transformative knowledge in the world.

We have an opportunity to make a unique contribution to higher education. To that end, we must focus on our fundamental drivers of excellence:

Attract and retain the best faculty and graduate students
Education has become increasingly competitive. That presents both an opportunity and a challenge: Bright minds from all over the world are available to us, but the competition is ferocious.

The School of Humanities and Sciences encompasses more than 50 departments and interdisciplinary programs. I can’t pretend to have a vision for the way each of those fields will develop. My job is to help recruit and retain highly talented faculty and students who will shape the future of their fields.

Deliver an innovative undergraduate education
The mark of an outstanding education is not only the material being taught, but the way it is delivered. H&S offers students the intimacy of a liberal arts education—specifically, interaction with faculty—within an environment where those scholars are leaders in their fields. Our students get the best of both worlds.

Provide world-class teaching and research facilities
The dynamic education at H&S calls for constant innovation. We must remain nimble enough to respond to emerging student interests. As learning styles evolve, we need to incorporate new technologies into our classrooms and labs. Without these resources, Stanford cannot continue to push the boundaries of knowledge past what has already been achieved.

Globalize the curriculum
An important reason I came to H&S was the opportunity to help the school build a premier program in international studies—one worthy of Stanford’s rigorous standards.

In the 21st century, that means teaching our students about the great cultures, literatures, religions, and societies of Asia, the Middle East, and other influential regions. The goal of globalizing the curriculum is central to Stanford, but it is also my personal goal, and the primary mark that I wish to leave on H&S in my tenure as dean.

Our unlimited potential
The trajectory of Stanford and the School of Humanities and Sciences makes me optimistic that our extraordinary aspirations can be fulfilled. If we continue to invest in these priorities, Stanford will be the great university of the 21st century. With support from alumni, parents, and friends, we will improve the lives of our students, fulfill the potential of our faculty, and contribute knowledge that will change the future of humanity.

Richard P. Saller
Kleinheinz Family Professor of European Studies
Vernon R. & Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean
School of Humanities and Sciences

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