Campus Notebook

May/June 2002

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Language Departments Avoid Merger
A blue-ribbon commission appointed by provost John Etchemendy, PhD ’82, to study a controversial proposal to merge Stanford’s six foreign language and literature departments has come up with a new organizational plan. Through a series of committees and research interest groups, the departments will remain separate but collaborate on undergraduate affairs, graduate affairs, planning and personnel, and scholarship. In addition, the School of Humanities and Sciences has reactivated several faculty searches that were suspended while the commission did its work and has committed to restoring the number of faculty in the language departments to that of June 2001.

In Undergraduate Admissions, a First
It’s becoming harder and harder to get into Stanford. Only 12.4 percent, or 2,320, of the approximately 19,000 freshman applicants were admitted this year, down from 12.7 percent last year and 13.2 percent the year before. For the first time, more than half of the admittees are members of minority groups: 13 percent are African-American, 24 percent are Asian-American, 10 percent are Mexican-American, 3 percent are other Latino and 2 percent are Native American or Native Hawaiian. Approximately 90 percent of the students were ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes, and nearly three-quarters earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher.

A Jazzy 30th-Birthday Celebration
The Stanford Jazz Festival will host more than 70 artists for its 30th- anniversary celebration June 29 to August 10. Among the headliners: the Hank Jones Trio, guitarist John Abercrombie, tenor sax giant George Coleman, and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath’s quintet—including brother Tootie Heath on drums and Rufus Reid on bass. Free events include an opening-day early bird concert for families and lunchtime jams on the Tresidder Plaza. Tickets for other performances go on sale May 1.

For Bio-X, a New Chair
Matthew P. Scott, professor of developmental biology and of genetics, has been named chair of the leadership council for Stanford’s Bio-X program, which aims to stimulate interdisciplinary research in bioengineering, biomedicine and the biosciences. He takes over from former co-directors James Spudich, PhD ’68, a professor of biochemistry and developmental biology, and chemical engineering professor Channing Robertson, MS ’68, PhD ’70. Scott is recognized for his 1983 co-discovery of the homeobox—a dna sequence that marks an important gene subset in all animals—and for his laboratory’s identification of the genetic cause of basal cell carcinoma and of medulloblastoma, a cancer of the brain.

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