Campus Notebook

‘Reaffirming What We Do’

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decisions on affirmative action in admissions at the University of Michigan, handed down June 23, “reaffirm what we do,” says Robin Mamlet, dean of admission and financial aid. The rulings allow race to be considered a positive factor in college admissions; at Stanford, race is one of “a whole host of factors” taken into account, Mamlet says. University President John Hennessy says he was “very pleased” by the Court’s reaffirmation of a 1978 decision that diversity is a “compelling interest” in admissions. Stanford had filed an amicus brief supporting the University of Michigan.

A ‘Win-Win’ for Stanford and Palo Alto

So long, pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm. The University has reached an agreement with the city of Palo Alto to turn an undeveloped six-acre parcel of Stanford-owned land at the corner of Page Mill Road and El Camino Real into soccer fields for the city, which the University will pay to build. Stanford also agreed to construct 250 units of housing, including 50 below-market-rate units, on a different Palo Alto site beginning in 2013. In exchange, the University will have the right to develop 100,000 square feet of commercial space within its South Research Park. “This is a win-win,” said Palo Alto vice mayor Bern Beecham. “This proposal is going to wind up to the benefit of our children ’s children.”

Under New Management

Stanford’s getting out of the shopping mall business, but not to worry: Bloomingdale’s, Tiffany and the other 140 mostly high-end retailers that make up the Stanford Shopping Center aren’t going anywhere. In July, the Board of Trustees voted to turn over management of the 70-acre, open-air center to Simon Property Group, the largest publicly traded mall company in North America. Under the terms of the 51-year lease, the University will receive $333 million plus about one-quarter of the center’s annual rent and will have approval rights over significant changes, including major new tenants.

For H-Bomb Inventor, a Medal of Freedom

TellerPhysicist Edward Teller, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, was among 11 Americans who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on July 23. Teller, now 95, participated in the 1945 production of the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos, N.M., and led the development of the hydrogen bomb. He was instrumental in setting up the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which he directed from 1958 to 1960. In the early 1980s, Teller was a major influence in President Ronald Reagan’s proposed Strategic Defense Initiative.