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A Vision For Stanford

A Purposeful University

Empowering discovery & creativity, accelerating impact, and transforming education

Since its founding, Stanford has sought and embraced new ways of fulfilling the university’s mission of research, education, and service. In our world today, rapid change is transforming the human experience and posing fundamental questions for humanity. The need to understand this rapidly changing world and to develop solutions for societal challenges has never felt more urgent.

In response to these challenges, Stanford has developed a new vision for the university based on recommendations that emerged from a campus-wide strategic planning process that ended in May 2019. These recommendations have been distilled and integrated into a long-range vision, which will guide the university’s priorities over the coming years.

The plan is anchored in in efforts to advance Stanford’s academic and research mission and to strengthen communities both on campus and beyond. It is premised on the conviction that Stanford is extraordinarily well positioned, with its disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths, to bring new approaches to addressing the fundamental questions of our time. It reflects the view that advancing knowledge and solutions for society means not just developing technology, but integrating an understanding of attitudes, values, behaviors, cultures, histories, and our capacity for cooperation. It fervently underscores the need to provide strong support for the people in our community, and to advance our mission with integrity and values.

Fueled by optimism, ingenuity and a sense of responsibility, we seek to accelerate our purposeful impact in the world

Guiding Principles

Foundational to our vision are our guiding principles to:

  • Renew our commitment to Stanford’s founding purpose to promote public welfare by exercising influence on behalf of humanity 
  • Anchor our efforts in integrity, ethics, inclusion, and human welfare 
  • Advance our mission as a research university to serve as a place of enlightenment and freedom of thought and expression

“A purposeful university promotes and celebrates excellence as a means to magnify its benefit to society.”

Marc Tessier-Lavigne

President