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Over the 2018-2019 academic year, teams of faculty and staff worked to develop recommendations around realizing the university’s vision. Each team was given a charge, which varied based on disciplinary and programmatic distinctions, scope, and timeframe. The resulting work revealed synergies and informed the integration and distillation of Stanford’s strategic plan.

Design team work involved activities such as:

  • Creating a baseline analysis of existing activities on campus
  • Conducting outreach for stakeholder advice
  • Researching best practices
  • Recommending prioritized operational goals
  • Evaluating existing resources to achieve the goals
  • Establishing measures of accomplishment.

Team Reports and Updates

Below is a list of design and discovery teams and their charges, and recommendations that were made at the end of the planning process in May 2019. Note that because many of the plans underwent further refinement after publication, the full reports with recommendations are currently only available to members of the Stanford community via SUNet login.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project


To improve advising for graduate and undergraduate students.



To address the most concerning and complex affordability challenges our community faces. The task force is charged with developing a set of sustainable, wide-spread, data-informed recommendations to address near- and long-term affordability issues for the university’s populations who are most impacted by these regional challenges. Topics to be considered include housing, child care, transportation, and benefits.


Campus Community Engagement

To explore ways to unite campuses and satellite work centers, and to enhance connections among faculty, academic staff, students, postdocs, staff, alumni and trustees.


The Changing Human Experience

To deepen our understanding of humanity past, present and future through thought, cultures, the arts, institutions, and behaviors.


Data Science

To enable our faculty to harness the explosion of new data to advance all fields of research.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project

Ethics, Society and Technology

To infuse our role in the technology revolution with ethics and societal considerations, we will empower faculty and schools with resources to:

  • Research: Explore societal and ethical consequences of scientific and technological advances (e.g., genome editing, ubiquity of social media, autonomous vehicles) to magnify benefits and minimize downsides.
  • Education: Ensure students are equipped to address societal and ethical impacts of science and technology.

First-Year Experience

To encourage exploration and a shared intellectual experience and build creative confidence and personal capabilities to navigate a dynamic future.


Flexible Resources

To strategically deploy a suite of flexible resources and support nimble organizational models to spark new directions in fundamental and applied scholarship, and experimentation in pedagogy, curricular design and development of educational tools. To encourage a culture of strategic risk-taking and provide agility to respond to emerging societal challenges.


Future of the Major

To enable pathways to majors to allow a broad academic experience that crosses disciplines and cultures.


Human-Centered AI

To advance the development of AI and to tackle its ethical and societal impacts.


Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Community (IDEAL)

To advance our commitment to the foundational values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Community (IDEAL) through:

  • Community: Develop a culture that excels at recruiting diverse talent.
  • Access: Continue to diversify our student population through enhanced financial aid for a broad range of students and by gradually increasing enrollment of undergraduates.
  • Education: Achieve sustainable change on campus by enhancing onboarding, advising and curricular content to meet the needs of diverse learners, and by ensuring that majors are available to students regardless of incoming preparation.
  • Research: Become a site of scholarship to foster the goals of IDEAL at Stanford and for other learning communities, and improve data transparency to monitor and guide progress.

Innovative Medicines Accelerator

To accelerate translation of breakthroughs in understanding disease mechanisms into innovative therapies and cures.


Natural World

To deepen our understanding of the physical world and of life through imaging, probing, modeling, theory and design.


Precision and Population Health

To work with partners on developing transportable preventive and population health solutions in the Bay Area and beyond.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project

Professional Development and Well-Being

To develop community learning programs for professional development opportunities for employees and enhanced wellness programs for our community.


Purposeful Engagement with Our World

To develop an inventory and assessment of Stanford’s current global engagement and provide a strategic framework for further development by a design team.

Purposeful Engagement: Local, Regional & National

Purposeful Engagement: Local, Regional & National

To curate information about Stanford’s current local, regional and national engagement activities to inform a future design team phase.



To build an overarching vision for the residential experience at Stanford and present recommendations to the Provost on how to achieve that vision through a task force of faculty, students, alumni, and senior administrators.


Shared Facilities

To support cutting edge research and experiments to advance learning and to accelerate the path from inquiry to application by developing shared platforms and resources in:

  • Imaging
  • Making Spaces
  • Nanofacilities
  • Data Services & Research Computation (Design team commencing work in fall quarter 2019)
Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project

Social X-Change

To push the frontiers of social science and to craft solutions and policies for challenging societal issues such as economic opportunity, polarization, and ineffective institutions.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project


To develop transportable sustainability solutions for our region, nation and world; and to deploy Stanford as a lab, with goals for Stanford to be 80% carbon-free by 2025 and zero waste by 2030.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project

Town Center

To consider campus space as a way to foster community and encourage  interactions as part of the academic mission of Stanford. This includes imagining White Plaza as a vibrant gathering place.

Document by arif fauzi hakim from the Noun Project

Transformative Learning

To advance the science of learning to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all learners, at Stanford and beyond. To equip faculty with resources and data to create new approaches and flexible on-ramps to disciplines, and evaluate new methods of teaching and create tools to deepen learning.