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A Shared Vision

Stanford leadership set out to envision the future of the university by tapping into the collective wisdom and creativity of its people. During the 2017-18 academic year, Stanford asked faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, staff, academic staff, and alumni for input. This generated more than 2,800 ideas.

A Purposeful University

The first step in moving these ideas to actionable plans was carried out by four area steering groups led by faculty and including more than 100 people. The groups produced 37 white papers through a process that involved:

  • Gathering input through outreach

  • Identifying links between related proposals

  • Identifying best practices from other institutions

  • Organizing all proposals into a conceptual framework

  • Providing perspective and analysis focusing on the future

For more information on this planning phase, visit

Planning Leads to Action

The white papers were shared with the campus community to inform the ongoing work of the university and to identify areas for further study. Stanford’s Executive Cabinet formed cross-campus design teams that met throughout the 2018-19 academic year to develop recommendations for action.

Following presentations to Stanford’s Executive Cabinet, some recommendations have been integrated, distilled and adapted, resulting in a series of pilots and proof of concept programs that were structured to integrate with and complement schools, departments, institutes and centers. Others will inform and enhance existing foundational work of the university.