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Board of Trustees discusses neuroscience institute, arts initiative, Rose Bowl

The Stanford Board of Trustees discussed the possibility for forming a neuroscience institute on campus at its last meeting. The university-wide initiative would connect faculty across the University from various disciplines in a structure similar to the Woods Institute for the Environment.

“There are many, many faculty that are dealing with issues in and around the brain around the campus,” said Steven Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Neurology, psychology, biology, chemistry, economics, the business school, neuroeconomics…it’s a very wide range.”

Denning noted that the neuroscience initiative is in its initial stages and could lead to a full-scale institute on campus.

“They estimate that there are about 400 faculty working across the university working to unlock the secrets of the brain,” Denning said. “We think that it’s quite appropriate to have a focal point for that initiative and that effort.”

In addition to discussing the neuroscience initiative, the Board also talked about the arts at Stanford, hearing speeches from Stephen Hinton, director of the Stanford Arts Institute; Connie Wolf, the director of the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts; and Wiley Hausum, the executive director of Stanford Live and Bing Concert Hall. The opening of the Bing Concert Hall was a focus of the meeting, as was the construction of the Anderson Collection and the McMurtry Building.

The Board of Trustees also approved a slight increase in the budget for the renovation of Florence Moore Hall.

A dinner was held at the Hoover House on Dec. 10 to honor the last meeting of Wendy Munger, a long-time Trustee of the Board. After first being elected to the Board of Trustees in 2003, Munger has served as the chair for the Academic Policy, Planning and Management Committee for seven years.

“She’s been an ardent and vocal supporter of the Arts Initiative in a very demonstrable way,” Denning said. “I think it was fitting that in her last meeting, we also had a comprehensive composite view of what was going on overall.”

Denning also noted the Board’s enthusiasm for Stanford’s appearance in the upcoming Rose Bowl. As Stanford’s third bowl game in three years, he was excited that almost 40,000 tickets have been sold for the game, more than twice that of last year’s Fiesta Bowl.

“The support from the students and the alumni has been really terrific,” he said.