The Board of Trustees met on Feb. 9 and 10 to discuss tuition increases, the status of the School of Humanities and Sciences and several construction projects.
The Board approved a 3.5 percent increase in tuition and room and board costs for the 2015-2016 school year. The decision mirrors a Board decision last February to raise tuition by 3.5 percent for the 2014-2015 school year.
According to Board Chair Steven Denning MBA ’78, the Board analyzed financial aid improvements and problems of income inequality among other metrics in approving the tuition increase. Denning emphasized that the substantial growth of Stanford’s financial aid program means that the net cost of attending the University has actually fallen over the last decade, despite the rise in tuition over the same time period.
“We have a strong commitment as an institution to need-blind domestically, and we continue to adhere to that policy,” Denning said. “All the discussion is around the gross number, and it going up by 3.5 percent. To me the real focus ought to be on the net number, and what’s it going up by after financial aid and in real dollars? When you look at [the tuition increase] on that basis, it’s quite modest.”
The Board also heard a presentation on the status of the School of Humanities and Sciences given by Dean Richard Saller. Saller updated the Board on developments in the Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health (ChEM-H) program and in dual major programs like CS+X.
Denning noted remarkable international recognition of the School’s faculty within the last year, with Maryam Mirzakhani winning the Fields Medal, W.E. Moerner winning the Nobel Prize and Jennifer Eberhardt earning a MacArthur “genius” grant.
Four construction projects were examined by the Board. According to Denning, the McMurtry Building set to replace the Cummings Art Building is scheduled to begin construction in the fall, following the planned demolition of Cummings during the summer.
The Board also discussed developments on the planned construction of a SLAC photo science building and planned faculty housing on California Avenue. The latter facility will contain 68 single-family housing units and 118 condominiums. Partial construction was approved.
The final project discussed was the Roble Field Parking Garage. The Board gave full approval for the garage, which will consist of five levels and will provide 1,165 parking spaces.
“I think it’s consistent with the longer term plan to try and take up parking and put it underground and have either buildings like at the business school or fields like what we’ll have at Roble,” Denning said. “You most optimally use the space that you have here, even though we have a fair number of acres. But we’re still very cognizant of the long term obligations on the space, using it as judiciously as possible.”
Contact Victor Xu at vxu ‘at’ stanford.edu.