Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
The VPUE Faculty QuarterlyVPUE Logo

Winter Quarter 2011 - 2012


Dear Colleagues:


I hope you had a wonderful holiday break. With the start of the new winter quarter, we eagerly anticipate the publication of the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES) report on January 26th and the ensuing discussion of its recommendations in the Faculty Senate. My deepest thanks go out to the seventeen members of the SUES committee and the sixty members of the seven subcommittees for all of their hard work. Most particularly, I thank the SUES leadership of Jim Campbell and Sue McConnell for their tireless efforts in producing this detailed, thoughtful, and thought-provoking document, the result of this in-depth, two-year process.


At the Senate meeting on December 1st, the SUES committee provided an overview of its proposals for Senate legislation, which will be discussed further and voted on in the Senate this winter. SUES offers a unique opportunity for Stanford to renew its commitment to undergraduate education and to find innovative ways of invigorating our mission of teaching and learning. Thanks to Provost Etchemendy, all faculty involved in teaching undergraduates will receive a copy of this significant report. In the spring, the VPUE will sponsor a series of discussions with individual faculty members, directors of undergraduate studies and department chairs. We will invite them to consider how they might, at the departmental level, best realize SUES recommendations.    


Within this winter newsletter, you will find information on new VPUE programs as well as important upcoming grant deadlines, including the call for proposals to participate in the second "class" of Faculty College. Faculty College represents a unique opportunity for groups of faculty who want to work collaboratively on a project related to curriculum or pedagogy. Faculty College affords these groups the time and resources not just to imagine a new course or to revise departmental curriculum but to do so in an environment that challenges them to consider new ways of teaching and learning. We strongly encourage you and your colleagues to apply.  


I hope that you have an excellent winter quarter. We at the Office of the VPUE look forward to continuing and evolving partnerships with you.  




Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities
Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Grants and Prizes

The final deadline for 2011-2012 Faculty Research Grants is January 31, 2012. For more information on how to apply, please see the request for proposals. To view successful grant applications from past years, please see our selection of sample grant proposals. For more information, contact Brian Thomas at (650) 723-0051 or

Faculty College brings together faculty teams over the course of the academic year to plan, study, and develop innovative curricular and pedagogical ideas. It provides these teams with the space, time, and resources to work collaboratively on projects such as new team-taught courses, a major change to a department's curriculum, or new cross-disciplinary teaching endeavors. The deadline for the 2012-13 program is February 15, 2012. For the 2012-13 program RFP, and a list of teams in the 2011-12 inaugural year of the program, visit the Faculty College webpage. If you have questions, please contact Shari Palmer at

The VPUE provides support to faculty, academic departments, and programs through a variety of funds in several areas: curriculum and course development, program enhancement and support, and undergraduate research. Several grants have upcoming February 15 deadlines, including the Curriculum Development Grant, Bing Honors College, and Revs at Stanford Curriculum Development Grant. Others have rolling deadlines. A chart summarizing the funds, deadlines for proposals, and who should apply may be found on our faculty and staff website. Supporting documents, including detailed RFPs, and in some cases sample proposals, lists of previous grantees, and FAQs, may also be found there.

Deans' Award for Academic Accomplishment Nominations
On behalf of Pam Matson, Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, Jim Plummer, Dean of the School of Engineering, and Richard Saller, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, we seek your help in identifying worthy nominees for the Deans' Award for Academic Accomplishment. This award, inaugurated in the spring of 1988, is given each year to between five and ten truly extraordinary undergraduate students who deserve campus-wide recognition for their academic endeavors that might not otherwise be celebrated. If you have encountered a student whose brilliant academic accomplishment places him or her among the best Stanford undergraduates, we invite you to write a letter of nomination. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 2, 2012 and more information is available on the VPUE faculty website.

The establishment of the Hoagland Award Fund for Innovations in Undergraduate Teaching makes resources available for faculty projects that enhance student learning and enable teaching innovations. Awarded to individual faculty or teams, three to four grants are given each year in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The possibility exists of occasional $50,000 grants being awarded for particularly ambitious, worthy projects. The request for proposals is now available and proposals are due no later than April 30, 2012.

The Geballe Prize was established to encourage Stanford University faculty and students to utilize the Cantor Arts Center as a resource for intellectual discovery by honoring outstanding examples of writing related to the Cantor Arts Center, its collections, exhibitions, or programs. Submissions may be analytical, argumentative, or creative prose or poetry written by first and second year undergraduate students as part of coursework in any discipline or independently. Winners will receive a $500 cash award and will be recognized at a special program at the Cantor Arts Center. In addition, winning submissions will be considered for publication in the biennial Cantor Arts Center Journal. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 6, 2012 and more information is available on the Cantor Art Center website.
Teaching Opportunities

Bing Overseas Studies Program
Quarter-Long Programs Each quarter, one Stanford professor serves as Faculty-in-Residence in each of the BOSP program locations. These faculty teach classes in their own disciplines, developing courses that incorporate unique features of the local culture and environment or that provide comparative perspectives on a particular topic. BOSP reimburses for transportation for the faculty member and his or her family and provides housing on location. General information about teaching overseas is available on the BOSP website where application information for teaching in the 2013-2014 academic year is now posted. Applications for Faculty-in-Residence appointments are accepted from any current Stanford faculty member who belongs to the Academic Council. For questions, please contact Trudi Reinhardt at (650) 725-0232 or

Three-Week, Faculty-Led Seminars - Faculty-led Seminars have been re-instituted by BOSP and will be offered on a limited basis in Summer 2012. The 2012 faculty leaders have already been selected for seminars in: Brazil, India, Netherlands, Tanzania, and Turkey.
BOSP is now accepting proposals from Stanford faculty for the Summer Quarter 2012-2013 Overseas Seminars. For these seminars, faculty leaders design and deliver a course in their own discipline in an overseas location that has direct relevance to the course topic and where they have prior experience. Overseas Seminars are two-unit classes offered for three weeks during the summer. Course content should be academically rigorous and unique, but at the same time general enough to be accessible to a wide range of undergraduates. More information is available on the BOSP website. For questions, please contact Naoko Sakata at (650) 725-0236 or

Pre-Major Advising

Undergraduate Advising and Research is already planning for next year's incoming class.  We invite you to join us in greeting and assisting the freshmen and transfers as a Pre-Major Advisor.  We have 310 colleagues who volunteered their time this year and the current freshmen reported that their one-on-one meeting with their Pre-Major Advisor was one of the most important pieces of NSO for preparing them for Autumn Quarter. Being a Pre-Major Advisor benefits you as well as students. As Assistant Professor Jennifer Dionne of Materials Science and Engineering notes, "I have learned a great deal about the amazing undergraduate academic curriculum at Stanford, and feel better connected with the community as a whole. Also, I have enjoyed reconnecting with my 18-year-old self through the experiences of my advisees. They are a joy to work with and make pre-major advising a truly worthwhile experience." If you are interested in learning more, contact Kirsti Copeland, director of Residentially-Based Advising in Undergraduate Advising and Research, at (650) 724-9267 or 
2012-13 Introductory Seminars

Over the past few years, student demand has far outstripped the supply of Introductory Seminars in the fields of engineering, business, law and education. If you are interested in teaching a Freshman or Sophomore Seminar, especially in one of these targeted areas, we encourage you to apply by the February 1, 2012 deadline. Effective seminars provide students an opportunity for intensive intellectual engagement without prior advanced specialization, and they produce unexpected fresh perspectives on the subject as well as lasting relationships between faculty and students. For seminar development information, check the Introductory Seminars website or contact Russell Berman, director of the Introductory Seminar Program at Funding is available for course development assistance. 

Teaching Resources


Free Subject Tutoring
Subject tutoring will commence on January 15. Faculty may want to remind their students of the tutoring resources available on campus from CTL. Tutors in over 300 courses are available during drop-in hours in many residences and by appointment. Tutors focus on helping students develop the problem-solving and analytical skills needed to understand, synthesize, and/or apply complex material. Tutoring is used by students from freshman through senior years and at all levels of understanding. For more information, please visit our Undergraduate Academic Life tutoring website.

Faculty are encouraged to share Oral Communication Program resources with their students. Highly trained peer Oral Communication Tutors (OCTs) are available to provide coaching on all stages of presentation organization, rehearsal, and delivery. OCTs can also advise on designing effective visual aids, reducing speech anxiety, and practicing for job interviews. For more information, please visit the Oral Communication Program's website.
Upcoming Events


Award-Winning Teachers on Teaching

The Center for Teaching and Learning's lecture series, Award-Winning Teachers on Teaching, invites faculty winners of Stanford's major teaching awards to deliver a lecture on a teaching topic of their choice.  


On Thursday, January 26, 2012, from noon-1:05 p.m. in the Hartley Conference Center, Mitchell Earth Sciences, Margot Gerritsen, Professor of Energy Resources Engineering and, by courtesy, of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering; Director, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, will give a talk titled "Jump In, the Water is Lovely!" "In my large mathematics course for incoming graduate students, I'm math instructor, swim coach, and cheerleader, and I love it. I'll share my thoughts on how to help new graduate students overcome common anxieties and thrive, and why I regularly jump into new, and sometimes pretty cold, teaching waters myself," she writes.

Jennifer Summit, Professor of English, will speak Thursday, February 2, 2012, from noon-1:05 p.m. in the Hartley Conference Center, Mitchell Earth Sciences. Her talk is titled "Teaching for Learning." According to Professor Summit, "What difference does it make if we plan our courses around what we want our students to learn? And how can student learning send us back to the big questions of our disciplines? This talk reviews recent research on undergraduate literacy and intellectual development and explores how it can transform university teaching, research, and disciplinary knowledge."

Please look for two additional AWTT lectures in Spring Quarter.  


A great way to meet colleagues from other departments and gain practical teaching tips is to attend one or more sessions in our Teaching Lunch series. CTL provides lunch for these informal gatherings, and the topics are set by the faculty participants themselves.  


Science and Engineering Teaching Lunches   

CAREER Awards, Broader Impacts, and your Teaching
Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Y2E2, Room 101
Register online

Topic yet to be determined by Faculty
Wednesday, February 22, 2012, Noon-1:15
Y2E2, Room 300
Register online

Analyzing the Teaching Process: Enabling the Cognitive Teacher
(Led by Kelley Skeff, George DeForest Barnett Professor in Medicine)
Friday, March 23, 2012, Noon-1:15
Y2E2, Room 101
Register online   


For more information contact Robyn Wright Dunbar at


Humanities and Social Sciences  

Humanities and Social Sciences faculty are welcome at any of the above or can contact Marcelo Clerici-Arias at to start a Social Science series, or contact Mariatte Denman at to start a Humanities series. 

Stanford University VPUE

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