Gifford, Jonathan G. and Stanford Historical Society
Professor Michael Bratman offers general reflections on the operations of the Stanford Faculty Senate and describes his experience as the chair of the 29th Faculty Senate in 1996-1997.
A key topic of the 29th Senate was the reevaluation of the Cultures, Ideas, and Values (CIV) Area One requirement, which attracted a great deal of national attention as to whether Stanford would remain committed to diversity in its curriculum. Bratman describes with pride how the senate handled this complicated issue and put in place a process that all constituencies felt was fair.
Bratman also comments on the agenda-setting role of the Senate Steering Committee and the essential role played by the Academic Secretary in providing institutional background, continuity, and preparation for the incoming chair. Other topics covered include the electoral process, the role played by the university president and provost in the senate, the convening of the second Planning and Policy Board, and the way Bratman’s experience as senate chair prepared him for a later role as president of the American Philosophical Association at a challenging time in that organization’s history.
The interview ends with Bratman’s reflections on some of the traditions of the senate and his observation that great universities are made in part by the kind of procedures they follow in making important decisions.
Michael Bratman, Stanford Historical Society, oral histories, interviews, higher education, professors, Stanford University. Faculty Senate, universities and colleges--administration, faculty governance, and universities and colleges--faculty
July 28, 2017
Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program interviews, 1999-2012