Welcome to the new academic year!
To our new faculty, it was wonderful getting to know you last week at orientation. I am so glad you’ve joined the Stanford community and I hope you are settling in to your new environment. Please take advantage of the many resources and opportunities that you heard about in orientation. More information can be found on the Office of Faculty Development, Diversity, and Engagementand the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) websites.
To our continuing faculty, thank you for bringing in such an outstanding group of new faculty! Hiring faculty is one of the most important things we do to ensure Stanford’s future excellence. And looking back, I also want to acknowledge your many contributions throughout the pandemic. Your flexibility, your persistence, and your care and compassion for your students and colleagues were key to Stanford’s ability to continue its mission.
Today I’m writing to call your attention to two things:
- New Online Harassment Guidelines
- The Gender Data Enablement Project: Pronouns in the classroom
Online Harassment Guidelines
Online harassment in academia is a serious and growing problem. A new websitehas been created that provides guidance, support, and resources for faculty and academic staff affected by toxic online behaviors such as insults, stalking, threats of bodily harm, and sexual harassment.
I encourage you to review the Roles and Responses section, which outlines immediate actions that can be taken should you become a target of online harassment. There is also a list of helpful resources, both internal and external, as well as links to some publications and studies on the issue.
Online attacks stand in fundamental opposition to Stanford’s core values of “integrity, diversity, respect, freedom of inquiry and expression, trust, honesty, and fairness” (Stanford Administrative Guide Chapter 1.1.1). To advance our mission, all Stanford community members need to work, study, and serve in an environment free from intimidation, harassment, and violence.
Gender Data Enablement Project: Pronouns in the classroom
In an effort to promote inclusion and belonging, Stanford now offers students a broader range of options to self-identify their pronouns in Axess. The pronoun information that students provide now appears on class rosters and in Canvas.
CTL developed new resources for faculty with best practices and suggestions for how to use pronouns as part of creating inclusive learning environments. We understand that teaching contexts vary widely at Stanford, and the guidelines address this and other topics.
This is the first phase of the Gender Data Enablement Project, a larger effort to improve how Stanford collects and manages gender and pronoun information. Faculty and staff will be able to update their pronouns in Axess in the future.
I wish you all the best in the coming year. I am so grateful to you, our faculty, for all that you do to support Stanford’s important mission of research, teaching, and service.