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Staff FAQ

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This page answers common questions from staff about the new school focused on climate and sustainability. It will be updated when there is new information, and in response to new questions.

What is the purpose of creating the new school?

The school will amplify strengths that exist across different campus units — the ability to foster cross-cutting research and education, engage external partners, hire faculty, admit students, establish curricula, and grant degrees — to create a single entity can accelerate progress in the areas of scholarship that impact what many consider to be humanity’s most urgent challenge.

What does it mean for staff to merge?

Combining existing structures, and creating entirely new programs, will result in some realignment to realize the goals of the school. The process for determining that new organization is underway now, with input from staff through interviews, surveys, and focus groups.

What has the process of creating the school been up to this point?

The decision to create the new school arose through the Long-Range Vision, with submissions from faculty, students, alumni, and staff (read more about the history of the Sustainability Initiative). When Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced the new school in May 2020, he asked Kam Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research, to lead the effort of designing the new school, and she asked Dean of the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences Stephan Graham to assist. They appointed a faculty Blueprint Advisory Committee to lead the effort of designing the school’s academic structure.

What is the role of the consultants in this process?

Stanford has hired MOR Associates to assist with designing a staff organization for the school and outlining a transition process. They will also be working with existing staff on a process to position diversity, equity, and inclusion at a central place in the new school’s culture. MOR has worked with other organizations at Stanford and they know the university and our culture well.

What will the process look like moving forward?

In the coming weeks we will assemble staff communities of practice to begin coordinating groups between the different units. We will also be communicating any findings and decisions based on the MOR Associates' engagement.  

Are you guaranteeing that we’ll all have jobs?

This reorganization is happening during a time of growth, and we expect to need the skills and expertise of all current staff. We can’t guarantee what jobs or job titles people will have in the new school, but we do anticipate needing existing staff plus new hires to build and run the new school.

What if I’m excited about a different job in the new school than the one I’m doing now?

During their process MOR Associates will be asking about staff interests. When you hear about new opportunities that excite you, share that interest. New jobs will also be posted as the school expands and staff are welcome to apply for those new opportunities.

When will we assume our new roles?
We expect the eventual organization to be announced fall quarter 2021, with a gradual transition to follow. Most or all staff will assume their new roles by the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. During the transition, all staff will be called upon to help establish aspects of the new school.