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The decision to create a new school focused on climate and sustainability arose out of ideas proposed by faculty, students, staff, and alumni and evolved through several years of planning. 

2017-18 academic year: Stanford began planning the future direction of the university by requesting proposals from faculty, students, postdocs, staff, and alumni. This resulted in more than 2,800 proposals, of which more than 200 focused on sustainability research and innovation, and on campus sustainability efforts. Those proposals are the foundation for Stanford's Long-Range Vision

An Area Steering Group reviewed the sustainability proposals and summarized their findings in a white paper (SUNetID required).

2018-19 academic year: Based on the Steering Group’s work, a Design Team led by Scott Fendorf and Lynn Hildemann was charged with considering how the university could best address climate and sustainability challenges. They prepared a report (SUNetID required) detailing their recommendations.

Winter 2020: Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne tasked a committee led by Noah Diffenbaugh and Arun Majumdar with exploring new ways of organizing and connecting the many people working on sustainability issues broadly distributed across the campus to achieve the design team’s sweeping ambition. Based on that committee’s report (read the executive summary, SUNetID required), Tessier-Lavigne identified a school focused on climate and sustainability as the best way to elevate Stanford’s contributions toward a more sustainable future.

Fall 2020: A faculty Blueprint Advisory Committee began meeting to develop a blueprint for the new school. Read more about the school's  current status.