Sunday Message: October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020

Dear All,

The Autumn quarter is off to a successful start, the continuing surprises of 2020 notwithstanding. You can see a picture of an outdoor class below. This week, after a good deal of anticipation and practice, we will have our first hybrid indoor electives. I would like to commend our faculty for their creative efforts in multiple modalities.

Students wearing masks in Leadership Labs

Stanford has now conducted around 21,000 COVID tests of students, faculty, and staff since August 31, with eight positives. There is one student in isolation on the Stanford campus. Santa Clara County case counts also have continued to fall since California improved our classification from “Widespread” to “Substantial” a few weeks ago.

The numbers reflect well on our community health efforts, but I can’t stress enough the need for continued vigilance. As we all know, the nature of exponential growth is that a few cases can quickly become many cases, bringing activity to a halt (even with frequent testing — as fans of the Tennessee Titans earned this week). So please keep your masks on and be mindful of social distancing.

School Updates

  • Welcome to New Faculty. This fall, five new professors are joining the GSB, each bringing energy and excitement to their field and the school. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our new Assistant Professors Yewon Kim, Suzie Noh, Shoshana Vasserman, Chenzi Xu, and Weijie Zhong.
  • Civic Workshop. One of the new classes we introduced in Spring quarter was Keith Hennessey’s Civic Workshop, which gave students the opportunity to assist local organizations. Bloomberg produced an inspiring video on the class, as an example of students using their business skills to contribute during the pandemic.
  • Project Firesafe. Innovation at Stanford often comes from bringing people together from across the campus. Three MBA students, Joanna Klitzke, Hannah Sieber, and Will Ross, have teamed with William Steenbergen from Stanford ICME to create Project Firesafe, a tool to manage resources during active wildfires. Their timely work has been lauded by CAL FIRE leadership, and recently received an award from Stanford’s Data Science initiative.
  • Anti-Racism and Allyship. As part of our Action Plan for Racial Equity, Sarah Soule, Maggie Neale, and Hannah Yanow have created a new, free learning resource: Anti-Racism & Allyship Journey. The self-paced, seven-day online program focuses on unconscious bias and how to be an ally against it. All GSB faculty, staff, students, and alumni are invited to join the program. I plan to take it along with other senior leaders across the GSB.

Thanks to everyone who has made the first weeks of the quarter successful.

Jonathan Levin