Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

History & Milestones

Main content start

Stanford's Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education was founded in January 2007 to expand what's possible in graduate education.

The creation of a Vice Provost office focused on graduate education was recommended by the Commission on Graduate Education in its report released in November 2005. Patricia J. Gumport, Professor of Education, was appointed to be Stanford's first Vice Provost for Graduate Education. In May 2018, Postdoctoral Affairs was added to the VP's title, in recognition of the role's university-wide leadership on behalf of postdoctoral scholars.

In September 2019, Stacey F. Bent, Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor and senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in Stanford’s School of Engineering, became the university’s second Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Stanford and VPGE's commitment to our graduate students is documented by the milestones below. Please follow links to relevant articles and websites for more information.

The Faculty Senate adopted a policy requiring all graduate programs to set explicit advising expectations, and removed the University policy requiring the GRE for graduate applications.

Nov 2005Commission of Graduate Education Report releasedIn September 2004, President Hennessy charged the Commission on Graduate Education with examining Stanford’s graduate programs, particularly in light of the challenges and opportunities confronting graduate students in the 21st century. 
Aug 2006Patricia J. Gumport, Professor of Education appointed Stanford's inaugural Vice Provost for Graduate EducationPatricia J. Gumport, a professor of education and the director of the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, chosen to fill the new position of vice provost for graduate education as of January 1, 2007, Provost John Etchemendy announced.
Jan 2007Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education openedThe mission of the VPGE office is to work collaboratively across the university to ensure that every graduate student receives the best possible educational experience. VPGE's initiatives and resources enrich students' academic experiences at Stanford by advancing diversity, preparing leaders, and positioning Stanford at the forefront of innovation in graduate education.
Jan 2007Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (SGF) moved under VPGEThe multi-year Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (SGF) supports exceptional incoming and continuing doctoral students in the natural and social sciences, education, engineering, and the basic sciences in the School of Medicine.
Sep 2007Stanford Graduate Summer Institute established and led by VPGEThe Stanford Graduate Summer Institute (SGSI) is a collection of accelerated, week-long courses held two weeks before Autumn Quarter for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to explore new subjects, experiment with new ideas, and meet new people.
Dec 2007Diversifying Academic, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship launchedThe Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program awards two-year fellowships to advanced doctoral students who want to investigate and prepare for academic careers and whose presence will help diversify the professoriate.
Feb 2008SCORE and SPICE launchedVPGE launched two academic innovation funding programs: SCORE (Strengthening the Core) Academic Innovation Funds to support faculty-led initiatives, and SPICE (Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement) to support student-led initiatives.
Apr 2008First Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships awardedThe Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) awards a competitive, university-wide program that awards three-year fellowships to outstanding doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research.
Jun 2008Professors John Boothroyd and Sheri Sheppard appointed faculty Associate Vice ProvostsJohn Boothroyd and Sheri Sheppard brought their expertise to VPGE to develop pilot programs in leadership and professional development, and contributed their expertise to existing programs to support graduate-student diversity and promote innovation.
Sep 2009VPGE's Leadership Dinners launchedLeadership Dinners were created to bring proven leaders from various arenas together with a small group of graduate students for dinner and informal discussion about what it means to be a leader and to lead organizations, movements, and people. 
Mar 2010VPGE began support of Graduate Recruitment and Diversity Day (GRAD Day)During GRAD Day, prospective graduate students meet members of Stanford’s faculty and staff, including senior diversity officers, as well as current graduate students. Academic departments hold special events for the visitors.
Jun 2012Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program received President's Awards for Excellence Through DiversityThe Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program was honored with the President's Award "for its conscientious efforts to diversify the academic pipeline through the creation and development of university-wide programs." The citation also commends the program "for its broad interpretation of the word diversity to encompass diversity of background, experiences and worldviews, as well as diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical capabilities and socio-economic history."
Sep 2013Graduate Professional Development Framework launchedThe interactive Graduate Professional Development (GPD) Framework ("VPGE Wheel") was developed to connect students to resources and learning opportunities to support their academic success and prepare for diverse careers beyond Stanford.
Sep 2013Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Doctoral Fellowships expanded under VPGEThe Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Doctoral Fellowship Program supports the recruitment and academic success of outstanding doctoral students who have the potential to enhance the diversity - broadly defined - of their academic disciplines and fields.
Aug 2014Stanford PhD Alumni Employment Study completed by VPGE and IRDSThe pilot PhD Alumni Employment study, which began in July 2013, was a collaboration between VPGE and Stanford's Institutional Research & Decision Support (IRDS) team.
Jan 2015Preparing Future Professors program expanded under VPGEPreparing Future Professors created to give students a chance to experience faculty life first-hand, by shadowing a faculty member at a local college or university.
Sep 2015Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Funds launchedVPGE's Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Funds (DIF) established to support Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the development of a project that will advance graduate student diversity.
Feb 2017New Escondido Village Graduate Residences plan approved by Stanford's Board of TrusteesPlans to construct a residential complex in Escondido Village and increase much-needed, on-campus housing for graduate students moved one step closer to reality when Stanford’s Board of Trustees approved the design of the project.
Dec 2017Town Hall on federal tax legislation co-sponsored by VPGEVPGE collaborated with graduate students to address the impacts a proposed federal tax legislation would have on graduate students, co-hosting a Town Hall for the student community.
Apr 2018Faculty Senate adjusts advising and GRE policiesThe Faculty Senate adopts a new policy requiring that all graduate programs establish explicit advising expectations, and eliminates the long-standing university policy requiring the GRE for graduate admissions.
Apr 2018Stanford Families Working Advisory Group (SFWAG) report releasedThe Stanford Families Working Advisory Group (SFWAG), commissioned by VP Patricia J. Gumport, released a report offering recommendations to address many of the challenges experienced by graduate student parents who juggle demanding academic, research and family responsibilities.
Jun 2018Student Family Grant program establishedStanford created a need-based Family Grant program that provides up to $10,000 per year for a graduate student with dependent children. Funds may be used flexibly to cover expenses such as childcare, healthcare, and rent.
Oct 2018Professor Rosemary Knight appointed faculty Associate Vice ProvostRosemary Knight brought her expertise to VPGE to support leadership and professional development.
Nov 2018DARE Doctoral Fellowship celebrated 10 year anniversaryThe Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program commemorated its 10th anniversary with a three-day conference and celebration.
Nov 2018Gumport announced she will step down as VPPatricia J. Gumport, vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, announced she will return to teaching in the Graduate School of Education and resume her work as director of the Stanford Institute of Higher Education Research at the end of August 2019.
Apr 2019Faculty Senate voted to require faculty Director of Graduate StudiesTo increase support for graduate students, the Faculty Senate unanimously approved a new policy requiring that all graduate programs appoint a faculty Director of Graduate Studies to serve as a liaison between students and the department or program and university administration.
May 2019Stacey F. Bent appointed Stanford vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairsStacey F. Bent, Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor and senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in Stanford’s School of Engineering, appointed as the university’s 2nd vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, beginning Sept 1, 2019.
Jun 2019Gumport awarded the university's Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for Contributions to Stanford UniversityThe Cuthbertson Award honored Patricia J. Gumport “for increasing the visibility of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students and amplifying their voices within faculty and administrative circles” and “for exhibiting the perfect combination of leading and listening” and “for her kind, giving nature, which inspires others to give of themselves.”
Sep 2019Bent welcomed as new VPStacey F. Bent began her term as Stanford's second vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs.
Feb 2020Bent presents to Stanford's Board of TrusteesVP Bent, Deans, and a panel of students and postdocs discuss the impact, challenges, and opportunities of graduate education and postdoctoral training with Trustees.
Mar 2020Shoucheng Zhang Graduate Fellowship launchedVPGE launched the Shoucheng Zhang Graduate Fellowship to support outstanding doctoral students who are pursuing innovative, interdisciplinary research in the broad field of quantum science and engineering, reflecting innovative work at the intersection of these domains.
Oct 2021Research, Action, and Impact through Strategic Engagement (RAISE) launchedVPGE launched RAISE to support doctoral students who are motivated to make positive contributions to their communities and the world.
Apr 2022Professor Vaughn Rasberry appointed faculty Associate Vice ProvostVaughn Rasberry will prioritize developing and strengthening the relationships between graduate students and faculty, and work to bring graduate education in closer alignment with Stanford’s IDEAL Initiative.
Jun 2024Professor Paula Welander appointed associate vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairsPaula Welander will prioritize support of mentoring and advising initiatives aimed at preparing students and postdocs for diverse careers and implementation of Stanford IDEAL Initiative efforts in graduate education and postdoctoral affairs.