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Ending our first quarter as a new school

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Dear Doerr School of Sustainability community,

I am reaching out first and foremost with a thank you for all you have done to launch the new school and the new academic year. I know that these efforts can come with great joy and excitement but also require your time, talent, and energy, and I want to thank you for all you have given. As we acknowledge the end of the first quarter as a new school, I offer my deepest gratitude to the entire SDSS community for being leaders in sustainability and advocates for global impact.

Before winter break, I also wanted to take an opportunity to share an update on our ongoing discussions on our school’s engagement with the energy industry. You may recall, in May I announced a listening tour focused on hearing broad perspectives from our school community regarding our involvement with fossil fuel companies. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with about 160 students in addition to faculty and other stakeholders, and I have greatly appreciated the breadth of insights shared, the sincerity of convictions, and the collegiality with which we’ve been able to consider this important matter. I want to thank all of you who have shared your thoughts and perspectives as part of this ongoing discussion. I invite you to read more about the listening tour on our website, and I look forward to continuing the conversation into the next quarter, bringing together people with different viewpoints to have a civil discourse on these issues. 

Also, in light of these conversations, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne is launching a university-wide committee to evaluate the benefits and risks of a variety of approaches to engaging with the energy industry. This important effort will be informed by the thoughts many of you shared with me in the previous months. You can read the full story, which will appear tomorrow in Stanford Report. 

Thank you again for being part of this community. I wish you all a happy and healthy winter break, and I look forward to continuing our work together in the year to come.


Arun Majumdar
Chester Naramore Dean, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
Jay Precourt Professor
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Senior Fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy