in 1993.Over a decade later,students stillremember her engaging lectures,particularlyin her class entitled “The Role of the Militaryin Politics.”Her classes enjoyed the politicalsimulations she conducted,and students laterpraised her intelligence and ability to synthe-size information.“She was always extremely prepared as aninstructor and a lecturer,”said Chris Aguas‘92.“She very clearly had a deep intimacywith the material in terms of the historicalbasis.”But it was her personable nature thatdrew many undergraduates to Rice.Her will-ingness to talk with students about every-thing from classes to football built her a fol-lowing in the political science department.“She was approachable;she was extreme-ly caring and warm and kind and [had] allsorts of qualities that I wouldn’t have neces-sarily expected in an advisor or professor,”said Erin Alaimo ‘88,who would later workin Washington.“She had a truly profoundimpact on my life,my career.”Emmanuel Bart-Plange ‘93 not only tookRice’s popular lecture course,but also stud-ied with her in directed readings.(He jokedhe’s still bitter about his A- grades.) The foot-ball player would also work with Rice andher father at The Center for a NewGeneration,an after-school enrichment pro-gram for East Palo Alto students that Riceco-founded.For Bart-Plange,Rice was more than anordinary professor.She kept in touch withhim over the years,and even got to know hismother.“When I got married she sent me a giftwith a card from the White House,”he said.“She didn’t have to do that,and she did.”Her love of sports and music enabledmany students to relate to Rice on a person-al level as well.Alan Brown ‘85,an advisee of Rice’s,said that he talked with the professorabout football as much as the Soviet invasionof Afghanistan.“It’s hard sometimes for kids to approacha Stanford professor,”he said.“I never feltthat with Prof.Rice.You could question any-thing,you could discuss anything.She wasopen to ideas as opposed to spewing some-thing she’d already written.”“Her office door was always open,if I everneeded to talk about a paper I was writing orclasses I was taking,”added Eric Abrams ‘85,another advisee.“It was really cool to engageher in conversation about things outside of academia.She was a huge football fan.”These personal connections have changedhow many of Rice’s former students feelabout her time in the unpopular Bush admin-istration.Most jumped to her defense,sayingthey fully believed that she did what shethought was right for the country andbelieved her intelligence enabled her tomake the best decisions possible.“My feeling is she will be judged favorablyas someone who did the best job that she pos-sibly could have,”Alaimo said.“I have neverknown her not to do the best job,not to puther absolute everything into everything she’sever done.”And while some students are disappoint-ed with her political legacy,their memories of Rice as a professor remain untarnished.“She was absolutely one of my favoriteprofessors,maybe in the top two or three inthe whole time I was there,”said EdwardAnderson ‘91.“I think it’s unfortunate thatshe had such a long association with the Bushadministration,but I was excited to see herget into politics and do so well.Over time I’verespected her less,but she’s obviously anincredible person.”
The Young Professor
Many professors,too,would look fondlyon Rice’s early time at Stanford,even thosewho would later go on to criticize her tenureas provost.“Many,many afternoons,Condi wouldcome out of her office,sit down at the secre-tary’s desk,take off her shoes,and the two of them would cackle,”said Political ScienceProf.Emeritus Hubert Marshall,whose officewas close to Rice’s.“It was just little thingslike that that I liked about her.”Other professors vividly recalled fondmemories of their early exchanges with Rice.George Shultz,former Secretary of Stateunder President Reagan and distinguishedfellow at the Hoover Institution,said that hefirst met Rice after her stint in Washington onthe National Security Council for the firstPresident Bush.“The reason why I remember [her] sovividly is that [she] has such a capable andinteresting personality,”he said.“She is fun tobe with,she’s interesting,she’s got a lot to say.So,she’s a person that I like to have on my listof good friends.”History Prof.Emeritus David Kennedyagreed and admired Rice’s strong character.“She was one of the most poised and self-possessed individuals on the face of the plan-et,”he said.“That was evident to me from thevery first day that I met her,which I believewas her first day on the campus.”Kennedy said that during Stanford’s cen-tennial campaign in the late ‘80s and early‘90s,he often travelled with Rice to variousStanford events and tried to envision what aworld after the Cold War might look like.“We were a little bit ahead of our timebecause the Cold War hadn’t quite endedthen,”he said.“I got to know her best in thatcontext,and I was consistently impressedwith how well-informed she was and how bal-anced her judgment was and how extraordi-narily well-spoken she was.”Larry Diamond,a senior fellow at theHoover Institution,was also very impressedwith her poise,articulateness and ambition.He was also surprised to hear of her politicalaffiliations.“You would expect a young African-American political science professor,espe-cially back in those days,to be a liberalDemocrat,”he said,“and so,when I foundout she wasn’t,I was surprised and it certain-ly made her all the more interesting.”But Rice was not without detractors in herearly years.Her time in the first Bush admin-istration and political zeal sat poorly withsome of her fellow scholars.“I had no negative personal interactionswith her except that I found her very early onto be a very rigid ideologically oriented pro-fessor,”said Political Science Prof.EmeritusJohn Manley.“It didn’t appeal to me verymuch.”And while many found the young profes-sor amiable,some were less than impressedwith her scholarship.“I’m still surprised that she would want toreturn to Stanford and a professorship,”wrote History Prof.Emeritus Paul Seaver,who would later butt heads with Rice overthe Cultures,Ideas and Values (CIV) pro-gram.“As I understand it,Russianists did notregard her as particularly distinguished as ascholar;on the other hand,I believe that stu-dents who took her courses regarded her as agood teacher.”Bernstein,who knew the professor fromvarious committees,seminars and personalinteractions,agreed.“Condi Rice is only somewhat better thana mediocre scholar,”he said.“Her strengthsare vigorous right-wing opinionation,markedsocial poise and a fluency in oral presenta-tion.Among the Stanford scholars in theSoviet-Russian area,she would rank near thebottom in the University.Over the years,inmy talking with at least four people in thefield,each of them would rank her at or nearthe bottom and this was true before she wentto the Bush administrationand became prominent.”“Most of the peoplewho think she’s brillianthaven’t read her,haven’theard her,can’t judge,arebeing kind and are takenin by social poise andsuperficial fluency,”Bernstein added.
Appointment as Provost
Rice’s life wouldchange dramatically inMay 1993,whenUniversity PresidentGerhard Casperannounced that the politi-cal science professorwould take on the No.2 job at the University:provost.Casper met Ricea year and a half prior,when she was a memberof the presidential searchcommittee that selectedCasper.The President told TheDaily in 1993 that hebelieved her experience ingovernment would helpher deal with complexissues,and that the herselection signaled theimportance of diversity tothe University (“Caspernames Condoleezza Riceas new provost,”May 13,1993).In an exclusive inter-view with The Daily a fewdays after,Rice praiseddiversity and dismissedher politics as irrelevant—two issues that studentswould view in a substan-tially different light inlater years (“Experiencedin the business of change,”May 21,1993).The first crisis Ricewould face,however,wasbalancing the budget.Soon after becomingProvost in 1993,Riceannounced that theUniversity would facemassive cuts to curbStanford’s deficit andhoped that administrativerestructuring would solve long-term prob-lems (“Additional budget cuts looming forUniversity,”Oct.1,1993).The Daily reported that Rice said the situ-ation is so serious that if she wereapproached “tomorrow with the greatest ideasince the silicon chip,[she’d] have to say,‘Sorry,we can’t afford that.’”The Provost would announce that sheplanned to slash another $18 to $20 millionfrom the budget,drastically reducing centraladministrative costs over the next threeyears.Budget cuts would make Rice a fair num-ber of enemies,and few departments werepleased about the cost reduction estimatesthey were asked to submit.Some faculty feltthat little was left to cut after other cuts inrecent years.Students would also complainthat they were not involved enough in theprocess,to which Rice responded that thebudget “has to be on my timetable”(“Rice,Senate discuss cuts,”Feb.2,1993).Further controversial changes by Riceincluded contracting out management of theFaculty Club and the Stanford UniversityPress (“Budget stable,provost says,”Nov.11,1996).“I am often asked if [in contracting out],we are trying to run Stanford like a business,”Rice said.“The answer is no.We have to lookat ways to cut costs.”Coit Blacker,director of the FreemanSpogli Institute and a long-time personalfriend of Rice,told The Daily last week thatthe budget cuts were especially trying on theformer Provost.“[The budget cuts] earned Provost Rice alot of animosity or hostility from groups thatfelt that they had been targeted,”he said.“SoI think it was a very difficult time for her,butshe has never been one to shy away frommaking difficult decisions,if in her judgment,they are the right decisions,and that’s whatshe did.”But as the years passed,budget cuts grewless controversial.Rice sliced $6.1 millionfrom the budget in her first year,a figurethat decreased over the next few years.Sheultimately cut $16.8 million from the budg-et between 1994 and 1996,and theUniversity went on to enjoy multi-million-dollar surpluses.
The Diversity Debates
Though many lauded the pick of Rice asprovost as a sign of Stanford’s commitmentto diversity,tension soon built between Riceand women and minority groups on campus.When she pushed for more U.S.-bornminority faculty,some students claimed shewas fueling “anti-immigrant hysteria”(“U.S.born hiring policy questioned,”Oct.6,1993).But the most heated controversy involvingRice and diversity in her early years wouldcome as a result of her budget cuts.As thebudget was pared down,campus ethnic com-munity centers became wary that they wouldbe affected,and the Provost did little toassuage their concerns.Tensions boiled over at a meeting in 1994,when Rice tried to address the communitycenters’ concerns,at one point drawing scoffsfrom the crowd (“Skeptical crowd grills topofficials at a forum on ethnic center cuts,”Jan.13,1994).“You don’t have the standing to questionmy commitment to minorities and minorityissues,”Rice said at the forum.“I’ve beenblack all my life.”At another forum the following month,the Provost also drew snickers when she toldthe audience “you have to trust me.”Studentstold The Daily they felt like the Provost didnot respect them,and that they feared shehad a conservative agenda.The Daily calledher “impatient,even testy”and one seniorlabeled her “unprofessional,personallyinsulting and obnoxious”(“Out of the loop,students fear ‘conservative agenda,’”Feb.25,1994).Though the ethnic centers would ultimate-ly escape budget cuts,Rice’s decision to elim-inate the position of Cecilia Burciaga,associ-ate dean of Student Affairs and Casa Zapataresident fellow (RF),drew the ire of students.Rice claimed the dismissal of the 20-yearemployee was strictly for fiscal reasons,butthe firing outraged students.A group of students soon began a hungerstrike,with over 40 people fasting for 24hours in the Quad,and four continuing forthree days.The strike protested Burciaga’slayoff and called on the University to betteraddress a number of Chicano/a issues.Thestrikes ultimately ended after three days,andthe University agreed to sign a letter declar-ing its commitment to diversity (“Strike endsafter three days,agreement reached,”May 9,1994).“Condi is one tough nut,”said Jim Leckie,a civil engineering profes-sor who observed thenegotiations between fac-ulty and students.“Youwould have thought shewas negotiating with theRussians and not with stu-dents.She clearly receivedher management trainingin the Pentagon.”Female faculty,too,were displeased with Rice.Some expressed outragein 1993 with the decisionof the Provost’sCommittee on theRecruitment andRetention of WomenFaculty to remove a num-ber of personal anecdotesabout discrimination fromits report.Some femalefaculty suggested she wasworried about Stanford’simage;the committeecountered that quoteswere eliminated to protectprivacy.Rice’s commitmentto women faculty wouldagain be questioned fol-lowing the denial of tenureto Assistant History Prof.Karen Sawislak.Thoughher department approvedher for tenure,she wasrejected by the deans of the School of Humanitiesand Sciences.Studentswould form the StudentCoalition to Tenure KarenSawislak,though Ricewould eventually deny herappeal in 1998,sparkingfurther outcry.Women faculty wouldcite Sawislak’s case as oneexample of the Provost’sinsensitivity to their issues.A group of female profes-sors released a report in1998 declaring thatStanford had a poor recordof tenuring women facultyin recent years.Rice wouldcall the report “error-rid-den”and “a polemic,”dis-missing their concerns(“Tenure criticized,”Feb.25,1998).“I don’t believe myself that there is a cri-sis,”Rice would say at a later meeting.“Ithink Stanford is a good place for women.”(“Caucus reports on female profs,”May 11,1998.)“I very strongly feel that tenure is an eval-uation,”she added.“You’ve had seven yearsto prove it.If we start to introduce affirma-tive action policies into our tenure practices,we’ve entered a slippery slope.”A group of faculty and staff would go onto submit a complaint to the U.S.Departmentof Labor in November 1998,alleging genderdiscrimination in University hiring and pro-motion practices including tenure.The inves-tigation did not end until December 2007,when the Department of Labor ruled in favorof the University.“No one in this complaint is asking for apreference,”Sawislak said.“We’re asking tobe evaluated based on our qualifications.”(“Labor Dept.may probe University,”Feb.3,1999.)
The Final Provost Years
Rice’s final years as Provost would not befree of controversy.Many of the decisionscited as her major accomplishments wouldreceive mixed reactions.While the Provost’s push for graduatehousing is considered one of her achieve-ments—she fought for short-term reconfig-uration to allow more students on campusand announced in 1998 that $15 millionwould go to building long-term housing—students at the time were not fully satisfied.In May 1998,over 100 graduate studentscamped out in the quad to protest lack of adequate housing options.Her attituderubbed some students the wrong way.“I didn’t need students on the Quad to tellme that there was a housing problem,”Ricelater remarked (“Room for protest on cam-pus?”Oct.6,1998).“People protesting in the Quad wouldnever get me or,I think I can speak forGerhard [Casper] too,to do something thatwe wouldn’t do—to violate our personalprinciples or to do something that is not inthe interest of the University,”Rice added,speaking about the protests that hadoccurred in recent years.Rice’s formation of introductory seminarsand Sophomore College were undoubtedlypopular enhancements to undergraduateeducation.But her support of replacing theCultures,Ideas and Values program withIntroduction to the Humanities (IHUM) gar-nered mixed reactions.In 1995,a committee supported by theProvost began to reevaluate the CIV pro-gram,which received varied responses fromstudents,some of whom complained aboutthe excessive yet superficial reading.Someprofessors vehemently objected to the evalu-ation process,and History Prof.CarolynLougee Chappell complained it was shroud-ed in secrecy (“CIV professors object toshortening program,”May 29,1996”).Although the CIV committee beganmeeting in October 1995,the first meetingheld with CIV faculty to discuss their con-cerns took place a full year later.“Instead of CIV faculty and student-pro-pelled changes,the push is coming from thetop down,”Lougee Chappell said.“Thisadministration wants to do away with every-thing that was in place before they came tomakeover the University’s image.”(“Students award CIV high marks,”Jan.27,1997.)History Prof.Emeritus Paul Seaver peti-tioned the committee’s review,saying it wasinadequate,but to no avail—IHUM wasfully implemented in 2000.“I was always glad that I had tenure,”Seaver said.“Otherwise I would have beenout on my ear for refusing to be a ‘team play-er’ in my unsuccessful defense of the fresh-man CIV program.”His battles with Rice over CIV scarred hisimpression of her.“She was the least collegial colleague I canremember of any academic I met at Stanfordin more than 40 years,”Seaver recently saidto The Daily.“Her style was authoritarian;she had no time for faculty governance.Hence committees were regarded as a wasteof time,told what to do rather than consult-ed,and constituted of those too intimidatedto stand up to her bullying;given her controlof the budget,faculty were relatively easy tointimidate.”
In December 1998,Rice announced thatshe would step down as Provost the followingsummer.Casper and others heaped praise onthe departing Provost,as did a number of other faculty.But others were less enthused.“I think most people were happy to seeher leave once Bush stole the first election in2000,”Political Science Prof.Emeritus JohnManley told The Daily.“There was a big sighof relief in many quarters because she hadnot been a popular provost.”“Her role as provost was very authoritari-an,very rigid,very dogmatic and not well-appreciated by the people with whom shehad to interact,”he added.History Prof.Barton Bernstein agreed.“Almost everybody I know who dealt withher came away annoyed,if not angry,”hesaid.“One heard of various tales where shewould get a long report from somebody,oneof the deans,and send it back within hourswith a one-word to one-sentence negative.”“I liked Condi when she was withoutpower,”he added.“I found her pleasant,try-ing to grow,not very well educated,but eagerto know.As she gained power,I found herarrogant,not any smarter,not likely to do herhomework,but ferociously opinionated andwilling to impose her dictates.She’s a veryauthoritarian person,although she’s probablyvery good at sucking up to power.”At the time,Rice dismissed rumors thatshe would assist George Bush in his run forthe presidency and said she was hesitant toreturn to government.That would all change,of course,and Rice would go on to supportBush and become his National SecurityAdvisor.Long before the world woulddebate her performance in that role and asSecretary of State,Stanford was deeplyaffected by the popular professor and often-controversial Provost.Looking back,Blacker suggested that noone was surprised that Rice would go intopolitics.“I think both by temperament and inclina-tion,Secretary Rice is on the activist end of the spectrum in the academic world,”he said.“Plus,it’s hard to say no when the Presidentasks you to do something.”
Marisa Landicho,Paul Craft,Nikhil Kamat, Anna Dearybury,Joshua Alvarez and EricMessinger contributed to this report.Contact Andrea Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org Kamil Dada at email@example.com.
The Stanford Daily
Continued from front page
Former Provost tackled budget cuts,diversity,IHUM
Slashing the University budget by $16.8million between 1994 and 1996
Eliminating the position of CeciliaBurciaga, associate dean of Student Affairs and Casa Zapata resident fellowin 1994
Denial of tenure to Assistant History Prof.Karen Sawislak in 1998
Making a commitment to expandinggraduate housing in 1998
Formation of Sophomore College in1995
Creation of introductory seminars in1997
Replacing Cultures, Ideas and Values(CIV) with Introduction to the Humanities(IHUM) in 2000
MAJOR DECISIONS ASPROVOST:
“She was the leastcollegial colleague I canremember ofanyacademic I met atStanford in more than 40years.”
— PAUL SEAVER,history professor emeritus
“She was extremelycaring and warm andkind and all sorts of qualities that I wouldn’thave necessarily expectedin an advisor or professor.”
— ERIN ALAIMO '88
Stanford Daily File Photo
Condoleezza Rice is known for her love of piano and is a trained concert pianist.The former Provost is also an avid football fan and once was an ice skater. She hasmaintained her passion for piano over the years, despite her busy schedule.