Research Policy Handbook


Charge to the University Committee on Health and Safety

Policy Authority

Office of the President

Policy Contact

Now in Policy Details

Presents the general charge and the specific duties of the Committee on Health and Safety. Membership and reporting responsibilities are discussed.

1. Background

Stanford has various offices and panels that participate in the establishment, implementation and support of campus health and safety policies. Examples include the offices of the Provost, Dean of Research, University Department of Environmental Health and Safety, and the Administrative Panels charged with approving research procedures involving use of human or animal subjects, radiological hazards, recombinant DNA molecules and/or bio-hazardous agents.

It is desirable, however, to have a body charged with policy development and oversight over the full range of health and safety issues at Stanford. Therefore, the University Committee on Health and Safety was established in 1988. Note that the scope of this committee does not include campus violence, threat response, or other intentional acts that may pose security issues for the community (e.g., gun violence, terrorism, assault, theft, etc.).

2. Charge to the Committee

The University Committee on Health and Safety is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • advise the President on the adequacy of Stanford’s health and safety programs, policies and organization

  • recommend needs, priorities and strategies to promote good health and safety and practices on campus;

  • evaluate issues and recommend action or policies on health and safety concerns that are outside the scope of existing committees or administrative panels

  • assist in enhancing coordination and fostering cooperation among those units at Stanford having operational responsibility for health and safety;


This charge shall be reviewed by the Committee periodically to assure continued effectiveness of the role of the Committee. This committee in no way replaces or supersedes line management responsibility for health and safety.

3. Membership

Members of the University Committee on Health and Safety shall be appointed by the President. Its voting members shall consist of six faculty members, at least four of whom shall be experienced in issues of laboratory safety; two students, of whom at least one shall be a graduate student with laboratory experience; the Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety; the Vice Provost and Dean of Research; and the Associate Vice President for Academic Projects and Operations; The Chair of the Committee shall be one of the faculty members and shall be named by the President. The terms of membership for faculty shall be for three years and for all other members one year, effective October 1st of the year of appointment and ending September 30th of the year in which the term expires.

The Committee shall establish such permanent or ad hoc subcommittee or task forces from among its membership or otherwise, as it shall deem useful in carrying out its charge. The Committee shall seek advice from the Office of the General Counsel as necessary and appropriate.

The Committee on Committees of the Faculty Senate shall be asked to nominate the faculty members. The Associated Students of Stanford University shall be asked to nominate the student members.

4. Reporting Requirements

By no later than October 1st of each year, the Chair of the Committee shall provide an annual report to the President summarizing key issues and new policies addressed by the Committee during the committee year. The Committee or its members may also submit confidential reports to the President as deemed necessary.