The ranks of Senior Fellow and Center Fellow were approved by the Senate of the Academic Council in 1990. Senior Fellows at designated policy centers and institutes are members of the Professoriate and the Academic Council. (See Section 1.2.6) Center Fellows at designated policy centers and institutes are members of the Professoriate but are not members of the Academic Council. While reaffirming the value of coupling academic appointments in policy centers and institutes to faculty appointments in existing academic departments, it was recognized that interdisciplinary policy centers may have needs not met by regular professorial appointments in existing departments.
The designation of policy centers or institutes authorized to appoint Senior Fellows and Center Fellows is made by the Provost, with advice from the Advisory Board of the Academic Council. In making the determination, the Provost will normally take into account such factors as the size and scope of the policy center or institute, the stability of its financial support, the number of faculty currently appointed to it, and its prospects for long-term intellectual vitality. The authority of any designated policy center or institute to appoint Senior Fellows and Center Fellows will be subject to review every ten years or at such time deemed appropriate by the Provost. The following are designated policy centers and institutes: the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and the Woods Institute for the Environment.
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace also appoints Senior Fellows following its own procedures, though it is not a designated policy center or institute. Unless the individual also holds a primary appointment as a member of the Stanford Tenure Line or Non-Tenure Line faculty, or is also a Senior Fellow or Center Fellow at a designated policy center or institute, he or she is not a member of the Professoriate or the Academic Council.