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Headshot of Stephen A SherriffsStephen Shirreffs, PhD

Associate University Registrar, Communications and Online Publications

intellectual • gracious host • editor • photographer • road cyclist • community builder • eco warrior • fussbudget

Stephen Shirreffs is a consummate professional exhibited by his dapper wardrobe including a bow tie, his editing prowess, and his friendly charm when facilitating meetings. Stanford is fortunate to have benefitted from Stephen’s enthusiastic, gregarious, and cultured approach to business, and his worthy contributions to the university’s mission.

Retired in February 2021, Stephen’s Stanford career spanned just under 20 years during which time he was responsible for the Stanford Bulletin, the university’s official statement of courses and degrees. We dedicate this Bulletin page to Stephen in recognition of his careful tending of the University Bulletin for so many years, calling on his editing expertise as well as his rapport with people. Recognizing higher education’s decentralized structure, he sometimes referred to his Bulletin management as ‘herding cats’.

Stephen began editing, printing, and publishing in all formats in the 1970s and is proud of his almost fanatical commitment to good English, high proofreading standards, and transparent and lucid prose. At the same time, he was deeply committed to new modes of communicating in the academic realm and actively promoted innovation in the registrar field. Stephen also offered his many talents to Stanford; one example being his own photographs of architectural and artistic pieces around campus which he used to beautify his presentations.

Serving the community is a passion for Stephen. This is demonstrated by his long involvement with the Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (PACRAO), most recently as the Vice President for Publications and Information Technology, and Inaugural Faculty Member; as well as his six years riding his bicycle 545 miles from northern to southern California to raise funds for the Aids LifeCycle organization. Giving back to his community and honoring those who he has lost is a profound source of meaning in Stephen’s life.

In his retirement, Stephen has more time to pursue and enjoy his many interests and hobbies - history, books, road cycling, aquaria and terraria, gardening, blogging, photography, endless free speculation, and more road cycling. At Stanford, we miss Stephen’s sparkling intellect, his charm, his good-natured humor, his very festive holiday party, and his fastidious nurturing of the essential information provided by the Stanford Bulletin for the past 20 years.

Education & Certifications

  • Graduate, Stanford Technical Leadership Program (2012)

  • Ph.D., University of California Berkeley, South and Southeast Asian Studies (1998)

  • M.A., University of California Berkeley, Malay/Indonesian Language and Literature (1991)

  • B.A., University of California Berkeley, History (magna cum laude) and South and Southeast Asian Studies (summa cum laude) (1989)

  • Technical Certificate, Vancouver Vocational Institute, Print Technology (1977)


The twisting staff: strategy, structure and genre in the Malay Muslim court literary tradition (dissertation), UC Berkeley. 1998