Education: Fast PACE at Palo Alto

Once it was a rich, sleepy school with rich, sleepy students; now it aims to be "the Harvard of the West." In ten years, privately run Stanford University, faced with the example of California's excellent public universities, has risen to the nation's top rank. In the last 18 months alone, for example, it has purloined 125 teachers from campuses all over the U.S., and in the last decade it has acquired five Nobel prizewinners. The best private university in the West is hotly driving for $100 million, spurred by a 1-for-3 matching grant of...

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