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Distributed February 28, 2004
Contact Mark Nickel

Plan for Academic Enrichment: Efforts completed or under way

In February 2002, the Brown Corporation endorsed an early set of Initiatives for Academic Enrichment. Work on many of those initiatives began immediately and was completed or underway when the Corporation approved the full Plan for Academic Enrichment at its regular meeting Feb. 28, 2004. (return to news release 03-082.)

Work completed or underway under the Plan for Academic Enrichment includes:

  • Increase the size of the faculty – Fourteen new positions are already in place for the current academic year. Thirty-three searches are underway for new positions in the 2004-05 academic year, and 18 more positions have been authorized for future years.
  • Add courses – Brown has added 138 more courses and course sections this year, including 51 freshman seminars.
  • Launch multidisciplinary initiatives and strategic partnerships – Brown has established the Humanities Center, the Center for Environmental Change, the Center for Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, the Center for Computational Molecular Biology, and the Center for Genetics, Genomics and Proteomics. It has also established effective, open-ended partnerships with Trinity Repertory Co., the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole.
  • Improve competitiveness of faculty salaries – The University will have added more than $5 million to the budget for faculty compensation by fiscal year 2005, up about 10 percent.
  • Increase start-up funds, seed money, opportunities for leaves – $6.6 million will have been added by fiscal year 2005 for start-up alone.
  • Improve competitiveness of financial support for graduate students – More than $4 million will have been added by fiscal year 2005.
  • Improve oversight of research – A new Office of the Vice President for Research has overall responsibility for administering the University’s research enterprise.
  • Implement need-blind undergraduate admission and other improvements in financial aid – Brown will admit its second need-blind class in the fall of 2004 and has replaced work study with University grants for financial aid students in their freshman year, measures that will have added approximately $8 million to the financial aid budget by fiscal year 2005.
  • Enhance and expand our attention to diversity – A new “Targets of Opportunity” program allows expedited recruitment of under-represented minorities to faculty positions. The University has established an Office of Institutional Diversity and hired a director of institutional diversity/associate provost.
  • Collaborate more effectively with the community, city and state – Brown and other private nonprofit educational institutions negotiated an agreement to provide $50 million in voluntary contributions to the City of Providence over 20 years. Brown helped establish the Thayer Street Improvement District. A recent effort by Brown, the University of Rhode Island and the State of Rhode Island secured a planning grant from the National Science Foundation, the first step in making Rhode Island’s colleges and universities eligible for up to $4.5 million in annual research infrastructure funding in life sciences.
  • Improve and expand internal and external communications – Alumni and friends now receive a variety of printed special reports and regular electronic news digests.
  • Diversify and expand sources of revenue – The Brown Annual Fund increased its total contributions by more than 50 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2003.


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