Academic Excellence

Brown’s strength is derived from the talent and dedication of its faculty, students, and staff, working in concert with local and global partners and with the support of alumni, parents, and other friends of the University.

Members of this community embody the values of Brown: They are intellectually independent, creative, principled, and collaborative. Brown’s ability to succeed depends not only on cultivating and engaging the most talented people, but also on developing an efficient and effective organizational structure in which all its members can thrive.

We will continue to cultivate a community of faculty, students, and staff with the diversity and breadth of experience required for excellence and to provide members of this community with the opportunities and resources needed for success. In addition, we will foster connections to existing and new collaborating institutions and to our city and state and to develop new ways to engage alumni and parents in the life of the University.

The investments in integrative scholarship and educational leadership described above will build on Brown’s distinction. Other key strategies are highlighted below.

 

The Faculty

Faculty are the lifeblood of a great university. In the coming years, Brown will intensify its cultivation of an excellent, diverse faculty that values Brown’s distinctive approach to scholarship and education in the service of society. This goal is not new: A central plank of the Plan for Academic Enrichment was a commitment to the competitive salaries, sabbatical policies, and research resources needed to recruit, retain, and support an outstanding faculty through a period of rapid growth. In the coming years, we will continue this commitment to faculty excellence by maintaining the highest standards of research and teaching while providing faculty with the competitive compensation and the academic resources needed to be successful. Three areas will require special emphasis in the years ahead:

 

Undergraduates

Brown attracts and benefits from exceptionally talented, creative, and independent students. They are drawn by the flexibility and rigor of the Brown Curriculum and by a campus culture that encourages individuality, forges community, and embraces diversity of thought and experience. Brown has a deeply held commitment to assuring talented and creative students access to this educational experience, regardless of their economic backgrounds. Beginning with the Class of 2007, Brown implemented need-blind admission for first-year domestic applicants. In the coming decade, we will continue to strengthen financial aid, with the following specific priorities:

 

Graduate And Medical Students

Graduate and medical education are cornerstones of Brown’s success that will continue to be developed and enhanced under our plan. Doctoral students produce excellent, independently inspired scholarship, collaborate with faculty, and make critical contributions to undergraduate education. Master’s and medical students engage in research, advance knowledge and go on to careers that serve people and communities around the world. All are ambassadors for Brown, and their success enhances our reputation. Brown’s graduate and medical education programs must continue to attract a diverse pool of exceptionally talented students and support them over the course of their educations.

 

Staff

Brown benefits from the exceptional staff who are integral to fulfillment of our mission of teaching, research, and service, and Brown is committed to remaining an employer of choice. Investments in high-performing and well-trained staff will be particularly important to the successful implementation of our plan. The skills required by Brown staff are constantly evolving. Increasingly, jobs at Brown require a range of technical, communications, problem-solving, and project management skills. In addition, as Brown continues to diversify, the staff (like all members of the Brown community) must be culturally aware and adept. In the coming years, we will maintain investments in professional development and training. We must also offer competitive compensation, and provide career paths for staff members to progress to positions of greater responsibility. Throughout we will seek to leverage our investments in technology to enable staff to be as efficient and effective as possible.

 

Collaborations And Partnerships

Carefully chosen collaborations and partnerships are more important than ever to universities. Successful partnerships with outstanding organizations can enhance Brown’s reputation and extend its reach. Brown already has an extensive network of institutional partners. We collaborate with the Marine Biological Laboratory, Trinity Repertory Company, Rhode Island School of Design, and other local universities on student programs and research. Brown’s hospital partners – Lifespan and Care New England, as well as the V.A. Medical Center – are integral to the success of our medical school and biomedical research. In the last five years, Brown has also developed a range of partnerships with international universities. In the coming decade, we will devote increased attention to the cultivation and stewardship of partnerships as well as the careful assessment of the quality of prospective partners.

Brown University also values its relationship with neighbors and partners in Providence and Rhode Island and is committed to cultivating strong and positive connections for the benefit of the University, the city, and the state. As we implement the priorities of this plan, we will continue to identify partnerships and opportunities of importance to the University that advance the economic, educational, social, and cultural contributions to our city and state. In addition, as we approach the 250th anniversary of Brown’s founding, we will use the occasion to reinforce the historic roots shared by the University, city, and state and to forge ties that will endure beyond the celebration.

 

Alumni, Parents And Friends Of Brown

Increasing the engagement of alumni, parents, and friends of Brown is essential to our success. Not only does the University rely on the philanthropic support of members of these groups, it also benefits from those who volunteer their time as alumni interviewers, advisory council members, fundraisers, and ambassadors. In the coming years, we will develop an expanded array of volunteer opportunities, including a strengthened undergraduate internship and career advising network and new advisory councils that will provide expert advice as the academic themes and educational innovations are developed. We plan to take advantage of enhanced modes of communicating with alumni, parents, and friends about the life of the campus. This will involve expanding our efforts in social media, making online course content created at Brown available to alumni, parents, and friends, and developing outreach programs that bring community members to campus and bring Brown to communities outside of Providence.