Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Contribute more effectively to the educational, cultural, and economic well-being of the city and state

Action Taken

  • Received a federal grant to open the first Area Health Education Center to give the state’s neediest residents more and better medical care
  • Continued active involvement by senior administrators and others in various community organizations including the Providence Foundation, Providence Plan, RI Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), RI Economic Policy Council, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and RI Economic Development Corporation
  • Donated a “classroom-on-a-cart” to the Davey Lopes Center, a Providence recreation center, including eight notebook computers and related support
  • Coordinated enhanced participation in community service programs such as Rebuilding Providence, Books are Wings, and the Rhode Island Food Bank, led by the Staff Advisory Committee
  • Participated in the search for a new Providence superintendent of schools, with President Simmons chairing the search committee
  • Provided support to create the education partnership coordinator role in the Providence superintendent’s office and Brown’s Department of Education to connect University expertise and resources with the district and school needs
  • Hired new director of federal relations and community affairs to enhance Brown’s profile in Washington and among higher education advocacy organizations, and to ensure strategic coordination in the University’s interactions with federal, state, and local officials, and the surrounding community
  • Established the Government Relations Working Group, chaired by the provost, to coordinate the University’s efforts in dealings with the federal government, keep administrators informed, raise and discuss strategic issues, and make informed decisions regarding Brown’s federal priorities
  • Developed Community Harvest program in Brown Dining to advance socially and environmentally sustainable purchasing practices, support local food producers, and involve students in weekly harvest. Became a founding partner in Farm Fresh Rhode Island
  • Announced major initiatives resulting from the Slavery and Justice Report to support public education in the city and state: Brown will help raise and manage a $10-million endowment to benefit the Providence public schools; Brown tuition remission will be awarded to up to 10 Urban Education Fellows who commit to working in Providence area schools for three years
  • Reaffirmed Brown’s commitment to support Providence public schools through existing programs (see Slavery and Justice Report Response, Appendix D), which include: administrative funding for the superintendent’s office, a dedicated Brown staff member to coordinate Providence school programs, CHOICES for the 21st Century, math/science programs, mentoring and tutoring programs, equipment funds, professional development for teachers, and diversity training. Created director of education outreach position within Department of Education to coordinate Brown’s involvement in the schools and to serve as a point of contact and resource to the schools. Created web site listing Brown’s involvement with the school
  • Received $1 million Jack Kent Cooke Foundation grant to establish the College Advising Corps, a partnership among Brown and R.I. public schools and community organizations to increase college enrollment and graduation among low-income high school and community college students
  • Strengthened Brown’s commitment to support the Providence Public School Department and Hope High School in particular through efforts to increase graduate student teaching in the schools, college counseling support, access to Brown facilities, donation of office and classroom supplies, collaboration on seeking grants, and research expertise
  • Appointed Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning, to lead and coordinate Brown’s economic development efforts and partnerships with the local community, city, and state
  • Announced that Warren Simmons, director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown, will chair a new governor’s task force to recommend ways to develop a successful urban school system
  • Supported important mission-oriented organization events that benefit the city and state, including those sponsored by Chamber of Commerce, Providence Historical Society, Providence Preservation Society, Urban League, Pell Awards, Family Services
  • Provided support and representation in the Jewelry District’s development planning efforts
  • Received a grant of $228,000 from NEH to create a statewide database, entitled the Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO), that will assist researchers in locating materials about the history of Rhode Island
  • Received a national leadership planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop, in collaboration with the RISD Library and the RISD Museum, a new database architecture to explore the design process used by the Gorham Manufacturing Company of Rhode Island to create its hand-crafted silver products
  • Hosted September 2008 celebration of 40th anniversary of Fogarty International Center (NIH), one of the world’s leading agencies in support of the global health community
  • Joined with Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in RI, Providence Foundation, the City of Providence, State of RI, and others to develop and launch the Providence-RI Knowledge Economy Initiative – a regional effort to unleash and sustain economic development in the region, boosting productivity, creating wealth, and mitigating government revenue shortfalls
  • Celebrated Darwin's bicentennial (spring 2009) by displaying a major exhibition of works from the Lownes Collection of Significant Books in the History of Science
  • Welcomed groups of Providence eighth-graders for a second year in a row for “A Day at College.” More than 150 students toured campus with their teachers and Brown students, visited the Athletic Center, the John Hay library, admissions, and a science lab
  • Announced initial grants from the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence: A grant of $118,000 to provide graphing calculators to students in sixth- through 12th-grade classrooms in the 2009–10 academic year; and three $10,000 grants to Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, Roger Williams Middle School, and Hope High School to support innovative curricular projects at the classroom level
  • Released report from Commission to Commemorate the History of Slavery in Rhode Island established by Brown University in cooperation with the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island recommending how the history of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Rhode Island should be commemorated in Rhode Island, Providence, and on College Hill
  • Opened the R.I. Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Brown University, a statewide collaborative initiative to enhance the commercialization of research and to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Rhode Island
  • Hosted an outreach booth at Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
  • Awarded additional $70,000 in grants from the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence to six Providence schools to support science instruction, music and college admission activities
  • Supported Capital Good Fund, a newly launched non-profit microlender based in Providence whose mission is “to create a poverty-free, inclusive green economy through innovative microfinance”
  • Updated economic impact report to inform ongoing activities and outreach efforts.
  • Helped form the Transit 2020 task force, designed to guide the implementation of a 10-point plan for transforming the public transportation system in the Providence metropolitan area. EVP for Planning Richard Spies serves as co-chair for that task force
  • To advance the Knowledge Economy Initiative, Brown is a founding member of the Innovation Providence Implementation Council (IPIC). Under the leadership of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the IPIC is charged with “developing strategy, driving action, and measuring progress in growing Rhode Island’s Knowledge Economy”
  • Helped the IPIC develop and begin to implement a 5-point “action agenda” to advance the knowledge-based economy in Providence and the whole state
  • Led the development of a working model for the Ocean State Consortium for Advanced Resources, a state-wide organization dedicated to supporting researchers throughout the state by providing infrastructure and other support that no single institution could afford
  • Expanded the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RICIE) to include incubator office and meeting space for start-up companies. Greatly expanded RICIE program offerings to serve the entrepreneurial community more effectively. RICIE received an award in August 2010 as the Northeast Economic Developers Association Program of the Year
  • Welcomed nearly 200 Providence Public Schools middle and high school students to Brown for the third year in a row as part of A Day @ College.  The students are exposed to a day in the life of a University student through class observations, facilities tours, and a peek into Admissions
  • Increased efforts to bring the community to campus for events through targeted campaigns, complimentary offers to ticketed events such as theatre performances and athletic events
  • Hosted the first ever night football game at Brown and actively welcomed neighbors and community members at the historic event
  • Opened Granoff Center to events and meetings with community members to introduce and familiarize them with the building and all it has to offer to the RI arts community
  • Engaged Community Working Group to identify and address issues of interest and concern
  • Increased the visibility and curriculum offered by Brown Continuing Education
  • Increased profile of the National College Advising Corps at the Swearer Center for Public Service, including with Rhode Island Congressional delegation
  • Implemented a Women/Minority/Disadvantaged Owned Business Vendor Supplier Task force and secured contracts for several new vendors
  • The Rhode Island state legislature voted to fully fund the new statewide education funding formula. Kenneth Wong, chairman of the education department, played a major role in its creation. Under this formula, over 70 percent of Rhode Island PK-12 public school students will get additional financial support from state education aid

Action Needed

  • Continue to work on the relationship between Brown and Providence public schools, make valuable connections, and communicate effectively with the wider community concerning Brown’s involvement
  • Implement the University’s response to the Slavery and Justice Report, which includes community activities such as developing a fund for the public schools and a memorial to recognize the history of slavery in Rhode Island
  • Form a Community Partnerships Working Group to help coordinate the University’s local activities and commitments
  • Find ways to play a more proactive role in the development of an economic development strategy for Rhode Island, working closely with the State, the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and others
  • Work with the City to develop the concept of a “knowledge district” in Providence and begin to implement the zoning and other changes needed to make the concept real.  Develop a governance structure for the knowledge district that involves meaningful roles for the not-for-profit institutions and for-profit enterprises as well as the City and State
  • Collaborate with Providence 375 to develop campus activities that can be linked to the celebration of 375 years of Providence since Roger Williams landed
  • Initiate discussions with the Providence Public schools around programmatic opportunities at the Granoff Center and Medical Education Building


  • Executive Vice President for Planning
  • Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations
  • Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Human Resources

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