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

Improve the residential and extracurricular experience

Action Taken

  • Created new and more comprehensive matriculation and orientation materials for incoming students
  • Moved the Graduate School’s administrative offices to the newly renovated, expanded, and centrally located Horace Mann building, collocated with the Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Moved to integrate graduate students and Graduate School alumni more fully into University life through the establishment of the Horace Mann Medal for a distinguished alumna or alumnus of the Graduate School
  • Initiated a new program to offer financial support for program- or department-based academic conferences featuring Brown Graduate School alumni; the first successful conference, with Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, was held in May 2005; the second, with Religious Studies, was held in 2006
  • Supported the creation of a mechanism by which the Graduate Student Council will recognize graduate student organizations and the Student Activities Office will provide guidance and assistance
  • Developed dinner seminar series for graduate students, “The Academy in Context,” to provide opportunities for professional development, cross-disciplinary exchanges, and community building
  • Helped initiate survey of graduate students about their housing needs and preferences
  • Raised graduate student activities fee, giving further revenue to the Graduate Student Council in 2005
  • Created and launched new family leave and child birth accommodation policy for graduate students
  • Helped to produce Brown’s first-ever Graduate School Alumni Directory in 2006, working with Alumni Relations
  • Instituted regular schedule of deans’ lunches with first-year graduate students and weekly open office hours with the dean
  • Received grant from the Council of Graduate Programs and National Science Foundation to underwrite pilot program on ethics training for graduate students in the physical sciences and engineering (the grant will build on the Academy in Context series, which was established in 2005)
  • Launched working group to examine options for graduate and medical student housing
  • Instituted regular, once-per-semester open forums with doctoral and master’s students to discuss issues of support, community, etc.
  • Modified graduate student application and admission process to complete first admission cycle in Banner
  • Expanded new student orientation
  • Held open meetings for faculty and graduate students on the Working Group’s review and evaluation process to collect additional feedback and input
  • Sponsored and assisted with the launch of “The Legacy of Scholarship and Community,” a new conference organized by the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association to highlight the scholarship of graduate students of color across disciplines
  • Worked with the dean of student life to revise and refine the role of graduate student community directors to maximize their role as academic and personal advisors for students
  • Expanded Health Services’ appointment schedule to include early evening and weekend hours to improve access, particularly for graduate and medical students
  • Reorganized and refined Commencement exercises and related communications to improve the experiences of graduate degree recipients in coordination with University Events, the Office of the Registrar, and academic departments
  • Increased the prominence of the Horace Mann Medal by bestowing the award at Commencement
  • Surveyed all first-year students about their experiences with and impressions of Orientation
  • Reviewed Orientation programming for all incoming first-years in masters and doctoral programs, as well as all postdocs and international graduate students. Consulted new Orientation surveys of all first-years and postdocs for suggestions. Identified improvements and streamlined schedule for Graduate Orientation, international Orientation, and the Orientation for postdocs
  • Formed a new Dean’s Advisory Group on Graduate Student Life, which met each semester. Worked with Campus Life to coordinate services and programming
  • Began work with Corporation Committee on Campus Life to develop Strategic Indicators on graduate student life
  • Began work with graduate programs to respond to Graduate Student Survey on Academic and Social Climate at Brown
  • Established metrics to monitor campus life and experience of students; issued first Strategic Indicators and Measurements in Campus Life report in September 2009
  • Secured one-time funding for expanded acculturation program for incoming international doctoral students
  • Refined communications tools to better target messaging to students by program type and stage of advancement
  • Expanded support for graduate students in the Office of Student Life
  • Strengthened the connection between the Dean of the Graduate School and the Division of Campus Life to better serve students, including a new collaboration between the Graduate School and the Third World Center
  • Completed the process of establishing versions of the Academic Code and Rules of Non-Academic Conduct for graduate students
  • Improved exit survey and expanded it to include master’s students
  • Expanded programming for graduate student who are parents through the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center
  • Created a Graduate and RUE student lounge and commuter locker area in the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center; used process to establish dialogue between RUE and graduate students for joint programming initiatives
  • Surveyed graduate students as first step toward formulating goals for housing for graduate students
  • Updated graduate edition of Academic and Student Conduct Codes
  • Adjusted aspects of Commencement to improve the timing and experience for graduate students receiving degrees; surveyed new graduate alumni about their Commencement experience
  • Doubled funding for expanded language and acculturation program for incoming international teaching assistants
  • Held master’s only social event to build community across the disciplines

Action Needed

  • Identify location and functions for graduate community space, ideally near graduate housing
  • Continue to secure funding to expand and improve orientation and language-training for all incoming international graduate students
  • Develop more effective orientation, language-training, and acculturation programs for all incoming international graduate students
  • Work with other offices to create new, dedicated campus spaces where graduate students can interact with each other, their students, and faculty
  • Work with Alumni Relations, the Career Development Center, and others to survey again five years after completion
  • Develop Early Start program for graduate students, especially international graduate students
  • Establish additional metrics specifically to monitor campus life of graduate students
  • Continue to survey first-year students about Orientation and new alumni about Commencement
  • Identify opportunities for growth in graduate student housing


  • Dean of the Graduate School
  • Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

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