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

Support the teaching mission of the faculty by providing increased resources for curricular development and collaborative pedagogy, including resources for multidisciplinary concentrations and innovative training in the sciences

Action Taken

  • Received and began to implement recommendations from the Task Force on Undergraduate Education related to teaching and learning
  • Established a series of faculty and student forums to promote campus-wide discussion about the Brown curriculum
  • Developed plans for new Science Center at Brown and hired new coordinator
  • Developed new seminars for juniors and seniors taught by Cogut Humanities Center visiting faculty, postdoctorates, and fellows
  • Conducted external review of writing at Brown
  • Began planning and implementing the review of all concentrations
  • Implemented an orientation program for new faculty in August 2008 focusing on Brown’s educational philosophy
  • Developed a new statement on writing for all undergraduates
  • Successfully piloted a new online course evaluation form in 17 departments.  In 2010-11, 30 departments participates
  • Encouraged the development of new community-based learning courses through the Swearer Center for Public Service
  • Expanded First Year Seminar program to 75 seminars in 2008–09, with greater emphasis on seminars devoted to writing
  • Offered 69 First-Year Seminars for 2009–10
  • Engaged faculty in the question of measuring student learning through the College Curriculum Council (CCC) concentration review process.  (6 departments reviewed in 2009-10)
  • Developed a database to track senior capstone experiences
  • Developed several tools to increase faculty and student fluency in utilizing technology, including a syllabus upload process, Advising Sidekick (ASK) and the “First Readings” website
  • Opened new Science Center which promotes curricular innovation in the sciences and allows faculty to share best practices in science teaching
  • Implemented WRIT course designation for courses that engage students in the writing process; 31 departments are offering 211 WRIT courses in the 2010-11 academic year
  • Beginning with class of 2013, all students are now required to provide evidence that they have worked on their writing across the four years
  • Implemented a new online course proposal system that streamlines process for proposing, approving, and scheduling new and modified courses
  • Expanded the University’s online course evaluation system to include 30 academic departments, a 50% increase from last year
  • Hired Director of Science Center Outreach, a new position designed to support and coordinate outreach efforts on campus and in the Providence community
  • Launched new science outreach website and database that allows Brown community members and Providence-area teachers to connect with other science educators and to download lesson plans and materials lists that are linked to RI state educational standards
  • Offered 74 first-year seminars in the 2010-11 academic year
  • Funded 24 faculty from 17 departments to develop community-based courses and research.  Over 600 students participated in the courses and related programs, which were sponsored by the Swearer Center

Action Needed

  • Develop new courses that include community service
  • Partner with Brown’s ADVANCE grant to create new teaching support programs for women faculty in the sciences
  • Develop methods to encourage senior capstone experiences
  • Continue to develop tools that help students and faculty become fluent in utilizing technology, and help students develop lifelong learning skills for finding, critically evaluating, and using information
  • Work with Wayland Collegium, Cogut Humanities Center, and Watson Institute to develop new team-teaching initiatives
  • Improve effectiveness of undergraduate teaching assistants (TAs) by developing support programs based on “best practices”
  • Maintain First-Year Seminar Program at minimum of 75 seminars each year
  • Work with Brown’s medical school to develop innovative first-year seminars taught by medical school faculty
  • Develop online digital repository that will archive evidence of all students’ writing while at Brown and writing proficiency upon graduation
  • Continue review of undergraduate concentrations through the College Curriculum Council (CCC)
  • Complete new UFund web application that coordinates student and faculty funding requests and disbursements across major administrative offices (President’s office, International Affairs, Dean of the College, and Campus Life)


  • Dean of the College
  • Dean of the Faculty

Return to [Phase II - Continue to Strengthen Undergraduate Education]