The Corporation of Brown University has appointed David Kennedy as the University’s first vice president for international affairs. Brown’s governing body also reviewed University leadership reports, faculty hiring, international education, and the state of undergraduate education. The Corporation formally accepted gifts, approved professorships, and received the first allocation to The Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Corporation of Brown University today voted to appoint David Kennedy as vice president for international affairs. Kennedy, currently the Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is the first appointment to this new Cabinet-level position, a key part of the University’s efforts to enhance its global reputation and contributions as a major research institution.

Kennedy will also serve as the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor in International Relations and as a fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies.

The Corporation also received reports on faculty hiring, on plans to enhance international education, on the state of undergraduate education, and on other important University issues, including the formal acceptance of gifts.

Thomas J. Tisch ’76 presided over his first meeting as the University’s 20th chancellor.

Faculty Hiring

Dean of the Faculty Rajiv Vohra reviewed faculty hiring through the 2007-08 academic year, discussing trends, principles, and practices on promotion and retention. Brown reached new goals for faculty hiring, an essential part of the Plan for Academic Enrichment:

  • Brown’s faculty now numbers 679, the largest ever;
  • the faculty has increased by more than 91 positions – a more than 15-percent increase in five years under the plan;
  • the faculty includes 220 women, the largest number ever;
  • for the current academic year, 16 new faculty were hired in the social sciences, 14 in the humanities, seven in the physical sciences, and six in the life sciences;
  • eight of 43 new hires – or 19 percent – are minorities;
  • 65 percent of all incremental Plan for Academic Enrichment Faculty Positions have been filled.

Internationalization Initiatives

Provost David Kertzer discussed the report of the Committee on Internationalization and the University’s emerging plans to strengthen international education and research. He welcomed the new vice president for international affairs, who will be providing leadership for Brown’s programs in the international arena.

Kertzer discussed the strategy of creating an ambitious international agenda that advances Brown’s core missions of education and research, consistent with the principles of Brown’s open curriculum.

Important elements of discussion included:

  • existing strengths and potential future partnerships in the international curriculum;
  • new global research and educational initiatives;
  • distribution and discussion of the Internationalization Committee’s report to campus and forums where faculty and students will have an opportunity to discuss its recommendations;
  • discussion with the senior academic deans and the vice president for research to further develop proposals in coordination with the vice president for international affairs.

Task Force on Undergraduate Education

In its strategic discussion session, the Corporation heard from Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron about the work of the Task Force on Undergraduate Education. Major aspects of the discussion included:

  • recent changes in the dean’s office;
  • the membership and process of the task force so far;
  • the broader historical and institutional meaning of the curriculum, including the political context of the Free Speech Movement;
  • the need for improved advising; and
  • the transformative effects of student-centered learning.

With that context, the Corporation members discussed and evaluated the charge of the task force. Dean Bergeron reported that she anticipates a draft report of the Task Force by February 2008.

Report on the Campaign for Academic Enrichment

The Boldly Brown Campaign Leadership Team reported that the University has reached $1.1 billion – 79 percent of the Campaign’s $1.4-billion goal. The Brown Annual Fund raised a record $34.6 million last year, a 12.6-percent increase, as Brown’s alumni participation rose from 10th in the nation to seventh, according U.S. News & World Report.

The Corporation established three new professorships:

  • The Harmon Family Professorship was established with a gift from Trustee Emeritus James A. Harmon ’57. Appointment to the professorship will be made with preference for a distinguished teacher-scholar in contemporary African studies.
  • The John F. Nickoll ’57 Professorship in History was established with a gift from Trustee Emeritus John F. Nickoll ’57.
  • The Dean of Pembroke College Visiting Professorship of Psychology was established with gifts from the estate of Rosemary Pierrel Sorrentino, ’53 Ph.D., the last dean of Pembroke College, from 1961 to 1971, and Dr. Louis Sorrentino.

The Corporation also accepted new gifts:

  • from Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch and Alice M. Tisch, a gift establishing five endowed Chancellor’s Professorships, to be awarded to faculty in any discipline, as well as a flexible fund to support a variety of undergraduate initiatives consistent with the Plan for Academic Enrichment. The gift recognizes the success of the Plan for Academic Enrichment and honors the leadership of President Ruth J. Simmons;
  • from a grandparent of a member of the Class of 2008, a gift of $5 million for theatre arts and the Brown Annual Fund;
  • from parents of a member of the Class of 2008, a gift of $2.5 million for the Creative Arts Building;
  • from Mr. and Mrs. Shelby M.C. Davis, a gift of $2 million to create the Davis Scholarship;
  • from parents of a member of the Class of 2008, a gift of $1 million for the new Aquatics Center;
  • from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Dimeo. parents of a 1983 graduate, a gift of $1 million to include $750,000 for the general plant fund; $100,000 for the Brown Annual Fund; $100,000 for the Brown University Sports Foundation; and $50,000 for the Brown Medical Annual Fund.
  • From the Thomas W. Smith Foundation of Greenwich, Conn., a gift of $1,021,088 to support post-doctoral research fellowships in the Political Theory Project.
  • An anonymous gift of $250,000 to fund first-year projects for The Fund for the Children of Providence.

The Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence

In its formal response to Report of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice – and in particular to the recommendation for Brown to “use the resources of the University to help ensure a quality education for the children of Providence” – the University committed to raising a permanent endowment in the amount of $10 million to establish The Fund for Education of the Children. At the meeting, Chancellor Tisch reported on the formation of the Committee to Oversee the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence, which will comprise the following members:

  • Artemis Joukowsky ’55;
  • Marie Langlois ’64;
  • Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar Æ87, A.M. ’90.

It was also announced that the Committee will be able to make grants immediately from funds available as a result of a gift of $250,000.

Facilities Update

Creative Arts Center

The Corporation also approved the site of the new Creative Arts Center, as recommended by the Committee on Facilities and Design. It will be located at 154 Angell St., bordering The Walk, a series of linked green spaces that will provide a connection between Brown’s main campus and the Pembroke Campus.

The renowned architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro has been selected to design the facility. The proposed plans include a recital hall and 35mm screening facility, which will seat up to 250 people, a recording studio, multimedia lab, gallery space, and production spaces for multidisciplinary art. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2009, with expected completion in late 2010.

Mind Brain Behavior Building

Members of the Corporation approved the site for the new “Mind Brain Behavior” building, which will house the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Department of Psychology, and the Brain Science Program. The new facility will be located along the south side of Angell Street between the J. Walter Wilson building and The Walk . The Boston-based architecture firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates is designing the building. The project is currently in the schematic design phase. Construction will begin when sufficient funds have been raised,

Smith Swim Center

Upon recommendation from the Facilities and Design Committee, the Corporation voted to demolish the Smith Swim Center, which the University closed earlier this year due to structural problems that could not be repaired in a cost-effective way.

In May 2007, the Corporation voted to proceed with planning and design for a new swimming and diving facility within the Wendell R. Erickson ’19 Athletic Complex, at the location of the current swim center. The new center is being designed in conjunction with the ongoing Nelson Fitness Center project.

Corporation Dinner

More than 45 undergraduate, graduate and medical students joined members of the faculty and administration for dinner Friday night. The evening included remarks from Provost Kertzer and former student leaders Elliot Maxwell ’68, P’06 and Ira Magaziner ’69 P’06,’07, ’10, who were instrumental in the creation of Brown’s New Curriculum, established in 1969. Maxwell and Magaziner reflected on the formation of the New Curriculum and implications for Brown’s current review of the College.