<p>The Corporation of Brown University has endorsed a set of “Phase II” recommendations that extend the University’s strategic Plan for Academic Enrichment. The Corporation also approved the proposed budget for fiscal 2009, set tuition and fees, and formally accepted a number of significant gifts.</p>

Four years after it enthusiastically approved the University’s multiyear strategic Plan for Academic Enrichment, the Corporation of Brown University unanimously passed a resolution giving “ Phase II” of the plan a vote of confidence and approval.

“The Plan for Academic Enrichment has brought the University advances on many fronts: a 20-percent larger and better-supported faculty; fully need-blind admission and dramatic growth in undergraduate financial aid; a more than 70-percent increase in life science laboratory space; an endowment that is approaching $3 billion; undergraduate application pools of unprecedented size and quality for the College, Graduate School and Alpert Medical School – the list is long and growing,” said Brown Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch.

The Corporation’s resolution directed the administration to work with the appropriate committees and departments to bring forward detailed plans to achieve the objectives proposed in Phase II and to use those objectives as a guide for planning and decision making going forward. The Corporation also committed to fund-raising efforts necessary to support Phase II, including a significant increase in the goal for endowment support for financial aid.

The Phase II provisions grew out of a comprehensive review of the original plan requested by the Corporation and Brown President Ruth J. Simmons in May 2007. Were the original priorities still the right ones? Had progress been made across the board? Had important opportunities or challenges emerged for the University since it adopted the original plan? Simmons sought and received broad-based participation in the process from alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends of the University.

The Corporation today expressed continued support for the original plan’s goals and priorities with a focus on the following areas to guide future planning:

  • continued strengthening of the undergraduate experience, including more robust and integrated academic advising, enhanced interaction of students with faculty outside the classroom, and improved residential life facilities that are more supportive of learning;
  • greater investment and emphasis on international education and research, aimed at providing Brown students with a better understanding of the world and at further building Brown’s role as one of the world’s major universities;
  • increased support for doctoral training and research to ensure more programs of national and international distinction and increased support for departments in the pursuit of academic excellence.

“The work of academic enrichment is a continual process, not a goal that will someday be declared done,” Chancellor Tisch said. “This review of the original plan has found that our original principles were sound and that our investments in faculty, student support and other areas will continue to pay dividends. We are committed to progress and we look forward to sustaining the work of academic enrichment.”

Additional information about The Plan for Academic Enrichment is available online.


Other Actions of the Corporation

Tuition and fees: The Corporation approved a 3.8-percent increase in undergraduate and graduate tuition rates and a 3.9-percent overall increase in total undergraduate student charges, bringing the total to $47,740. (See news release 07-106.)

Financial aid: Under a new financial aid policy approved by the Corporation, the University will eliminate all loan requirements for students from families earning less than $100,000 a year; will eliminate parental contributions from most families earning less than $60,000; and will reduce loan burdens for all other students who receive University financial aid. (See news release 07-105.)

Fiscal 2009 budget: The overall consolidated operating budget for FY09 was set at $752.7 million, a 6.7-percent increase from the current operating budget. The increased budget includes a 20-percent increase in the budget for undergraduate financial aid to $68.5 million. The Corporation increased the University’s endowment draw beyond the current policy ceiling of 5.5 percent to 5.89 percent of the endowment’s average value during the previous 12 quarters.

The budget proposals were based on recommendations received from the University Resources Committee (URC), a committee composed of faculty, students, staff, and administrators that is charged with developing recommendations for the President on the annual budget and priorities for long-term budget allocation. (See news release 07-106.)

Task Force on Undergraduate Education: Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron presented The Curriculum at Forty: A Plan for Strengthening the College Experience at Brown and described the process and desired timeline for implementation of its proposals. The Corporation urged Dean Bergeron to move forward with the recommendations, especially those relating to the concentrations and improved academic advising.

Capital plan update: Since 2002, Brown has invested $350 million in capital projects and has plans for $500 million more in projects during the next three to five years. The Corporation reviewed project activities expected to take place during the next year, including:

  • opening of the Cogut Humanities and Pembroke Centers in the renovated Pembroke Hall;
  • transformation of J. Walter Wilson to a student services center with 11 seminar rooms;
  • significant renovations of classrooms and residence halls;
  • start of renovations to Rhode Island Hall to house the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World;
  • start of construction on the Nelson Fitness Center;
  • planning for the renovation of Faunce House to create the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center;
  • planning for a Creative Arts Center and a new Mind Brain Behavior building;
  • planning for a new Medical Education Building;
  • investments in conservation to reduce carbon emissions.

New gifts accepted: University policy requires formal acceptance by the Corporation of all gifts to the University of $1 million or more. Today the Corporation accepted or ratified acceptances on its behalf by the Advisory and Executive Committee:

  • from current Brown parents, a gift of $5,000,000 for the Creative Arts Building;
  • from Myungsun “May” Pack, a 1970 graduate, a gift of $1 million to establish the Sang-kyu Pack Class of 1905 Visiting Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities;
  • from Ron Beller and Jennifer Moses, both 1983 graduates, a gift of $1 million for current-use financial aid;
  • from the estate of Mrs. Hildegard Agard, a bequest of $1.2 million for current-use undergraduate financial aid;
  • from Oliver L. Patrell, Class of 1950, a gift of $1 million to establish the Ollie ’50 and Kay Patrell Head Coaching Chair in Men’s Swimming and Diving;
  • from a current Brown parent, a gift of $1 million to underwrite an exchange program between Brown and Zhejiang University in the People’s Republic of China;
  • from Idan Ofer, a gift of $5.75 million to establish the “Advancing Africa Scholarship Fund” (see news release 07-086);
  • from Aysha Shoman and Omar Shoman, 2004 and 2001 graduates respectively, a gift of $2.5 million for the Shoman Family Scholarship Fund for International Students;
  • from the George Parker Trust, a gift of $1.5 million to create and endow the George S. Parker II ’51 Curator of Maps and Prints at the John Carter Brown Library;
  • from G. Nicholas Beckwith III, a 1967 graduate, a gift of $1 million to create and endow the Beckwith Family Fund for Infectious Diseases in the Warren Alpert medical School;
  • from current Brown parents, a gift of $1 million for the endowment of the William R. Rhodes ’57 Center for International Economics;
  • from a Brown parent, a gift of $1 million for the Creative Arts Building.