May 22, 2014
Members of the Brown Community,
I am writing a day before the May business meeting of the Corporation and the start of Brown's 246th Commencement weekend celebrations.
I want you to know that I recently received important reports from two committees: the Task Force on Environmental Change and the second report of the Committee on the Events of October 29, 2013. These reports are of broad interest to our campus community and to the larger body of alumni and parents. They deserve careful reading and earnest discussion, and can be found on my web site. It is my hope that members of the community will read and consider them so that productive discussions can begin immediately when the campus community reconvenes in the fall.
The Report of the Committee on the Events of October 29, 2013, which was completed this week, probes critical issues that have emerged since the lecture. It also makes recommendations for the University to consider to ensure freedom of expression while being sensitive to the diverse perspectives and experiences of our community. It addresses issues of privilege, equity and inclusion in thoughtful ways, and proposes enhancing our capacity to support students, faculty and staff to achieve University goals related to diversity and pluralism.
The Environmental Change Task Force presented its recommendations to the Brown University Community Council this spring, and some of those can be implemented immediately, including a standing fund to support Brown-led environmental projects, a centralized online information resource for students who are seeking environmentally focused projects or internships, and efforts to organize environmental projects through emPOWER, the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), and other organizations.
I thank members of both committees for the significant time and attention that they have devoted to their work. The matters addressed are profoundly important to our community, and I look forward to providing more complete responses after careful review over the summer, and to moving forward with actions to advance our mission and goals.