Phase II - Ensure Brown is a Truly Global University
The world of higher education is changing rapidly. Across the disciplines, to be at the cutting edge of science and thought requires us to be in dialogue with global peers. The world’s professional and intellectual leaders increasingly live in a world without borders, and the competition among elite American universities is increasingly played out on a global stage. To meet these challenges, in February 2008 the Brown Corporation resolved to “ensure that Brown is a truly global university.”
It took a generation for Brown to move from a respected regional college/university to a nationally renowned university. Becoming a leading global university is an equivalent challenge. It will require a new way of thinking across the campus, new reference points, new colleagues, and new ideas. Indeed, becoming a prominent global university will be more than the sum of many small initiatives. Ultimately, Brown’s place in the world will rest on the quality and openness of our core strengths: faculty research, teaching, and student education. As a result, becoming a renowned global university is all about back to basics. The Plan for Academic Enrichment lays the foundation for ensuring a world class faculty, strengthening the undergraduate curriculum, building a stronger graduate school, and improving our core strengths.
We will need to deepen engagement with the world by faculty and students alike. And we will need to focus our energies. In every field today, the leading scholars travel far to work in labs and archives best equipped for their purposes. In this exchange, Brown must continue to be able to put something on the table – programs, faculty, library collections, and departments that rank among the best in the world and that both train promising new scholars and draw the world’s leading scholars to College Hill.
As the world of higher education becomes ever more international, it would be a great loss were it also to become more uniform. The strength of America’s university system is its diversity – so also for the world. Brown will have a unique role to play. Just as the 1969 curriculum successfully distinguished Brown among its national peer institutions 40 years ago, we must now work to develop our own innovative contribution to global education.
- Make the Brown curriculum a model for global education, expanding the depth and breadth of international experiences for students and bringing more international scholars and programs to Providence
- Encourage and support more advanced research in the sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities that depend on – and contribute to - the international investigation of important questions and problems
- Build more significantly on the strengths of existing centers and programs, such as the Watson Institute, and other ongoing initiatives to develop world-class centers devoted to important global issues. Undertake needed structural, curricular, and governance changes to improve these programs
- Support a small number of carefully selected new initiatives in order to carve out a special role for Brown in the ongoing process of teaching and research on global issues
- Use Brown’s convening power, focused on the rising generation of the world’s leading scholars, writers, scientists, and politicians, to make Brown the place for sustained dialogue among the world’s leading thinkers