Dear Members of the Brown Community,
Last month we released the draft document Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University and invited comments, critiques, and alternative ideas and priorities. A large number of students, faculty, staff and alumni have done so, both via the online input form and also in forums, meetings, direct conversations, and campus demonstrations. The critical engagement with the draft has been active, broad-based, constructive, critical, supportive, and passionate about making Brown a truly better university community.
It is clear that given the level of engagement, more time is necessary for all members of the community to fully express their views. Accordingly, we are extending the deadline for input from the original date of December 4th to Friday, January 8, 2016. Doing so will allow faculty and students to continue to develop and provide commentary after the final exam period, and will also allow more opportunity for members of the staff with less access to online resources to participate in discussions taking place across the administrative departments this month. We will continue to meet with students, faculty and staff and to ensure that as many members of our community as possible can provide input.
The online form will remain open until January 8, 2016. As previously stated, we will carefully and critically review all community input and revise the draft into a final document that will be released at the beginning of second semester.
While it is essential to allow more time for community discussion and engagement, it should be noted that doing so will not delay immediate and necessary actions regarding plans that have attracted widespread agreement. We will work on this over the winter break and will update the community regarding progress made at the same time the final plan is released.
Our collective goal is for all students, faculty and staff to fully own and take responsibility for the community’s plan to confront the very real issues of racism and lack of inclusion at Brown. The draft plan built on a history of student and community activism in the struggle against racism, intolerance and discrimination, and the continuing contributions of students, faculty and staff over the coming month toward an even stronger final plan, will add to generations of efforts to make Brown better.
Christina H. Paxson