Over the past two weeks, the Corporation of Brown University met virtually (we hope for the last time in that format) for its May meetings.
While updates regarding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 were the subject of a number of committee agendas, given the continually improving public health conditions it was much less of a focus than was the case over many meetings this past year. The Corporation in committees and as a whole took up a wide range of topics related to strategic planning, academic excellence and other critical priorities.
These included a report on Phase II of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan; a presentation to the Campus Life Committee from Medical Student Senate President Alec Kinczewski MD’21; progress on capital projects; and many other important areas of ongoing work and progress in a variety of committees. The Committee on Academic Affairs engaged in discussion regarding improving doctoral education in modern languages, literature and cultures; hiring and representation of women in the sciences; and an overview of the recently admitted undergraduate Class of 2025. Throughout all the discussions and presentations, members of the Corporation expressed appreciation and gratitude for the work of all members of the Brown community, especially under the challenging circumstances of the past year.
BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022 AND FINANCIAL PLANNING
At its February meeting, the Corporation approved a 2.85% increase in tuition and fees for 2021-22, the lowest percent increase in more than a decade. The same month, the Corporation approved faculty and staff salary increase pools of 2.5% for FY22. At the May meeting, the Corporation acts on the consolidated base budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Consistent with that process, the University Resources Committee (URC) presented their recommended budget for next year to me for action at this meeting. I recommended to the Corporation, and they approved, a $1.34 billion consolidated base budget for the University’s Fiscal Year 2022.
The budget includes $371 million in total funding for undergraduate and graduate student financial support, an 8% increase over last year’s budget; $185.2 million in endowment distributions to support students and advance research and teaching, which represents a 7% increase; $585 million for faculty, staff and student salaries, wages and benefits; and 7% growth in revenue from Brown’s continually expanding research enterprise.
The approval of the budget comes as Brown approaches the end of Fiscal Year 2021, which will conclude on June 30 with a projected deficit of approximately $79 million. That deficit is due largely to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which both reduced University revenues and required new investments to protect the health and safety of the Brown community. Expenses ranged from investments in a campus-wide COVID-19 testing program, to pandemic-related financial support for undergraduate and graduate students, to costs to purchase COVID-related supplies and ensure single-occupancy housing for undergraduates on campus. While COVID-19 will continue to impact the budget in the coming year, we expect the financial effects of the pandemic to decrease as Brown moves toward a more traditional 2021-22 academic year. With $30 million in COVID-19 impacts anticipated in the FY22 budget, the projected deficit for next year will reduce to $34.8 million.
Key priorities in the approved budget include the following:
-- Brown will maintain its commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all undergraduates, with an undergraduate financial aid budget of $170.8 million, an increase of $17.1 million, or 11%, compared with the FY21 base budget.
-- The University will provide $187.3 million in student aid and support for graduate students, an increase of $8.9 million, or 5%, compared with the FY21 base budget.
-- Endowment distributions are expected to increase by $12 million, even as the University continues its strategic shift to a decreased annual payout rate, which will both enhance the value of the endowment over the long term and reduce Brown’s reliance on tuition and fees. This year’s payout will enable support for vital activities that range from undergraduate scholarships and professorships to graduate student fellowships, library acquisitions, academic programs and varsity athletics.
I strongly encourage all members of the community to read the full URC report, which is available on the Committee’s website: https://www.brown.edu/about/administration/provost/committees-reports/university-resources-committee
ELECTION OF TRUSTEES AND FELLOWS AND OTHER ACTIONS
The Corporation elected the following new Trustees: Angelique G. Brunner ’94, Susan Y. Chon ’91, Joe Dowling, Carlos A. Lejnieks ’00, Russell E. Malbrough ’98 and Sridhar Ramaswamy PhD ’95. Denise Marte MD ’20 will serve a two-year term as a New Alumni Trustee, following an election process in which current students and recent alumni participated directly. John C. Atwater ’83, Pamela R. Reeves ’87 and Nancy G. Zimmerman ’85 were elected to the Board of Fellows.
Brief biographical notes on the new Trustees and Fellows will be available later this morning on the University’s news website: https://www.brown.edu/news/2021-06-01/members
The Corporation approved the appointment of the following faculty to named chairs:
-- Prudence Carter, Sarah and Joseph, Jr. Dowling Professor of Sociology;
-- Gregory Jay, John and Mary Panton and Emergency Medicine Professor of Translational Sciences;
-- Methodius Tuuli, Chace-Joukowsky Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology;
-- Daniel Weinreich, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence in Biology;
-- Francoise Hamlin, Royce Family Associate Professor of Teaching Excellence in Africana Studies and History;
-- Lindsay Page, Annenberg Associate Professor of Education Policy;
-- Nikos Tapinos, Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Visual Sciences and Neuroscience;
-- Alyssa Bilinski, Peterson Assistant Professor of Health Policy;
-- Amy Handlan, Yang Family Assistant Professor of Economics;
-- Peter Hull, Groos Family Assistant Professor of Economics;
-- Youjin Lee, Manning Assistant Professor of Biostatistics;
-- Nicole Looper, Drs. Ruth and Howard Triedman Tamarkin Assistant Professor of Mathematics; -- Jeffrey Niedermaier, Mulberry Essence Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies;
-- Matthew Pecenco, Orlando Bravo Assistant Professor of Economics;
-- Daniel Ritchie, Eliot Horowitz Assistant Professor of Computer Science;
-- Wenjun Zhao, LFZ Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics.
ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS
The Corporation formally accepted individual gifts and pledges made since February in the amount of $1 million or more. Totaling approximately $53 million, these generous commitments provide critical support to a wide range of Brown’s academic priorities. The success of the BrownTogether campaign to date and in the future builds from gifts of many dollar amounts, and all are essential to our success and deeply appreciated.
The Corporation approved the establishment of a number of endowed positions in recognition of generous gifts having been received. These include the following:
-- The Shauna McKee Stark '76, P'10 Directorship for Pembroke Center with the generous support of Shauna McKee Stark '76, P'10;
-- The Exploration and Research Librarian and the Community Engagement Librarian with the generous support of anonymous donors;
-- The Salame-Feraud Directorship for the Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research with the generous support of Pablo J. Salame '88, P'21 and Nathalie Feraud-Salame P'21;
-- The JJE Goldman Sachs University Professorship in Economics with the generous support of anonymous donors;
-- The Professorship III in Brain Science with the generous support of anonymous donors;
-- The Women’s Water Polo Assistant Coach Chair with the generous support of anonymous donors;
-- The Howard M. Reisman '76, P'09 Assistant Professorship in Engineering with the generous support of Howard M. Reisman '76, P'09. The Corporation also approved the naming of a space: -- The turf field located at Brown Stadium will be named the Richard Gouse Field at Brown University Stadium in recognition of the generous support of Richard Gouse '68, P'02.
Finally, the Corporation presented resolutions of appreciation for three senior officers who will be stepping down from their positions at the end of this year or before the next meeting of the Corporation: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Barbara Chernow ’79, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Shontay Delalue, and Chief of Staff to the Provost and former Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn.
Christina H. Paxson