The vision for Brown’s future is built on core values that distinguish Brown from other leading universities. Our goals are rooted in a belief in the transformative power of intellectually independent, creative, and diverse individuals who come together to learn, discover, and advance knowledge that serves society. Our strategies are based on an understanding that Brown is at its very best when it unites innovative teaching with rigorous research. And all we do rises from an aspiration to advance Brown’s mission of discovering, communicating and preserving knowledge at ever higher levels of distinction.
All of this is exemplified in Building on Distinction: A New Plan for Brown, which President Christina Paxson launched in 2014 as a strategic vision to guide the University’s growth and progress over the next decade.
The plan capitalizes on Brown’s core strengths, highlights the need to keep a Brown education affordable for talented students from all economic backgrounds, and establishes a commitment to sustain a community with the diversity of thought and experience required for excellence.
Building on Distinction reflects the University’s approach that education and scholarship reinforce each other and that the best academic programs bring innovative teaching and rigorous research together to advance knowledge. Brown is building in investment in the plan through BrownTogether, the most aspirational fundraising campaign in our history. Lauched in the fall of 2015, BrownTogether will raise $3 billion to support the people, education and research to realize the vision of the strategic plan.
The plan is built around four major components:
Building on Brown’s distinctive strength at research and education that integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines, the plan identifies seven themes targeted for investments to bring faculty and students together from across departments, institutes, and centers to advance knowledge in areas of importance in Rhode Island and around the country and the world. Themes include Creating Peaceful, Just and Prosperous Societies; Understanding the Human Brain; Cultivating Human Expression; Sustaining Life on Earth; Deciphering Disease and Improving Population Health; Exploring Human Experience; and Using Science and Technology to Improve Lives.
The plan identifies innovative approaches to teaching and learning that will sustain Brown’s position as a leader in undergraduate, graduate and medical education. It calls for enhancements to Brown’s open curriculum through curricular innovations and a continued focus on student advising; aggressive experimentation in new modes of education that rely on online learning and the use of other digital technologies; more opportunities for experiential student learning locally and globally, through internships and engaged scholarship; education for data fluency and analysis, building an understanding of how data are collected, stored, analyzed, and visualized; and creation of new programs for medical students to help make a direct impact on population health.
The plan outlines actions that will enhance Brown’s ability to attract and support an exceptionally talented faculty, staff, and student body with the diversity required for excellence. It commits to maintaining need-blind admission for domestic students and calls for special attention to affordability for students from middle-income and high-need families, and to work toward being fully need-blind for all undergraduate students. It highlights Brown’s commitment to cultivating an environment that is increasingly attractive to outstanding scholars and educators; providing resources to attract and develop the careers of the talented doctoral students; increasing excellence across the University’s departments and graduate programs; enhancing masters education; supporting staff professional and career development; and forging additional strategic collaborations and partnerships in Rhode Island and across the globe.
Brown is taking a thoughtful and data-driven approach as it plans the development of its campus. The plan sets forth a vision to maintain an intimate and walkable campus on College Hill that serves the core academic functions of the University and to develop properties in the Jewelry District for administrative and research uses. Growth is essential, and as Brown expands it will use technology and transportation infrastructure to maintain a strong sense of community locally and globally. Brown’s approach to growth will include the consideration of opportunities for collaboration and partnership with private and public-sector entities in our city and state. New construction and renovation projects will reflect the value of sustainability.
These ambitious goals outline the path to reaching new levels of academic excellence through integrative research and innovative education in service to the community, the nation and the world.