Committee on Educational Innovation

  • Katherine Bergeron, Chair, Dean of the College
  • Patricia Ybarra, Co-Chair, Associate Professor, Theater Arts & Performance Studies
  • Kenny Breuer, Professor of Engineering
  • Reid Cooper, Professor of Geological Sciences
  • Jonathan Cruz, Undergraduate Student
  • Peter Johnson, Undergraduate Student
  • Margaret Klawunn, VP Campus Life & Student Services 
  • Asia Nelson , Undergraduate Student
  • Marion Orr, Director, Taubman Center for Public Policy
  • David Rand, Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Vanessa Ryan, Assistant Professor, English
  • Patrick Vivier, Associate Professor, Public Health, Health Services, Policy & Practice

To contact the committee chairs, send email to

Brown’s excellence as an institution has long been connected to its distinctive undergraduate culture. For over four decades the open curriculum has attracted bright, motivated, and independent women and men who want to make a difference in the world. Planning for Brown’s future means reflecting on that distinction and on our mission as a College. How can we ensure the continued excellence of our model of undergraduate education? In what ways will the curriculum have to evolve to address a rapidly changing world? What kinds of skills and experiences will future students need and want in order to succeed as 21st century leaders, and to “discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation”?

The committee will address these questions and make recommendations aimed at enhancing Brown’s distinction as an institution devoted to educational excellence and innovation. Building on the work of the 2007 Task Force on Undergraduate Education, it will consider a range of questions related to the current and future needs of 21st century undergraduates. Topics to be considered include: computational literacy and technology in and outside the classroom; collaborative humanities and arts education; creative language education and international study; new approaches to STEM and pre-medical education; community-based research and the integration of local and global learning communities; time-to-degree, flexible enrollment, and integrating real-world experience in the curriculum; online education and the collaborative classrooms of the future; and educating students for a more just and inclusive world.

The committee will consult broadly with students, faculty, and alumni, and will present the Provost and President with preliminary thoughts and recommendations before the winter holiday. A final report and prioritized recommendations will be due by the end of the Spring semester.