Committee on Reimagining the Brown Campus and Community

  • Russell Carey, Chair, Executive VP for Planning and Policy
  • Iris Bahar, Co-Chair, Professor of Engineering
  • Rod Beresford, Associate Provost
  • Clyde Briant, VP for Research
  • Michael Pickett, VP/CIO Computing and Information Services
  • Agnes Kane, Professor of Pathology
  • Martha Downs, Associate Director, Environmental Change Initiative
  • Stephen Foley, Associate Professor of English
  • Beppie Huidekoper, Executive VP for Finance and Administration
  • Sharon Krause, Professor of Political Science
  • Mike McCormick, Asst VP, Planning, Design & Construction
  • Evan Schwartz, Undergraduate Student
  • Corey Walker, Associate Professor of Africana Studies
  • Matthew Lyddon, Graduate Student, Political Science 

To contact the committee chairs, send email to

Brown University has expanded dramatically over the past decade, with significant capital projects involving both construction and renovation including the investment of approximately $200 million in Providence’s Jewelry District. Growth and renovation of physical space has accommodated the addition of new faculty and increased enrollments among undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Capital improvements have also facilitated improved advising and provision of student services, campus life and athletic priorities, in addition to teaching, learning and research space. The initiatives in this area over the past decade have been guided by the Strategic Framework for Physical Planning (endorsed by the Corporation in 2003) as well as other planning studies and guiding principles.

As we consider the next decade — and beyond — of the University’s trajectory, it is certain that we will need to physically accommodate further growth. We must also examine our facilities to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of the space in which faculty, students and staff are currently engaged in fulfilling the University’s mission. In addition, our ability to make virtual connections between the spaces the University occupies in Providence and other places around the world needs to be assessed to ensure that members of the Brown community are able to effectively and seamlessly collaborate across distances, great and small, in furtherance of our overall objective of excellence in teaching and research. Decisions and priorities for investment in the University’s physical and virtual infrastructure will need to be made in a manner supportive of our mission and mindful of both resources and constraints.

The committee on Reimagining the Brown Campus and Community is charged with examining these issues and developing preliminary prioritized recommendations for discussion with the President and Provost by the end of the fall semester. The committee will be supported in its work by a professional planning firm as well as staff from Facilities Management and the Provost’s Office who work with these issues on a daily basis. In addition, the committee will have the benefit of prior studies to build upon in considering the current and future state of the Brown campus.

The specific questions the committee is asked to consider are as follows:

  • What will be the University’s academic space needs over the next decade to fulfill our research and educational objectives and how should we prioritize those needs? Your focus should include academic departments (both the adequacy of their space and adjacency to synergistic academic units and functions); research and laboratory facilities; and space for undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning.
  • What investments in physical infrastructure are needed to support Brown’s mission, including the renovation and development of academic facilities on College Hill and growth in the Jewelry District? What potential projects – including new construction and/or renovation – should the University consider in order to more effectively fulfill our mission?
  • How do we maintain a cohesive community as we continue to develop the Brown campus on and off College Hill and extend it, virtually, around the globe?
  • How can Brown best create classrooms and related teaching and learning spaces that support new and evolving modes of education with a particular focus on preparing undergraduates for a technologically driven, globalized future?
  • Are there opportunities to develop buildings in the Jewelry district or elsewhere that involve advantageous partnerships with other institutions?

The committee will consult with members of the broader campus community while arriving at a set of preliminary thoughts and recommendations to present to the President and Provost in December. A final report including a prioritized set of recommendations will be anticipated by the end of the Spring semester.