We value our deep history and promising future for graduate education at Brown.

With the first master’s and doctoral degrees awarded by Brown in 1888 and 1889, respectively, graduate education has been central to Brown University’s mission for well over a century. Not only have graduate students from Brown emerged as distinguished researchers, teachers and experts in the public and private sector, they have been instrumental in advancing the University’s academic mission in truly groundbreaking ways.

We value our graduate students and their individual contributions.

Today, graduate students at Brown comprise approximately one-quarter of the total student population. Through leading-edge scholarship, Brown’s graduate students — based in 51 doctoral and 31 master’s programs — contribute in significant and enduring ways to teaching, research and the advancement of knowledge across the disciplines. They push the boundaries of discovery and develop innovative solutions to complex global challenges. In classrooms and laboratories and in the field, they serve as academic stewards of Brown’s Open Curriculum and mentors to undergraduates who share their passion for inquiry and discovery.

And we value an open and informed discussion on unionization.

In recognition of the August 2016 NLRB decision giving graduate teaching and research assistants across the country the right to unionize, we fully respect the right of graduate students to engage in dialogue about union representation. This is a significant responsibility and choice, and we continue to encourage an open, balanced and fact-driven process to enable our graduate students to determine whether or not it is in their best interests to unionize.

As conversations continue about the potential for unionization and the essential role that graduate students play in the educational and research mission of Brown, we continue to affirm the University’s commitment to graduate education and to our master’s and doctoral students. To achieve our greatest aspirations and advance our academic mission, the University remains committed to attracting the most promising graduate students across the disciplines and to amplifying support for them.

This will remain the case, regardless of whether or not Brown’s graduate students choose union representation. Our dedication to providing students with exceptional research opportunities and teaching experiences, and our commitment to ensuring the support required for the well-being of our graduate students, will continue.

Together, the University is working with current students to build on a legacy of 129 years of successful graduate education at Brown. With the spirit of cooperation and collegiality that has informed previous discussions of graduate student concerns prevailing, we expect that legacy to continue for centuries to come.