The Plan for Academic Enrichment

“Brown University is renowned for its distinctive student body - independent, energetic, mature, responsible, and self-directed – and for its educational culture that fosters and reinforces these qualities as essential elements of their education. This special quality of Brown achieves its fullest expression in the Open Curriculum for undergraduates. The Plan for Academic Enrichment is designed to augment this educational culture so that it plays out on an even broader scale; so that all our students - undergraduate, graduate, and medical - are offered the best education possible through opportunities to craft their own educational paths, with access to a wider array of venues and a broader scope of activities, with the most up-to-date means at their disposal, and guided by a nationally distinctive and well-supported faculty and staff.”
-The Plan for Academic Enrichment, Brown University, February 2004

Beginning in 2002 Brown embarked on an ambitious program of academic enrichment that was designed to build on its strengths and achieve new levels of excellence in research, education, and public leadership. Since then, the Plan for Academic Enrichment (PAE) has guided Brown’s efforts to provide excellent undergraduate, graduate and medical education and to position the University for continued success. Since 2002 we have made significant progress toward the goals outlined in the Plan, including increasing the size of the faculty; establishing need-blind admission for undergraduates and strengthening financial aid for all students; providing essential resources to advance scholarship, research and teaching; and investing in the campus infrastructure. The momentum and accomplishments achieved during this time have been due to the hard work of many faculty, students, staff, and alumni volunteers and the generous support of alumni, parents, and other friends of the University.

It is essential that the Plan evolve over time if it is to remain relevant in an ever-changing environment. That relevance demands continuous evaluation and adjustment of our goals, priorities and underlying assumptions in the face of the broader context in which higher education operates. Reflecting the need for ongoing evaluation, the University undertook an extensive review of the Plan in the spring of 2007, engaging faculty, students, staff and alumni in the process. The results of the review, called Phase II, reaffirmed the core goals of the plan and focused future emphasis on several areas: continued enhancement of undergraduate education, internationalizing the University, and further improvement of academic departments and programs. The Corporation endorsed these recommendations in February 2008, and they are now fully integrated into all elements of University planning.

These aspirations require significant investments. All those who care about Brown have an opportunity to contribute to these goals over the next several decades-and beyond.

Annually in the fall we publish a complete status report on the progress being made toward achieving the goals of the Plan, including both the Phase II initiatives and the original 2004 version of the Plan. Starting with the July 2009 report, the status reports will be published online on the PAE website.

Navigating the Website

The Plan for Academic Enrichment, both the 2002 and 2004 version and Phase II, identifies critical areas of strategic focus (e.g., Enhancing Undergraduate Education), which are listed in the left-hand column of each page of this website. Please explore the areas to learn how the University is working to meet its goals in any of these areas. The new information provided in the most recent update is shown in red text throughout the website.

If you are interested in seeing how activity has evolved over the years, click on the "Status Reports" link found throughout this website and choose any of the documents listed. Each report has navigation similar to a website - use the bookmarks frame or the Table of Contents to go to a specific section of the report.

If you want to review just the most recent information, click on the "Most Recent Status Report" bar near the top of the column on the left.