Letters to the Editor

Letter: More institutional incentives needed for Tougaloo exchange

By
Monday, April 27, 2009

To the Editor:

I’d like to expand and clarify on a quote in the recent article on the Brown-Tougaloo Exchange (“Tougaloo exchange opens eyes, doors,” Apr. 23). The article reads “The structure of the program, as well as disparities in the two schools’ resources, mean ‘there’s not a lot of incentive for Brown students to go,’ [Evan Pulvers] said.” I’m Evan Pulvers, and I’d like to clarify: there are innumerable incentives for Brown students to go to Tougaloo, and I’d encourage anyone interested to seriously consider Tougaloo. Tougaloo offers a glimpse at race, class, religion, and geography in America, a chance to study at a small institution, a chance to have consistently small classes, a chance to enjoy nice weather, and a chance to study away from Brown and gain perspective on Brown. 

When I said there are not incentives for Brown students to go, I was speaking in the context of institutional incentives from Brown to go to Tougaloo, not on the merits of what Tougaloo has to offer, as the article insinuates.  A student who goes from Brown to Tougaloo has to take a leave of absence from Brown and then, upon return, petition Brown for every raw credit. This is not the same policy as any Brown-approved International Program, where the raw credits automatically transfer back from the program to Brown.  

Since the Brown administration does not privilege the Brown-Tougaloo Exchange the same way as any other Brown-approved study away program, there is no institutional incentive from Brown, as the exchange stands, to go to Tougaloo over any other Historically Black College or University, or, for that matter, over any other institution in the United States. This is a real problem with the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership. The Brown administration is working to create the needed institutional incentives to fulfill the promise of the word exchange, but there are plenty of incentives to just go, and I hope more students, faculty and staff will take advantage of them. 

Evan Pulvers ‘10.5
Apr. 25