University News

Faculty discuss research, diversity

Paxson to write response about canceled Ray Kelly lecture report in next two weeks

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Free speech, diversity and research emerged as key issues for faculty during this academic year at Tuesday’s faculty meeting.

President Christina Paxson took the podium to speak about both financial and campus life issues — touching most specifically on diversity and freedom of speech on campus.

“These two issues were linked somehow last year,” Paxson said.

She added that she will release a response to the May report from the Committee on the Events of Oct. 29 within the next two weeks. This report was the second from the committee, which was tasked with analyzing the campus response to former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s canceled lecture in the wake of student protest last fall.

Provost Vicki Colvin and Dean of the College Maud Mandel were then recognized for their new administrative positions at the University.

“I’ve been here for about sixty days, and I’m getting to know Brown,” Colvin said. She added that she has three main goals: preserving undergraduate education, refining the faculty experience and improving the physical campus.

James Morone, professor of political science and public policy and chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, addressed faculty feedback that he had received after the end of last year.

The most significant feedback regarded faculty research, Morone said. The FEC will make addressing research and research bureaucracy one of its top goals this semester, he added.

Along the same lines as Paxson, Morone went on to discuss many faculty members being “discomforted” by the issues of free speech and diversity. “We won’t duck those issues,” he said, mentioning several teach-ins that will be happening over the semester regarding current events, such as the teach-in about the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Other issues included grade inflation and a “sense of community eroding.” Though Morone said the FEC will not be legislating on those issues, they will be working to improve them, especially as the University grows to become a larger research institution, he said.

New faculty and newly promoted faculty for the College, Alpert Medical School and the School of Public Health were also recognized at the meeting.

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