University News

Corporation authorizes 4.1 percent tuition hike

Corp. also approves 7.1 percent undergraduate financial aid increase

News Editor
Monday, February 8, 2016

Samuel Mencoff ‘78, chancellor-elect, Theresia Gouw ’90, treasurer-elect, and Alison Ressler ’80, vice chancellor-elect, were elected to new leadership positions on the Corporation Saturday.

Updated Feb. 8, 2016 at 1 a.m. 

The University has raised over $1 billion of the $3 billion it hopes to secure in the BrownTogether capital campaign, announced President Christina Paxson P’19 in a community-wide email Saturday following a meeting of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body.

This milestone “provides exciting momentum as we continue seeking investment for the BrownTogether campaign,” Paxson wrote in an email to The Herald.

The Corporation also formally and unanimously endorsed an action plan released Monday that allocates $165 million — or 5.5 percent of the funds to be raised in BrownTogether — to boost the diversity and inclusiveness of the Brown community.

With guidance from a report on deficit reduction issued by the University Resources Committee, the Corporation approved a 4.1 percent tuition hike, bringing total undergraduate charges to an estimated $64,566. The increase is consistent with those of past years: 4.4 percent for the current academic year and 3.8 percent the previous year.

The budget for undergraduate financial aid will jump 7.1 percent. In the coming year, the University hopes to increase the competitiveness of the scholarships it offers middle-income families, a demographic for which it lacks coverage relative to its peer institutions, Paxson wrote in the community-wide email.

Total financial support for graduate students will receive a $1.8 million bump. Graduate student stipends will increase by 3 percent, now totaling $24,400.

The budget for the 2017 fiscal year totals over $1 billion, an increase of 5.2 percent from 2016. The budget projects a $300,000 deficit, a stark turnaround from the budgets of recent years, Paxson wrote. Last year, the University predicted a gap of $4.4 million.

Finally, the Corporation will see a change in leadership, Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 P’18 wrote in a community-wide email also sent Saturday. Samuel Mencoff ’78 P’11 P’15, a Corporation member since 2003, will become the University’s 21st chancellor July 1 while continuing to serve as co-CEO and founding partner of Madison Dearborn Partners.

“What excites me is that Brown today is already an excellent university with extraordinary faculty and incredible students,” Mencoff wrote in an email to The Herald.

“The trustees and fellows have chosen a truly passionate and collaborative leader and steward for Brown,” Paxson wrote in an email to The Herald.

The committee that chose the new chancellor “surveyed the entire Corporation” to look for a sense of where the Corporation stands and what type of leadership it needs, Tisch said.

While Tisch was not on the committee himself, he talked to its members about his thoughts on the current state of the University and the characteristics an effective chancellor would need.

A good chancellor should have a “sense of leadership and support” as well as respect for the governance of the University, Tisch said. “The role of the chancellor is to be the moderator.”

Alison Ressler ’80, current Corporation treasurer and partner at Sullivan and Cromwell, will step into the role of vice chancellor, and Theresia Gouw ’90, founder of Aspect Ventures, will become treasurer.

— With additional reporting by Lauren Aratani and Agnes Chan

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  1. Fantastic a 4% percent tuition hike. I gave money to this school so that tuition not increase and students would not have to pay these out of control fees in a fraudulent scheme called “Brown Together”. Instead the school got shaken down in this 160 million boondoggle given to eliminate the rampant “racism”, “oppression”, and “microaggressions” on campus by hiring faculty and administrators to police students and other faculty who don’t agree with their world view. I wonder if any of that money will be devoted to intellectual diversity on campus or if anyone who doesn’t subscribe to BDS, critical theory, or the collective works of Frances Cress Welsing will risk censure and banishment. Five years from now the campus environment will become more poisonous and more divisive as the regressive left grows more and more dominant with ever widening complaints and bullying schemes.

    • Are you on campus? Five years from now the campus environment will become not just more but *even more* poisonous and divisive than it already is. It’s already in pretty bad share as it is. It makes me sad that I’m glad that I won’t be here then. I want to like my school.

      • I beg to differ. There is a small outspoken set of students on campus who are very good about making sure everyone knows their opinion. It is likely that they think this is good leadership. Most students don’t actually feel this way. Most students are okay with Paxson or are neutral, and are more concerned about what the V-Dub is going to serve or about what TV shows to watch.

    • It’s not just that, the school is emphasizing construction. Visit the campus to see the new buildings that are popping up here and there. Several residential halls are slated for remodeling including the SciLi bathrooms. Not that I’m complaining about this, but the why is this so important?

      • Bricks and mortar, or education? Have the deans forgotten the main mission of educating students? Is Brown running an institution of higher learning or a resort hotel?

  2. Eric Rohmer says:

    “…bringing total undergraduate charges to an estimated $64,566”

    who can afford this??

  3. Paul Zuchowski says:

    I don’t agree with these unsustainable 4% annual tuition hikes. I would call on the University to lower tuition by 1% per year for 10 years. Each fundraising campaign should have a tuition reduction component to fund this. At this 4% rate, it will be $1M to go to Brown for 4 years all-in, in about 30 years. Seems like a long time, but I graduated from Brown about 30 years ago, and my son is a student there now. Is this what we want our current undergrads / future parents to face?

  4. ShadrachSmith says:

    If students are sheep, it is proper to shear them 🙂

  5. We alums in Northern California proposed a plan for Brown to raise a sustainable $100 million per year and improve recruiting of minority students at the same time. We have been stonewalled on our plan. Christina Paxson, please bring Brown from the 19th Century into the 21st Century.

    • Alumnus 90s says:

      Read your plan twice in past. It is not a robust one nor a seemingly strategically aligned one, and it really does not raise $100m per annum as you claim. Nor have any other CA alumni seemingly signed it other than you. Maybe your plan needs more work.

      FYI I am a high tech, west coast executive.

      • Hey fellow West Coast Alum,
        What part do you disagree with? Raising $100 million per year? Brown raised $7 million by inviting a few high school students to Brown last summer. 14 courses on a limited roll-out would do it.
        Do you have a better idea? Let’s hear it!
        Increasing tuition and raising more money for a failed model make no sense. Do you agree?

      • I’m waiting, alum. So far–you have a big hat, but no cattle.

  6. I don’t know how this math for 4% tuition hikes yearly adds up. The CPI is nowhere near 4%. Yes financial aid has also increased but in my opinion rather than raising the cost and supplementing it slightly with financial aid, tuition for everyone especially those ineligible such as international students. Also on the topic of diversity, racial diversity alone doesn’t simply make a campus and better intellectually. We need to foster ideological and other types of diversity so people actually think differently instead of arbitrarily throwing money at fixing the “problem” that there isn’t enough racial diversity on campus. We have more than enough associate deans of X or Y who don’t do jack. Time to see our tuition money actually help us.

    • As the associate dean of deans I am offended and will be implementing a new position of assistant to the associate dean of deans to help manage your concerns.

  7. Brown Alum '07 says:

    Sorry, but as a Brown alum the product is simply not worth the price tag. No college experience is worth this much. It is totally unnecessary that the University spend irresponsibly on facilities that it can’t afford, and then turn around and ask more from students and alums. I find it insulting and won’t give anything again until I see some effort to control tuition hikes. With the economic climate the way it is, and billions of dollars in fundraising, there should be an effort to make Brown less expensive year after year for all students. Raising tuition to subsidize financial aid makes zero sense.

    • How about raising money without going to donors or increasing tuitions. Trees don’t grow to the sky. Tuition can’t continue to climb at 3x inflation…the total amount raised will be about $10 million–0.1% of Brown’s budget. Lots of pain, little gain.
      We in Northern California have proposed a plan to use existing Brown staff to raise a sustainable $100 million PER YEAR and improve Brown’s plan.
      So far, not even an iota of attention.
      Cristina Paxson, do you really believe that you can continue to “lead” Brown’s decline by doubling down on increased expenditures, increased tuition, poor quality outcomes, and talented people continuing to believe. Sadly, Kodak is no longer an option for you after Brown…

  8. Kevin A. Seaman '69 says:

    Brown does need a rehab of its worn facilities…allowing its infrastructure to crumble would be derelict…and does need new construction to remain competitive as well as to provide environments to accommodate its initiatives….enough is being spent on new faculty…diversity initiatives…etc…….the 4 per cent increase is reasonable in the face of the 4 million deficit and in consideration of the 7 per cent increase in aid assistance…..pretty much all the bricks and morter is underwritten by donors anyway…Brown’s facilities pale in comparison with the institutions it claims to be competitive with for the best students….well done, trustees….

  9. Concerned Brown Alumnus says:

    The key question is should Brown try to compete with other larger Ivy League Schools. I would argue that we should decrease spending but focusing on our strengths (e.g. Economics, Computer Science, Applied Math, Creative Writing). If we aim to make each of these departments top 10 in the nation in the next 5 yeas with huge investments/fundraising and then downsize in other areas, we will be able to have a smaller, more focused budget. Brown should lead the nation and set tuition increase at 0% next year as a shot across the deck of all other universities. When we try to compete on all fronts, we lose. When we lead and go with our strengths, we prevail.

  10. The sink hole grows.

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