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Int’l. survey examines U. reputation in academia

New poll expands audience to determine awareness, hopes to spread U. message

The University will distribute a survey in the coming months to assess Brown’s reputation with scholars, students and others both abroad and within the United States.

The survey is meant to provide a “full and complete baseline assessment of the awareness and perceptions of Brown among various constituencies,” said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations.

Though the University has previously conducted polls of Brown community members, according to the Office of Institutional Research website, the new survey will collect opinions from a wider audience by soliciting input from people outside the community, including in foreign countries.

Quinn said she hopes the survey will provide an indication of how well the University “is recognized for its distinctive approach to teaching and research,” adding that she expects a proposal for the survey’s specifics to be in place by the end of the academic year.

Though the details are currently uncertain, the University will likely hire a firm specializing in higher education survey research, Quinn said.

Results from a number of previous reputational surveys are available on the OIR website, Quinn added. These surveys present data on the opinions and perceptions of first-years, seniors, enrolled students, parents and alums.

The newest survey aims to supplement the information gained from these existing tools, Quinn said. She added that one of the main goals of the project is to get a better sense of how aware the general public is of Brown.

“We want to see if there are gaps in knowledge of Brown geographically,” Quinn said. “As we are trying to attract the most promising scholars to Brown, we want to make sure people are aware of this institution and the commitment to financial aid we have.”

In interviews, some students said there was minimal knowledge of Brown within their families, high schools and communities.

While Brown had a strong reputation among students in the high school of Nevada native Danielle Peterson ’17, her relatives, who live in the Philippines, did not know about the University, she said.

“Only a few people in my school knew about Brown. They knew about it being an Ivy League school, but nothing else,” said Yacine Sow ’16, who is from Atlanta, Ga.

But the University has a good reputation among professionals, nationally as well as internationally, said Nicolas Ledru ’16, adding that most of the physicians at a hospital he worked at in Korea knew of Brown and described it as an impressive university.

The survey results will be one of many indicators that are used over time to assess the progress of President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan, Quinn said. Administrators currently use the level of web traffic on University sites and social media platforms as criteria to assess Brown’s external reputation, she added.

Quinn said she hopes the results of the survey reflect the University’s efforts to increase awareness of Brown around the world. The University devotes resources toward sending professors to international conferences and boosting its social media presence to ensure that the “profile of Brown is advanced locally, nationally and internationally,” she said.


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