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Corporation accepts $121 million in gifts and pledges at October meetings

Virtual fall meetings cover DIAP, remote learning, finances

The Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Brown as well as evaluated progress on several long-term plans at its virtual fall meetings.

The meetings, which were forced to change their usual format because of restrictions on in-person gatherings, were held remotely over the past two weeks. They covered topics ranging from how students are adapting to remote learning to annual gift acceptances, according to a letter in Today@Brown from President Christina Paxson P’19 Monday morning. 

The Corporation consists of the 12-member Board of Fellows and the 42-member Board of Trustees. It meets three times a year — in October, February and May — to oversee long-term University planning such as setting tuition amounts, appointing the president and establishing strategic plans. 

At the meetings, members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows evaluated the University’s progress on the Building on Distinction plan, Pathways and Diversity Inclusion Action Plan and the BrownTogether fundraising campaign. As part of this review, college deans gave presentations on “the composition of the faculty, progress toward goals in diversity, new hires and departures and tenure-review outcomes,” according to the letter.

Additionally, Undergraduate Council of Students President Jason Carroll ’21 gave a campus life report, Budget and Finance discussed the University’s financial planning and how it has been impacted by COVID-19 and Facilities and Campus Planning discussed the capital plan and campus construction projects. 

Students were invited to attend discussion groups to share their experiences of remote learning with Corporation members as an “effort to increase communication and engagement between trustees and fellows and the student body.” The Faculty Executive Committee shared challenges faculty members have been facing with the Board of Fellows.

Corporation members formally accepted more than $121 million in gifts and pledges that have been made since the May meeting. The May 2020, February 2020 and October 2019 meetings saw $88 million, $64 million and $57 million in donations respectively. These donations go towards “endowed professorships, financial aid, graduate education, athletics and a range of academic programs.” With these funds, the Corporation approved six endowed professorships and two endowed directorships. 

The Corporation meetings also welcomed seven new trustees and one New Alumni Trustee. Two trustees — Jeffrey F. Hines ’83 MD’86 and Joan Wernig Sorensen ’72 P’06 — joined the Board of Fellows. 

Finally, the Corporation approved changes to the University copyright policy.


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