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Brown Corporation names three new fellows, seven new trustees

U. governing body elected ten new members to formally begin in October

The Corporation — the University’s highest-governing body — elected three new members to its Board of Fellows and seven new members to its Board of Trustees during its annual spring meeting in May, according to a June 1 news release.

The three new members of the University’s Board of Fellows are John Atwater ’83, a trustee since 2015, Pamela Reeves ’87, a trustee since 2016 and Nancy Zimmerman ’85, a trustee from 2010 to 2016 and since 2019. Each member of the Board of Fellows customarily serves an 11-year term.

The seven new members of the University’s Board of Trustees include Angelique Brunner ’94, Susan Chon ’91, Joseph Dowling, Carlos Lejnieks ’00, Russell Malbrough ’98 and Sridhar Ramaswamy Ph.D. ’95, each of whom will serve a six-year term. Denise Marte M.D. ’20, the seventh new member of the Board of Trustees, was elected as a new alumni trustee, and will serve a term of two years.

The Corporation meets as a full body three times during each academic year — in October, February and May. At any meeting, new trustees or fellows may be elected if necessary, according to the University’s charter.

The Corporation has a bicameral structure, in which 12 members make up the Board of Fellows and 42 members make up the Board of Trustees. Thirteen trustees are elected by alumni, including the current and two past chairs of the Brown Alumni Association, as well as 10 other individuals who serve six-year terms. Among the newly-elected members, Lejnieks will serve as the new president of the BAA beginning in July.

The shared responsibilities of all members of the Corporation include overseeing policies regarding University finances and operations, identifying new trustees and fellows, and, on occasion, selecting the next president of the University, according to the Corporation’s website. Additionally, all members must serve on either the Committee on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Budget and Finance or the Committee on Campus Life.

The newly-elected members will formally begin their positions at the first Corporation meeting of the academic year this October.

“Each was invited to serve on Brown’s governing body based on their commitment to the University and its mission of education and research,” the news release read. “All members are dedicated to ensuring that their work will produce an intellectual environment that will shape the careers and lives of future generations.”

“I'm deeply honored and humbled to be elected to the Board of Trustees for the Brown Corporation,” Brunner wrote in an email to The Herald. “Brown University has a limitless supply of extraordinary alumni who have achieved world-changing outcomes since graduation. I hope to advance the goals of the University, alumni and student body.”

During her time at Brown, Brunner helped organize a student protest for need-blind admissions — an experience which influenced her work with the Corporation moving forward.

“In understanding the challenges of establishing need-blind admissions, I became aware of the role of the Corporation and the difference between the administration, the faculty, the student body and the Corporation,” she wrote. After the protest, “I felt that it was important to have people at the Corporation-level that understood the needs of the alumni, the students and the faculty. That was when my interest first started in serving the corporation level.”

“Brown has had a profound positive impact on my life and my family’s life,” Ramaswamy wrote in an email to The Herald. During his time at Brown, Ramaswamy studied computer science and audited courses on music and literature, which “opened (him) to the rich possibilities that Brown offered to enrich one’s world view.”

“I come from a family where neither of my parents got a chance to go to college,” he added. “I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me. I have also realized that these opportunities are not there for many citizens in our own country and my hope is to help spread the power of education to more people in our own country.”

For Marte, who graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School just over one year ago, being voted into the new alumni trustee position came as a surprise.

“I didn’t think a first-generation college and medical school graduate would be in consideration for a position like this,” Marte explained in an email to The Herald. “I especially didn’t think that an M.D. alumna would be elected to represent one of the closest links to the current student body, which includes undergraduate, graduate, medical and doctoral students, on the board of trustees.”

Two recent alums who are within five years of their graduation are elected as “new alumni trustees,” decided by an initial nomination from a member of the Brown community and then a vote of the graduating class of undergraduate, graduate and medical students. These two new alumni trustees are each elected biannually, serving two-year terms beginning alternating years with an annual election for one of the two positions. The remaining 27 trustees are nominated by the Corporation’s Committee on Trustee Vacancies.

Given her recent study at the University, Marte wrote that she has a unique perspective to bring to her position, and one largely influenced by the work of the student body.

“Brown would not be what it is today without its students. I know this because I saw how students molded diversity and inclusion projects throughout the University following Brown’s Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan,” she wrote.

Marte also wrote that she hopes to help the University in its recovery process from the pandemic, making sure that University initiatives are supportive of students, faculty and staff “that have struggled the most.” Marte also hopes that the University’s recovery will include local communities.

“To current students and recent alumni, please see me as a bridge to having your voices heard at the level of the Board of Trustees. I am not naïve about the problems we face as an institution,” Marte wrote. “I still have a lot to learn about this new role, but I hope to be a voice for students.”

The announcement of the Corporation’s election of ten new members coincides with its announcement of a $1.34 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which was also decided upon at the Board’s spring meeting in May. The budget marks an 11.9 percent increase from the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, and was approved by the Corporation’s trustees. In the coming spring, the newly-elected trustees will similarly partake in approving a new budget for Fiscal Year 2023.

Correction: A previous version of this article included a misspelling of Lejnieks. The Herald regrets the error.



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