Brown U. Plans to Spend $100 Million to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Brown University expects to spend more than $100 million over the next 10 years to deal with issues of racism and diversity at the institution, officials announced late this week.

The university’s president, Christina H. Paxson, unveiled a draft “action plan” with a series of steps intended “to promote diversity and inclusion and confront the issues of racism, power, privilege, inequity, and injustice that are part of the Brown experience for so many members of our campus.”

Officials are seeking comment from students, professors, and staff members about the plan, via an online feedback form, until December 4, and they expect to release a final version of the plan by the end of the semester.

Campus leaders at Brown have faced calls from students in recent weeks to do more on the issue. Earlier this month a student from Dartmouth College who was visiting Brown to attend a conference on Latino students said he had been forcibly detained by one of Brown’s public-safety officers. Ms. Paxson quickly apologized and promised a full investigation of the incident. As she made that apology, however, students shouted, “That’s not good enough,” according to a report in the Providence Journal.

In a written statement announcing the new action plan, Ms. Paxson said the effort to create the plan had begun before the recent incident. But she added that the plan “has been profoundly informed, and substantially improved, by recent campus conversations about structural racism.”

Among other measures, the draft plan states that Brown will:

  • Aim to double the number of professors from historically underrepresented groups by 2024-25.

  • Create an orientation program for new faculty and staff members, as well as workshops on “race/racism, gender/sexism, sexual and gender identity, ability.”

  • Provide more diversity and sensitivity training for public-safety officers on the campus.

  • Expand mentoring programs for students of color and “LGBTQ+ students.”

  • Create a Diversity Visiting Scholars Program to bring scholars from historically underrepresented groups to teach and do research on the campus.

  • Establish a center for first-generation college students.

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