Office of the President
September 6, 2023

Charge to the Ad Hoc Committee on Admissions Policies

Committees and Reports

Brown University’s undergraduate admissions policies are based on a long-standing set of commitments:

  • To conduct a merit-based and holistic admissions process that considers applicants' academic preparedness, background and accomplishments, personal attributes and potential to contribute to the Brown community;
  • To make Brown accessible and affordable to students from all economic backgrounds;
  • To uphold the principle that diversity of thought and experience are central to cultivating academic excellence.

This is an important moment for Brown to assess its admissions policies to ensure that the University is fully realizing its educational mission and upholding its commitments to academic excellence, equity, access and diversity. Over the summer, the University took steps to ensure its admissions policies and practices are compliant with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions. During this academic year, a committee made up of members of the Corporation of Brown University, Brown’s highest governing body, and senior faculty will examine other aspects of the institution’s admissions policies.

The committee will evaluate Brown's undergraduate admissions policies to ensure that they advance the University's mission and values. Specifically, the committee will:

  • Review data on applicants admitted through the early decision and regular admissions cycles, and make a recommendation on whether Brown should alter its current policy on early decision.
  • Assess the impact of standardized test score requirements on the applicant pool, the composition of the student body and successful student outcomes, and make a recommendation on whether Brown should continue to be “test optional.”
  • Evaluate admissions data on students with family connections to Brown, and make a recommendation on whether preferences for such applicants should be modified.

The committee may choose to make additional recommendations that are consistent with Brown’s commitments and support its educational mission.

The committee, which will be co-chaired by Provost Francis J. Doyle III and Brown University Trustee Preetha Basaviah ’91 MD ’95, will submit recommendations for any changes to President Christina H. Paxson and the Brown Corporation before the beginning of the Spring 2024 semester.

The full committee membership is as follows:

  • Francis J. Doyle III, Provost (co-chair)
  • Preetha Basaviah ’91 MD ’95, Brown University Trustee (co-chair)
  • John Friedman, Briger Family Distinguished Professor of Economics
  • Earl E. Hunt II ’03, Brown University Trustee
  • Carlos Lejnieks ’00, Brown University Trustee and Past-President of the Brown Alumni Association
  • Kimberly Mowry, Robin Chemers Neustein Professor of Biomedicine
  • Alison Ressler ’80, Brown University Fellow
  • Noliwe Rooks, L. Herbert Ballou University Professor of Africana Studies
  • Bjorn Sandstede, Alumni-Alumnae University Professor of Applied Mathematics
  • William Zhou ’20, Brown University Trustee and former president of the Undergraduate Council of Students

The committee will be staffed by Elizabeth Doherty, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs.