Office of the President
October 17, 2022
Tags Community Messages

October 2022 Corporation Meeting: Investing in Research, Acceptance of gifts and establishment of endowed positions; and community engagement.

From the President

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

The Corporation of Brown University recently completed its fall meetings. For those who are new to the community, the Corporation (the name given in the Charter of the University, written in 1764) is the University’s governing body. The Corporation comprises a Board of Fellows and a Board of Trustees and is responsible for matters of policy and long-term planning. Trustees and fellows represent a broad range of professions, experiences and perspectives, and are chosen through a variety of processes — including alumni and student elections — but always for their commitment to the University and its mission of education and research. More information about the trustees and fellows as a whole, biographies of members, and their roles and responsibilities can be found on the Corporation website:

Academic Excellence and Investing in Research

In various committees and as a whole the trustees and fellows discussed a wide range of issues relating to academic excellence, from doctoral education to educational innovation to the Operational Plan for Investing in Research that has been widely discussed across campus over the past several months. The aspirations set forth in that plan to deepen and broaden the impact of research conducted by Brown faculty, students and staff were endorsed with enthusiasm by the Corporation, and we will share more about the plan and next steps in a communication later this month.

The Corporation also spent significant time discussing the necessary infrastructure to support and realize our research ambitions, and in particular the Committee on Facilities and Campus Planning selected a dynamic, multifaceted architecture team to design the planned integrated life sciences building in the Jewelry District. The building will create new laboratory space for high-impact research that can lead to breakthroughs for pressing health-related issues. Following an intensive search process, which we announced in June (, the Corporation selected Deborah Berke Partners, which is the firm currently working with the University on the Brook Street Residence Halls, and Ballinger, highly experienced laboratory science building architects who designed Sidney Frank Hall, to work in partnership on this important new building. The team was selected based on the strength of their ability to work together, and with Brown, toward designing a building that enables cutting-edge, collaborative life sciences research while helping to further invigorate the neighborhood.

The integrated life sciences building will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space for researchers in biology, medicine, brain science, bioengineering, public health and other disciplines to work together on pressing health-related issues. A new facility in the Jewelry District — already home to the Warren Alpert Medical School, the Laboratories for Molecular Medicine, and other life sciences spaces — will provide much-needed space for existing research centers to grow and for new ones to flourish.

In selecting an architect for this project, we identified design teams that had developed academic research facility projects, particularly in the life sciences. Especially important was experience working in urban environments where integration with existing neighborhoods is essential, as well as high-level design integrity and a strong commitment to sustainable design practices. Deborah Berk Partners and Ballinger together have all of the requisite skills and experience to make this project a success for Brown, Providence and Rhode Island.

With the selection of the architecture team, we will now launch an extensive programming phase to assess factors ranging from space needs and site requirements to conceptual design and projected scale and scope, as well as estimated project costs and funding sources. That process will convene both internal and external stakeholders. And while a target timeline for the full project will emerge during planning, a project of this scale will likely reach construction completion in four to five years.

Acceptance of Gifts, Establishment of Endowed Positions and Other Actions

The trustees and fellows formally accept gifts and pledges in the amount of $1 million or more. At this meeting they formally accepted gifts and pledges made since the May meeting. Totaling more than $91 million, these generous commitments provide critical support for Brown’s priorities, including endowed professorships, financial aid, graduate education, the Lindemann Performing Arts Center, athletics and a range of academic programs. The success of BrownTogether to date and in the future builds from gifts of many dollar amounts, and all are essential to our success and deeply appreciated.

The trustees and fellows also approved the establishment of a number of endowed positions in recognition of generous gifts having been received, and also established several endowed positions from the increased market value of previously established professorships. The latter is an example of ongoing efforts to deploy endowed resources in an effective manner in support of University priorities. When there are circumstances in which an endowed fund grows to the point that it can support an additional faculty position at the same level as a newly created endowed professorship, and when the donors agree, a new professorship will be established. Professorships established at this meeting include the following:

  • the Karuna Assistant Deanship for Professional Pathways in Technology with the generous support of Manizeh Rimer '97 and Danny Rimer;
  • the Acacia Professorship II through the increased market value of the original endowment, and with the generous support of an anonymous donor;
  • the Assistant Professorships I, II, III, IV and V through the increased market value of the three original Chancellor's Professorships endowments, and with the generous support of an anonymous donor;
  • the Jonathan M. Nelson '77, P'07, P'09 Professorship III through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of Jonathan M. Nelson '77, P'07, P'09;
  • the PBH Brown University Architect position with the generous support of anonymous donors;
  • the Morton E. Gurtin PhD'61, P'82, GP'13 Assistant Professorship with the generous support of William R. Gurtin '82, P'13, Kay L. Gurtin '83, P'13, Grant Gurtin '13 and Liza Gurtin;
  • the Stamen Arrillaga Associate Deanship for Financial Advising with the generous support of Justine A. Stamen Arrillaga '92 and John Arrillaga;
  • the Charles A. and Helen B. Stuart Professorship II through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of the late Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff, class of 1919;
  • the Samuel I. Kennison, M.D. and Bertha S. Kennison Professorship II in Clinical Neuroscience through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of the late Grace Kennison Alpert '51;
  • the Hermon C. Bumpus Professorship II through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of the late Dr. and Mrs. Hermon C. Bumpus, Jr.;
  • the Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff Professorship II through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of the late Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff, class of 1919;
  • the J. Murray Beardsley Professorship II through the increased market value of the original endowment and with the generous support of the late J. Murray Beardsley.

The Corporation also approved the naming of one of the new residence halls currently under construction on Brook Street, and further information about that generous gift will be distributed to the community later this week.

The Corporation approved the appointment of the following faculty to named chairs:

  • Richard Bennett, Charles A. and Helen B. Stuart Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology;
  • John Eason, Watson Family University Associate Professor of Sociology and International Security;
  • Amanda Jamieson, Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology;
  • Athar Malik, Samuel I. Kennison, M.D. and Bertha S. Kennison Assistant Professor of Clinical Neuroscience;
  • Jose Quintos, Aqua Clinical Professor of Pediatric Medicine;
  • Sohini Ramachandran, Hermon C. Bumpus Professor of Biology;
  • Caroline Richardson, George A. and Marilyn M. Bray Professor of Family Medicine;
  • RaMell Ross, Royce Family Associate Professor of Teaching Excellence in Visual Art;
  • Shipra Vaishnava, Esther Elizabeth Brintzenhoff Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

Engagement with the Community

Undergraduate student leaders and participants from peer mentorship and education programs engaged in informal discussion with Corporation members on Friday morning. This session provided an opportunity for trustees and fellows to learn more about a number of leadership programs that are overseen by different departments and centers that employ students as peer mentors and educators and serve as resources for students to receive specific support and education from their peers, while providing leadership opportunities for upper division students. The Board of Fellows met with the officers of the Faculty Executive Committee.

The trustees and fellows joined members of the Brown community in honoring and thanking Provost Richard M. Locke for his exceptional service to the University over the past seven years and wishing him great success in his new role, beginning in January 2023, as vice president and dean of Apple University.

Also at these meetings, new trustees and fellows were welcomed to the body. The new trustees are James P. Esposito ’90, Xochitl Gonzalez ’99, Joseph P. Healey, Ayanna MacCalla Howard ’93, Harald O. Mix ’83, Mya L. Roberson ’16, Omar K. Shoman ’01 and Maria T. Zuber ScM’83, PhD’86. William Zhou ’20 will serve a two-year term as a New Alumni Trustee. Robert P. Goodman ’82 and Alison S. Ressler ’80 joined the Board of Fellows. Biographical information for these individuals and other members can be found online:

I would close by expressing gratitude, on behalf of the Corporation, for the work and contributions of every member of the Brown community – staff, students and faculty – that take place on this campus every day. The mission of the University is teaching and research, and that mission is fulfilled by all of you. Thank you.


Christina H. Paxson