Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative

Committee on Excellence in Athletics

Fulfilling a vision of increased competitiveness guided by deep assessment.

The origins of the Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative date back to the 2018-19 academic year, when consultants with expertise in Division I athletics conducted an external review of Brown Athletics. They found that the high number of varsity sports at Brown hindered competitiveness. 

In January 2020, University President Christina Paxson appointed a Committee on Excellence in Athletics focused on the goals of increasing the competitiveness of varsity teams, providing equal opportunities to participate in varsity athletics for women and men, and enhancing club sports. The committee was advisory to the president (rather than a decision-making body), charged with making recommendations. The committee conducted a thorough review of the existing strengths of each team; current roster sizes; the quality of facilities available for practice and competition; and the potential of the sport to generate community engagement and enhance school spirit.

To ensure that committee members could fulfill their charge without external influence, the composition of the committee was not announced until the conclusion of its work.

Committee Charge

Develop a proposal with recommendations to determine the numbers and identities of varsity and highly competitive club sports at Brown which accommodate students’ athletic interests and abilities.

Principles Guiding Recommendations

The following principles guided the committee’s work and recommendations regarding the rosters of varsity and club sports:

  • enhancing the quality of the student experience in athletics
  • providing for gender equity
  • ensuring diversity and inclusion
  • sustaining reasonable support for the pursuit of excellence
  • increasing competitiveness in varsity athletics
  • building a stronger University community with a focus on collegiate loyalty

Committee Members

Members of the advisory committee were selected for their strong support for athletics at Brown and their capacity to make very difficult recommendations in a fair and objective manner.

  • Kevin A. Mundt ’76 (Chair), Trustee emeritus of the Corporation of Brown University and chair of the Athletics Advisory Council
  • Richard Caputo, Jr. ’88, Trustee of the Corporation of Brown University
  • Kathryn Quadracci Flores ’90, MD, President’s Leadership Council and Athletics Advisory Council
  • Earl Eugene Hunt II ’03, President’s Leadership Council, Athletics Advisory Council and newly appointed Trustee of the Corporation of Brown University (effective July 1, 2020)
  • Jonathan M. Nelson ’77, Fellow of the Corporation of Brown University
  • Paula McNamara ’84, Trustee emerita of the Corporation of Brown University and previous president of the Brown University Sports Foundation
  • Eileen Goldgeier ’85 (ex officio), Brown University Vice President and General Counsel

The committee was staffed by Jack Hayes, director of athletics, and Marguerite Joutz, chief of staff and assistant to the president.