What the Brown community is saying

About the petition to stop the closing of its only daycare center by Brown University:

“”I am deeply dissapointed in the university administration’s decision to close Taft Avenue daycare. The manner in which this decision has been implemented is bad enough, but the deeper issue here is the university’s commitment to families and the community. I find it hard to believe that we have to justify the need for decent day care in this day and change. When I joined Brown in 2004, young faculty were promised that Brown had day care comparable to peer universities. The truth of course is entirely different. The facilties at Taft were below par, but the warmth and competence of the staff left us feeling that our children were in good hands. The fact that Taft needed an overhaul was never in doubt (for example, two years ago we had to take our children out for a few days because a part of the roof blew off). Yet instead of investing in a facility that all of us would be happy with, the university has chosen to shut it down with no plans for a new facility. I am just speechless.” Faculty

“I don’t have kids of my own, but I havevseen how this daycare facility has allowed my fellow students to continue studying while raising their babies. This is such an unfortunate decision.” Graduate Student

“As departmental chair, I have first-hand experience of the difficulties of recruiting top female faculty or staff. The lack of a day care center for Brown staff and faculty, which appears unique among our peer institutions, will make a difficult task even more difficult, especially in harder-than-usual economic times.” Faculty

“As I Brown PhD candidate soon to be on the job market, with a partner who has just declined to stay at Brown as faculty and taken a job at a university with childcare–I can say with full certainty that young families, couples and single parents will choose other institutions over Brown as Brown is now making it even more clear how little they value quality family life and community. It is inconceivable that with all of its real estate and institutional expenditures that Brown cannot maintain a daycare center. This is not about expense, it is about priorities. Shameful.” Graduate Student

” I am now an Emeritus Professor, and also a Research Professor so I can continue to get grants, and far beyond the stage of needing day care myself, I believe this is an important issue and problem. Brown needs to be able to attract the best faculty, graduate students and staff. Having quality and affordable day care is a very important issue for this as well as societal reasons. Please work to deal with this problem.” Faculty

“I am still an undergraduate but I definitely feel that keeping Brown family friendly is very important. As I begin to consider graduate programs, a school which would provide for not only my educational goals but also my family ones is a very important part of my considerations. I hope that Brown will remain an institution that would allow me to comfortably learn while having a family.” Student

“It is critical for Brown to keep this service availalble to parents. I work at a hospital with a great day care center and it is a huge draw to get top notch employees. Please reconsider.” Alumna

“This is a giant step backwards. Brown should and must provide on-site day care for parents and prospective parents of small children. Please find another location or fix this one!” Alum and Parent

“”I was part of the effort to start Brown’s first day care center in the 1970s and this situation makes me very very sad. Please reconsider!!” Alumna

“I’m an alumna and a new parent who is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oregon. Providing subsidized day care — which my quite cash-poor university is able to do — is one hallmark of a university that takes recruitment of faculty and students seriously. It is also a vital resource for faculty and student parents. If Oregon can do this, surely Brown can afford to. I urge Brown to reconsider this decision and to continue to provide daycare.” Alumna

“I have taught here for 32 years and always believed Brown understood such basic needs as quality daycare. The administration should reconsider the decision to close the Taft Avenue center. Such action will allow us to continue to serve faculty and community needs, and to retain a deserved reputation for child-friendly policy.” Faculty

“The University has many financial commitments and hard decisions have to be made. However, this sudden decision to close the University’s daycare facility is short sighted and it negatively and disproportionately affects young women. Many families have benefited from Taft Avenue child care (I did when I first arrived at Brown in 1990 with my 9 month old son). Access to affordable child care is critical for many women to remain in their jobs. In academics, the lack of quality daycare is a major factor contributing to the loss of women from the STEM fields (see Lisa Belkin, NYTimes, February 9, 2011, “Do women shun science?”). I urge the University to find a way to keep Taft open and to improve access to a range of child care options for Brown families.” Faculty

“The answer to roadblocks such as the new state care regulations should never be acquiescence. Brown’s decision reflects exactly that energy/attitude that is so vigorously challenged by the Boldly Brown campaign. I find this incredibly disappointing.” Alumna

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