March 23, 2020
Provost Richard M. Locke and Executive VP Barbara Chernow
Tags Faculty and Staff

Changes to Hiring and Performance Evaluations


Members of the Brown Community,

The effects of COVID-19 have been widespread and staggering, affecting our University community, our state and nations around the world. At Brown, we have demonstrated the power and importance of joining together to promote the health, safety and security of our students, staff and faculty, while positioning the University to fulfill its core mission over the short and longer term. We write today to emphasize that we must continue to take action and make essential adjustments to address the significant economic losses that we have incurred as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time that supporting our community’s health and safety remain a top priority, the financial consequences resulting from the increased expenditures and the dramatic reductions in revenue provoked by the current pandemic demand prompt attention. Therefore, effective immediately and until further notice, the University will suspend any new hiring for the current year and for the fiscal year beginning July 1. This hiring freeze extends to all faculty and staff positions, and includes seasonal/intermittent hiring and other temporary hiring through a staffing agency partner. The only exceptions will be for searches that are already well underway this year, and for a very few critically strategic hires in the year ahead.

This is not an easy decision to make, but it is warranted to ensure that we have the resources to continue to engage in exceptional teaching, research and service; be an employer of choice and support our current faculty and staff; and partner with Providence and Rhode Island to support increasing local community needs.

Performance Evaluation Timeline

We know that this extraordinary period has required faculty and staff to dedicate substantial time and effort to carrying out the critical work needed to transform the campus and prepare for new modes of teaching and research, as well as the many services and business operations that support our community and sustain the institution. The speed and care with which this has been done has been truly extraordinary, and we thank you.

In recognition of the many pressing responsibilities that employees are facing right now, we are moving the deadline for the completion of performance evaluations to May 15, 2020. In this difficult moment, it is important for managers to spend time with members of their teams to discuss the significance of their work and the contributions they make in their roles. Yet we want to offer flexibility so that these assessments can be completed in a meaningful way.

We know the strength of Brown is the people who dedicate themselves to their work every day. We continue to be inspired and impressed by the resilience, creativity and commitment of our community.

Thank you for joining with us in this work.


Richard M. Locke, Provost
Barbara Chernow, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration