March 14, 2006 Minutes

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Leung Gallery

Members: President Simmons, Brenda Allen, David Greene, Beppie Huidekoper, Christopher Bull, David Cutts, Stephen Foley, Barrett Hazeltine, Joachim Krueger,

Gretchen Schultz, David Sheinberg, Kate Brandt, Robert Klaber, Sarah Saxton-Frump, Emma Tai, Michael Williams, James Gagnon, Jonna Iacono, Matt Lease, Zachary Ginsberg, Neel Shah, Geoffrey Greene, Kisa Takesue, and David Bloom were in attendance. Provost Zimmer, Paul Armstrong, John Cassese, Robert Smith, Elmo Terry-Morgan, Stephanie Birdsall, Dorothy Hitt, David Kanig, Tovah Reis, Sarah O’Dowd, Guy Sanchez, and Emma Simmons were unable to attend.

The minutes of the February 14, 2006 meeting were approved.

President Simmons gave a brief update on the February meetings of the Corporation. The Corporation approved the President’s recommendation to exclude from the University’s direct investments, and require the University’s separate account investment managers to exclude from their direct investments, those companies with business activities that support and facilitate the Sudanese government in its continuing sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur. The Corporation also acted on the President’s recommendation to endorse the budget for the 2006-07 year developed by the University Resources Committee. The Corporation voted to name the Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World the Artemis A.W. and Martha Sharp Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and accepted a number of significant gifts to Brown.

At the Strategic Discussion Session, the Corporation heard an engaging presentation from Dean of Engineering Clyde Briant and his faculty and student colleagues regarding the research and teaching taking place in the Division of Engineering. During the same session, the Corporation discussed the future direction of the College.

Members of the Faculty Executive Committee, the Medical Faculty Executive Committee, the Staff Advisory Council, the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Graduate Student Council and the Medical Student Senate, along with faculty and students from the Division of Engineering, joined the Corporation for dinner where Professor Ken Miller ’70 spoke about his experiences lecturing about evolution and intelligent design.

Beppie Huidekoper, Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration, updated the Council on the work underway with regard to divestment from companies doing business in Sudan. At the next meeting of the Advisory and Executive Committee, it will be recommended that the University divest from, or not invest in, a number of specific companies. Research shows that these companies are in fact supporting and facilitating the Sudanese government by providing funds that enable the government to continue its sponsorship of genocidal actions and human rights violations in Darfur. At this point in time, Brown is not directly invested in any of these companies.

Ms. Huidekoper began the discussion on the Bookstore Review Committee’s Summary of Findings by giving background information on the formation of the committee. She reviewed the three operating options considered by the committee: 1) Continue with self-operation; 2) Form a partnership with an independent bookseller to manage the Brown store; 3) Contract with a vendor specializing in higher education bookstores. After reviewing the three options, a majority of the Committee preferred contracting with a vendor. Ms. Huidekoper noted that no decision has been made and gave an overview of the plan and process for members of the Brown community to give feedback and input on the findings and recommendations of the Committee. The Committee has already begun to receive feedback since the Summary of Findings was released. President Simmons concluded the discussion by asking the Council members how they felt about the findings and recommendations of the Bookstore Review Committee. A variety of opinions and perspectives were voiced by members of the Council and community members in the audience.

Russell Carey, Vice President and Secretary of the University, reviewed possible solutions for addressing the seating limitations of the Meeting House and the number of graduates who are expected to participate in the College Ceremony. It is estimated that there is an overflow potential of 120-160 students who would not be able to be seated in the Meeting House. One solution is to include the use of an overflow tent on the grounds immediately outside of the Meeting House. Another solution is for the senior class to process in its entirety through the Meeting House, but not be seated, instead returning to the College Green. The ceremony that would have taken place in the Meeting House would be incorporated into the University Ceremony. Both solutions would involve having the senior orations take place on the College green as part of the University Ceremony. Mr. Carey shared early responses to an e-mail he recently sent to the senior class about the proposed solutions. It is expected that a decision on the matter will be made by the end of the month. Discussion among and suggestions from members of the Council and the audience followed.

Members of the Brown Community were given the opportunity to address the Council. No one came forward.

The next meeting of the Brown University Community Council will be held on Tuesday, April 11 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm in Leung Gallery.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Pincince
Secretary of the Brown University Community Council