September 23, 2011 Minutes

Tuesday, September 23, 2011
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.

Members: President Simmons, Russell Carey, Karen Davis, Margaret Klawunn, Dick Spies, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Thomas Lewis, Brad Marston, Eric Suuberg, Ralanda Nelsen, Michael Roh, Michelle Site, Melina Packer, Matteo Riondato, Anne-Caroline Sieffert, Sean DeBobes, Connie Livingston, Jill Rossi, and Daniel Harrop and were in attendance. Provost Schlissel, Joan Wernig Sorensen, James Baird, Corey Brettschneider, Melani Cammett, Kiri Miller, Corey Walker, Michael Stewart, Audrey Butcher, Catharine Beattie, Paul Magliocco, David Sherry, Rebekah Eckstein, and Anita Louise Schell-Lambert were unable to attend.

The minutes of the April 26, 2011 meeting were approved.

Katherine Bergeron, Dean of the College, reviewed the recently released Report of the Brown Committee on the ROTC. The Committee, which is chaired by Dean Bergeron, was charged with evaluating current policies on the ROTC and making recommendations with respect to the appropriate role for Brown in officer training programs. As part of its review process, the Committee met with and had discussions with a wide range of campus groups, attended forums, and conducted student and alumni surveys. The report includes: the history of the ROTC at Brown; the current debate among the Brown Community; developments at peer institutions; and conclusions and recommendations. The recommendations of the committee are as follows: 1) The committee accepts the 1969 resolutions as a sound basis on which to reconsider Brown's relationship with the ROTC. 2) The committee recommends continuing Brown's cross-institutional arrangement with the Army ROTC program at Providence College. 3) A majority, but not all members, of the committee recommends that the President engage in conversations with the Department of Defense to learn how Brown students might participate in Naval or Air Force ROTC programs currently unavailable to them, and to bring any proposal she might make regarding the expansion of ROTC opportunities back to the Faculty. In the coming weeks, President Simmons will respond to the Committee's recommendations and make her final report to the Corporation at its October meeting.

President Simmons gave an update on the review of Athletics. In April 2011, the Athletics Review Committee released its preliminary report. The Committee was charged with preparing a plan which articulates a vision for Athletics at Brown consistent with the principles outlined by the Corporation and sets forth goals and objectives with a timeline and action plan. It was also charged with addressing the number of admission slots, financial aid priorities, and the appropriate level of financial support. The recommendations of the Committee included: increased accessibility of all academic opportunities for student athletes; commitment of approximately $10M to improve facility needs; increased operating budget and addition of key staff; discontinuation of men's and women's fencing, women's skiing, and men's wrestling programs; elevation of one women's program from club to varsity; set the number of admissions slots for recruited athletes to 195; and increased financial aid budget for the University. During the week following the release of the report there was repeated observation that the time-frame for consideration and implementation of the discontinuation of specific sports was too brief. In turn, the Committee recommended that deliberations and decisions on any recommendations concerning the discontinuation of team sports be placed on hold until the beginning of the fall semester. President Simmons reported to the Corporation that a recommendation would not be made with respect to the future status of wrestling, skiing and fencing at the May meeting and that those team sports will be allowed to continue through the next academic year. Over the summer and since the beginning of this semester President Simmons met with team members, parents, and team supporters. In the coming weeks, President Simmons will respond to the Committee's recommendations and make her final report to the Corporation at its October meeting. Audience members asked about the criteria used by the Committee in determining the teams to be discontinued and whether increased fundraising by these teams would address the concerns of the Committee.

The next meeting of the Brown University Community Council will be held on October 25, 2011 from 4:00–5:30 pm in the Kasper Multipurpose Room, Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center.

Respectfully submitted,
Catherine Pincince, Secretary of the Brown University Community Council