<p>At its October meeting, the Corporation of Brown University endorsed the administration’s recommendation to explore enhanced opportunities for ROTC, affirmed its response to a report on varsity athletics, formally accepted gifts totaling more than $34.2 million, and took action on a number of other matters. </p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — At its formal business meeting Saturday morning, Oct. 22, 2011, the Corporation of Brown University endorsed President Ruth J. Simmons’s responses to committee reports on two significant campus issues: the expansion of ROTC opportunities for students and the proper role and purpose of Brown’s varsity athletics program. The Corporation, governing body of Brown University, also took a number of actions including the acceptance of gifts.

In her response to the report issued by the Committee on the ROTC, Simmons emphasized Brown’s responsibility to develop leaders for the country, including its military, and said the University should explore additional ROTC opportunities for students that are consistent with the University’s existing academic policies. The Corporation directed that the University establish an office on campus to coordinate and direct services that support veterans studying at Brown and Brown students who participate in ROTC programs.

Following discussion of Simmons’s response to the Committee on Athletics at Brown, the Corporation affirmed her recommendations, which will be implemented in the coming months and years. Among those recommendations were provisions for increased oversight of varsity athletics by academic administration, competitive salaries for coaches, a reduction in athletics admission slots, and no reduction in the number of varsity teams Brown currently offers.

The reports and Simmons’s responses for both varsity athletics and ROTC are available online.

“Brown alumni and the campus community are passionate about the future of varsity sports and the status of ROTC,” said Brown Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch. “In each case, Brown’s skill at engaging in serious, respectful, inclusive discussion of difficult subjects has helped the community find common ground. We agree that academic values are paramount and will guide our next steps. I congratulate all members of the community who took part in these discussions and President Simmons for her careful articulation of our most fundamental principles.”

Presidential search

The Brown Corporation discussed the forthcoming presidential search. In a letter to the campus community this week, Tisch announced members of the presidential search committees. The Corporation’s Presidential Selection Committee will include 16 members of the Corporation: Jerome C. Vascellaro, vice chancellor; Alison S. Ressler, treasurer; Donald C. Hood, secretary; George H. Billings, president of the Brown Alumni Association; Martin J. Granoff; Richard A. Friedman; Cathy Frank Halstead; Lauren J. Kolodny; Matthew J. Mallow; Samuel M. Mencoff; Nancy Fuld Neff; Theresia Gouw Ranzetta; Joan Wernig Sorensen; Anita V. Spivey; and Jasmine M. Waddell. As has been the tradition in Brown presidential searches, the chancellor will chair the committee.

The Campus Advisory Committee will assist in the selection process. Members of that committee were appointed directly by their respective governance bodies: the Faculty Executive Committee, Medical Faculty Executive Committee, Undergraduate Council of Students, Graduate Student Council, Medical Student Senate, and the Staff Advisory Committee. Chung-I Tan, professor of physics, will chair the committee, and Sharon Rounds, professor of medicine and of pathology and laboratory medicine, will serve as vice chair. The other members are Alison DeLong, associate professor of biology; Donald Forsyth, the James L. Manning Professor of Geological Sciences; Susan Harvey, the Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor of Religious Studies; Marion Orr, the Fred Lippitt Professor of Public Policy and director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy; Julia Heneghan, M.D. Class of 2013; Brandon Broome, Class of 2012; Raj Dhaliwal, Class of 2012; David Rattner, Class of 2013; Neal Fox, graduate student; Paulo Baptista, lead systems programmer in Computing and Information Services; and Kathy Tameo, director of finance and administration for the Office of Campus Life and Student Services.

Gifts accepted

By University policy, all gifts of $1 million or more require formal acceptance by the Corporation. At its business meeting Saturday morning, the Corporation accepted or ratified previous acceptance of a number of gifts totaling more than $34.2 million. These include:

  • From Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch, a 1976 alumnus, and Mrs. Alice M. Tisch, an additional gift of $15 million for University priorities;
  • From anonymous Brown parents, $5 million to be designated for approved academic priorities;
  • From Mark L. Shapiro, a 1964 alumnus, and Judy C. Lewent, a gift of $3,333,000 to establish the Judy Lewent and Mark L. Shapiro Professor of Philosophy;
  • From anonymous international donors, a gift of $2 million to support Brown’s Middle East Studies Program;
  • From the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a gift of $2 million to support a six-year pilot program allowing doctoral students to pursue a master’s degree in a secondary field while they earn their doctorates;
  • From the General Motors Corporation, a gift of $1.6 million to support the General Motors/Brown Collaborative Research Laboratory in Computational Materials Research;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift $1.3 million of which $1,150,000 is for endowed scholarships and $150,000 is for the Brown Annual Fund and financial aid;
  • From the Wesley R. Thompson Trust, a bequest of $1,051,532 to create the Wesley R. Thompson and Lois H. Thompson Scholarship Fund;
  • From Frank J. Wezniak, trustee emeritus, Brown parent, and 1954 alumnus, a gift of $1,000,076 to fund the Frank J. Wezniak Charitable Remainder Unitrust;
  • From anonymous donors, a gift of $1 million for the Brown Annual Fund;
  • From Sanford I. Sirulnick, a 1997 M.D. alumnus and Brown parent, a gift of $1 million to name the Erik J. Sirulnick, M.D., Case Study Room in the Medical Education Building.

Other actions

The Corporation heard reports from new members of the administration: Provost Mark Schlissel; Kevin McLaughlin, dean of the faculty; and Larry Larson, dean of engineering. It received the report of the deans with regard to the implementation of recent changes in the University’s tenure policy.

The Corporation’s Facilities and Design Committee approved architect Toshiko Mori’s design for the renovation and repurposing of Hunter Laboratory. The Hunter renovation project will consolidate environmental programs and provide much needed laboratory and research space; the timing of construction is dependent upon funding.

On Friday evening, the Corporation dedicated the new home of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, at 222 Richmond St. in the city’s Jewelry District. During the dedication ceremony, the University conferred an honorary degree on Herbert M. Kaplan, president of the Warren Alpert Foundation and CEO of Warren Equities. (See news release at news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2011/10/kaplan)