September 23, 2009 Minutes

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Brown Hillel, Social Hall

Members: President Simmons, Provost Kertzer, Karen Davis, Beth Doherty, Margaret Klawunn, Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar, Bill Twaddell, James Baird, Corey Brettschneider, Anthony Cokes, Timothy Herbert, Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Lynne Joyrich, Kiri Miller, Corey Walker, Brittaney Check, Chaney Harrison, Yelen Chihombori Quao, Clay Wertheimer, Joseph Bush, Heather Lee, Patrick Worth, Gillian Bell, Yolanda Castillo-Appollonio, Merle Krueger, Paul Magliocco, Kathleen Rossi, Daniel Harrop, and Ken McDaniel were in attendance. Chi-Ming Hai, Subha Subramanian, Lauren Buckel, Esther Dorzin, Nancy Fjeldheim, Charlie Kroll, and Damon Rarick were unable to attend.

The minutes of the April 14, 2009 meeting were approved.

Margaret Klawunn, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, began the presentation on preparations for HINI influenza by reporting on the number of cases of influenza-like illnesses on campus so far this semester. Ms. Klawunn reviewed the symptoms of H1NI influenza which are virtually identical to seasonal flu and consist most commonly of sudden onset of fever, body aches, dry cough and sore throat. She informed the Council that students with flu-like symptoms who are unable to leave campus (to return home or to stay with a relative) will need to stay in their bedrooms, suites, or apartment until they have recovered. This plan has been reviewed and approved by the Rhode Island Department of Health and is consistent with the guidelines they and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued. Dr. Wheeler, Director of University Health Services, gave an overview of the preventative measures being taken by Health Services. These measures include delaying the scheduling of routine appointments and the hiring of extra nurses. MaryLou McMillan, Senior Director for Projects and Planning, gave an overview of FluWeb, an on-line system for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students with influenza-like illness to report their missed class time and needs for assistance. Students who report through FluWeb receive a follow-up phone call to ensure that they are getting the care they need and to discuss academic plans.

Marisa Quinn, Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations, reviewed the status of legislation introduced by the Rhode Island General Assembly to enable cities and towns to raise revenues through taxes on students enrolled in private colleges and universities located in the municipality and property owned by a hospital or private university or college of a value greater that $20 million located within the municipality. The House and Senate Finance Committees held hearings on both bills in June. The House Finance Committee passed the student tax bill. The bill was placed on the House calendar for consideration. The House recessed without taking up the legislation and is expected to reconvene next month. Brown is responding to the legislation through a coordinated strategy that includes gathering and communicating data about the University’s contributions to the community, city and state, legislative outreach, and public and media relations. Brown is working closely with the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities on this effort.

Beppie Huidekoper, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, gave an update on Brown’s finances. The FY’09 results were better than expected. The Education and General budget ended the year with a net surplus of $2.4 million versus a planned $3.0 million use of reserves. The Division of Biology and Medicine ended the year with a deficit of $331,000 versus a budgeted deficit of $500,000. Cash gifts in FY’09 totaled $192 million. Between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009, the endowment went from $2.8 billion to $2.0 billon. In early September, the Administration met with a subcommittee of the Corporation to review the FY’09 results as well as assumptions about the economic recovery. Members of the subcommittee remain extremely cautious about the recovery and recommended that the FY’11 projected deficit be reduced by approximately $30 million. The University does not intend to reduce its commitment to faculty, financial aid or graduate students. Two committees have been formed to achieve the budget reduction target. The University Resources Committee is focusing on revenue enhancements and modifications to planned increases and operating budget reductions. The Organizational Review Committee is focusing on possible organizational changes. A Brown and the Economy web site is being developed to keep the community informed about the impact the economy is having on Brown and to communicate the University’s ongoing response efforts.

The next meeting of the Brown University Community Council will be held on October 27, 2009 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm at Brown Hillel, 80 Brown Street.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Pincince
Secretary of the Brown University Community Council