Brown University President Wants to Pass on ROTC
1:14 PM, Oct 20, 2011 • By CHERYL MILLER
ROTC will not be returning to Brown University if the corporation, the university’s highest governing body, follows the recommendation just released by President Ruth J. Simmons.
In her report, Simmons recommends that Brown still allow students to cross-enroll in Army ROTC at Providence College. However, as to establishing a program on campus, she writes:
With no Air Force or Navy ROTC program in the state of Rhode Island, Simmons is really recommending that either students drive two hours to MIT or that some other college president—one less cowed by campus radicals, perhaps—establish a program for Brown students to attend. As Jonathan Hillman, a Brown alum writes in the Providence Journal, “In short, the message is: It’s okay, just not in our backyard.”
If the corporation accepts Simmons’s recommendation, it will ensure that Brown remains the lone Ivy League holdout on ROTC. It will be going against the recommendations of its own committee, which voted in favor of bringing Naval and Air Force ROTC back to campus—not to mention the 77 percent of Brown students who also favor expanding ROTC. Moreover, it will be evading what even Simmons recognizes as the crucial question at stake: whether the “University understands and acknowledges its role as a national university in participating in the development of leaders for the country, including its military.”
At the moment, it looks like the answer is no. If that’s the case, there’s an easy solution to the halfway house situation Brown is currently in. As Hillman notes: