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Herald

the Brown

vol. cxlvi, no. 67

Friday, September 16, 2011

Since 1891

President Simmons to step down

Iconic 18th president will leave in June

Community reflects on 10 years of leadership

nounced the foundations of what would become the Plan for Academic Enrichment — increasing faculty salaries, bolstering financial aid, hiring 100 new faculty members and instituting need-blind admission beginning with the class of 2007.

decision at the end of the summer. She told a few members of the Corporation — including Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 — of her intention to leave at a meeting Aug. 16. Though Simmons and Tisch considered announcing her resignation at the upcoming meeting of the Corporation Oct. 20-22, they decided the Brown community should learn the news sooner. “This was the soonest we thought we could do it, of course not wanting to disrupt the opening of the semester,” Simmons said. Though the Corporation usually takes at least a year to select a new president, both Simmons and Tisch expressed confidence that there would be sufficient time to find the right successor by spring. A group within the Corporation is responsible for presidential succession plans. Tisch told The Herald in March that he expected Simmons to stay on as president “for the foreseeable future.” Simmons said now is the right time to step down because of the “wonderfully expanded faculty,”

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By Shefali Luthra Senior Staff Writer

By Tony Bakshi News Editor

From students enjoying their first days on College Hill to administrators who spent years working alongside President Ruth Simmons, members of the Brown community expressed admiration, sadness and surprise following her announcement that she will step down at the end of this academic year. Vartan Gregorian, president of the University from 1989 to 1997, said Simmons notified him of her decision Thursday morning. “I told her that she’s done an extraordinary job, and we’re all very grateful,” he said. He praised her success in expanding the faculty and improving financial aid. Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, noted the overall continued on page 2

Rachel Kaplan / Herald

Simmons hugs a first-year before this year’s welcome address.

President Ruth Simmons, the first black president in Ivy League history, will step down at the end of the academic year, she announced Thursday morning. Simmons, who was also the second female president in the Ivy League, took the helm as the University’s 18th president in 2001. She told The Herald she originally intended to step down after 10 years — about the average for Ivy League presidents — but stayed on an extra year at the behest of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Simmons said she came to the

A legacy of inspiration and growth By Alex Bell News Editor

When President Ruth Simmons steps down at the close of the academic year, she will leave the University with a legacy of institutional expansion, unprecedented fundraising and a progressive yet competitive vision

for the future of Brown. “In my heart of hearts, I know I’m home,” Simmons said upon her arrival at Brown in 2001. “I know this is it, and all my career has been building toward this.” Simmons began her presidency with the goal of improving the University’s national standing. She an-

Goal to name new president by spring

inside

The University will likely appoint a permanent successor to President Ruth Simmons this spring, Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 said Thursday. Tisch said the search for a successor will incorporate input from the community, honoring the University protocol for selecting a new president. Historically, a committee of Corporation members and a committee of students, faculty and staff have worked together to identify and choose a replacement. The Corporation, the University’s highest governing body, will be outlining the search process and “reaching out to the community” in the next few weeks, Tisch said. The search process will likely be detailed before the Oct. 20-22 Corporation meeting. Students not directly involved in the committee will be encour-

news....................2-3 arts..................4-5 editorial............6 Opinions.............7

aged to weigh in during the search, Tisch said. Simmons said planning a successful transition has always been important to her. She has been in communication with a Corporation committee to plan her succession “in the best possible way” since before she decided to step down. She added that she will not be directly involved in the search for a new president. But if the Corporation seeks her input, she said she will tell candidates how “absolutely wonderful it is to be at Brown.” . Both Simmons and Tisch said they anticipate a relatively smooth search for a new president and expressed confidence in finding a replacement by this spring. “There will be long lines of people who want to be president of this institution,” Simmons said. Chancellor Emeritus Stephen Robert ’62 P’91, who chaired the

Herald file photo

Like others who have moved onto an unfamiliar campus for the first time, David Dooley received a warm welcome to his new home from President Ruth Simmons. Simmons, he said, was one of the first people to call him when he became president of the University of Rhode Island two years ago. The focus of their conversation — collaboration — was one that Simmons brought to her work both on and off College Hill. “I think she was very serious about engaging the city, about coming to the city and encouraging the institution to think about its identity as partly bound up in

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Simmons smiles during one of six standing ovations she received at her inauguration.

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Good Girls

Prep schoolers grow up in “Tanner Hall” Arts & Culture, 4

By Claire Peracchio City & State Editor

U.S. Who? College rankings “completely invalid” opinions, 7

weather

By Shefali Luthra Senior Staff Writer

A guiding presence beyond College Hill

t o d ay

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Providence and Rhode Island,” Dooley said. Under Simmons, Brown and URI have partnered on research initiatives, particularly in the life sciences and biomedical fields. “She is someone that, despite her rock-star status among higher education leaders, has always struck me as someone who is always interested in promoting other individuals and partnerships,” he said. This February, Simmons and Dooley joined Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras on a fact-finding mission to Houston, Texas, where they toured the world’s largest medical complex. Following the trip, they co-authored a Providence Journal op-ed on the role Rhode Island universities and colleges can play in promoting economic growth. Chafee, a former distinguished visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, praised Simmons in a statement Thursday after she announced she will resign at the end of this academic year. “While this is a sad occasion, it is also an opportunity to celebrate Ruth’s exceptional leadership of Brown University over the last 10 years,” Chafee said. “Ruth is a true superstar, blazing through the galaxy of higher education. Even among its many bright lights, she shone brightest.” Sen. Rhoda Perry P’91, D-Providence, who has represented the district that includes Brown for two decades in the General Assembly, recalls the first time she

heard that a black woman was to become president of the University her son had attended. “I was just so proud,” she said. Perry lauded Simmons for entering into an agreement to contribute payments in lieu of taxes to the city along with other nonprofits. The arrangement helped the city weather difficult economic times, Perry said. “We were one of the first cities to actually do that,” she said. Perry also pointed to Simmons’ leadership in the city’s ongoing development efforts. Under Simmons, Brown expanded the Alpert Medical School and has positioned itself to play a key role in the redevelopment of the 20 acres left available by the relocation of I-195, she said. “She really made an impression that Brown wanted to be part of the community — part of the Providence community, part of the greater Rhode Island community and part of the college community of the state,” she said. Neil Steinberg ’75, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, a philanthropic organization pointed to the impact of Simmons’ on-campus initiatives on the wider community. Steinberg worked under Simmons as Brown’s vice president for development from 2004 to 2008. “Ruth’s leadership on the Plan for Academic Enrichment, which included additional faculty, new buildings, enhanced scholarships and the expansion of the Med School, benefited Providence and Rhode Island,” he said.

Steinberg said that one of Simmons’ most enduring legacies is her story — ­ that of a black woman from a poor family in rural Texas who became president of an Ivy League university. “I think she was an inspirational leader and role model,” he said. Simmons was also a forceful advocate for public education and a champion for educators, he said. She provided guidance for the foundation’s efforts to improve K-12 education in the state. Members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation joined community leaders in praising Simmons. Democratic senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse issued statements commending Simmons. “During her tenure, the contribution of Brown’s students, faculty and alumni has only strengthened Brown’s reputation as one of the world’s great universities,” Whitehouse said. “As a Brown alum, I applaud her lasting contributions to the University, and I wish her well on her next step,” Rep. David Cicilline ’83, D-R.I., said in a statement. As for that next step, Simmons’ decision to step down has set in motion a search for her replacement. Dooley recommended the selection committee inquire whether candidates embody a quality often overlooked in college presidents: fun. “I hope that when Brown looks for a new president, they pick somebody who is both as thoughtful and as courageous as she is as a leader and also just an enjoyable person to spend time with,” he said.

Faculty praises Simmons’ tenure continued from page 1 improvements to the University during Simmons’ tenure. She said Simmons’ powerful personality helped attract students to Brown. “People at this University come because of her,” Nelson said. “She embodies things that they want to pursue in their life.” “When I decided to apply here as a black female, I thought, ‘Wow, this is the only Ivy League university with a black female president,’” Nelson added. Undergraduates praised the president’s dedication, remembering moments when she took the time to interact directly with

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the community. Several noted the challenges that lie ahead in the search for a replacement. “Whoever comes after is going to have a big act to follow,” said Evelyn Ansel ’11.5. “I think she’s always been the central figure, so I don’t know what Brown would be without her,” said Jason Shum ’14. “She’s always been like the big mother, the grandmomma bear, and now she’s gone.” “I want my hug before she leaves,” said Sam Kase ’15. Simmons promised to give a hug to each member of the incoming class both this year and last year. Chancellor emeritus Stephen Robert ’62 P’91, who chaired

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the Corporation committee that selected Simmons as president, praised her abilities as a leader. “She created harmony within all the different Brown constituencies — faculty, Corporation, students, parents, alums. It’s a hard job because they all have their own demands, and she just did a wonderful job.” Faculty members from a wide range of departments noted Simmons’ contributions to their area of the University. Philip Gruppuso, associate dean for medical education, said the opening of the Alpert Medical School’s new building in August was “truly extraordinary,” especially given the financial crisis in 2008. “I just always found her to be an extraordinarily positive influence over everything that I’ve had anything to do with at Brown,” he said. Richard Fishman, professor of visual arts and director of the Creative Arts Council, said Simmons was instrumental in the creation of the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, which opened in January. “She was supportive of the idea when it was just an idea,” he said. Corey Walker, associate professor of Africana studies and chair of continued on page 5


Campus News 3

The Brown Daily Herald Friday, September 16, 2011

Simmons leaves behind expanded faculty, financial aid continued from page 1 She wanted to pay for the extra financial aid solely through fundraising. “I don’t want this tossed into the rest of the budget,” Simmons said at the time. “I want it sticking out like a sore thumb because it’s who we are.” In 2002 the Corporation unanimously endorsed the $78.8 million plan. Simmons also announced her intention to raise $1 billion over the next 10 years — an amount that would be far surpassed. “I think she’s going to go down as one of the presidents that did a great deal in expanding Brown,” said Jane Lancaster, visiting assistant professor of history, who is currently writing a book on the history of the University. Taking the helm

The Corporation voted unanimously on Nov. 9, 2000 to elect Simmons, then-president of Smith College, as the 18th University president and first black president of an Ivy League institution. “Ruth sees this as her last challenge in academic life and that she’s here for the duration of her academic career, which I hope will be a very long time,” said then-Chancellor Stephen Robert ’62 P’91, who chaired the Corporation’s presidential search committee, when he announced the selection in Sayles Hall the next day. More than 100 newspapers covered Ruth’s inauguration, most lauding the accomplishments of the 12th child of Texas sharecroppers and a great-granddaughter of slaves. The New York Times called Sim-

Herald file photo

Simmons was formally inaugurated in a weekend of festivities in 2001.

mons an “inspired” choice. She was even dubbed “the Jackie Robinson of higher education.” But just weeks into her presidency, Simmons found herself the keynote speaker at an impromptu Salomon 101 assembly the evening of Sept. 11, 2001. She encouraged students to combat bigotry and prejudice on a large scale and called for tolerance. The next month, Simmons was formally inaugurated in a weekend of festivities including 20 faculty forums and a 500-person procession. Patrick Kennedy, then a Rhode Island congressman and now a visiting fellow at the Brown Institute for Brain Science, said at the time that Simmons’ inaugural speech — for which she received six standing ovations — “sparked an idealism in everybody.” Big dreams grounded in reality

“We’ve never had a president who’s as decisive and who has as

good judgment as she has,” John Savage, professor of computer science, told post- Magazine in 2002. In May 2003, the University purchased 70 Ship St. in the Jewelry District, a turning point for the expansion of the Alpert Medical School and the beginning of Brown’s ongoing commitment to help build a “knowledge economy” in that area. Simmons’ lofty goals for Brown were accompanied by her abilities on the ground — liaising with donors, representing the University abroad and ultimately securing over $1.6 billion by the Campaign for Academic Enrichment’s close in December 2010. “She has helped us to build the resources we need to implement the Brown curriculum,” Stephen Foley ’74 P’04 P’07, associate professor of English and interim chair of the department, told The Herald after Simmons announced her resignation Thursday. A $100 million gift founded the

Sidney Frank ’42 scholarship in 2004, which allowed the University to offer loan-free full financial aid to 130 students each year. In 2005, Simmons announced a 5.5 percent overall increase in faculty salaries, reflecting a continuous effort under the Plan for Academic Enrichment to attract and retain desirable professors. “When I leave, I’ll leave behind the greatest president of a university in the United States,” Robert said at a speech launching the Boldly Brown fundraising campaign in 2006, shortly before he vacated his position. Simmons “made Brown a reality for people who couldn’t afford it,” said Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students. The president, the icon

From its outset, Simmons’ presidency attracted national attention, increasing the University’s presence within academia and in the public eye. The Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice — appointed by Simmons in 2003 to study and evaluate the University’s historical connections to slavery in Rhode Island — released its report in 2006 to a storm of press coverage. The report outlined a center for the study of slavery and justice and an on-campus memorial to the slave trade, among other recommendations. In recent years, other universities have followed Simmons’ lead and launched similar investigations into their own pasts. Universities have a responsibil-

ity to “reveal the truth of their own histories,” Simmons said at a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last spring. “The fear of the truth has no place in a university that purports to expose the truth.” As the University figurehead, Simmons’ symbolic gestures spoke volumes. In the midst of a shrinking endowment and an international financial crisis, Simmons took salary cuts in the fiscal years ending in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, she gave $2,004, $2,005 and $2,006 respectively to the senior class gift. But in 2007, she gave $20,007. “So I will have a shorter vacation this year,” she told The Herald at the time. But her position on the board of directors of Goldman Sachs had the opposite symbolic effect, drawing campus and national scrutiny in 2010. Simmons resigned from the post the same year. Simmons — known to students simply as Ruth — has retained high approval ratings from the student body in semesterly Herald polls. Though her approval has declined from 84.9 percent in 2007, 62.5 percent of students approved of her presidency in spring 2011. “She’s just been phenomenal,” said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services. “It’s going to be a tough act to follow.” — With additional reporting by Elizabeth Carr, Felice Feit, Jordan Hendricks, Talia Kagan, Alex Macfarlane, Lindor Qunaj and Emma Wohl

First black female Ivy League president to return as professor continued from page 1 “brilliant and capable” new administrators and the University’s current financial health. “The time to make the transition is when you’re strong,” she said. “I believe, myself, that this is a time to do that, because we’re past that crisis — that financial crisis. We are on an upward trajectory.” The rest of the Corporation was informed of Simmons’ decision Thursday, according to Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations. Tisch said Corporation members expressed the “greatest gratitude and deepest respect” for Simmons upon hearing the news. Simmons said the Plan for Academic Enrichment — her overarching vision for the University’s

institutional growth and development and the cornerstone of her presidency — will continue beyond this year. Though she wants to add a “follow-on” to keep the plan fresh, she said the new president will also influence the plan’s future. “No president would want to come to a place and be handed a plan they have no input into,” Simmons said. Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 will start developing the follow-on, which the new president will then review and add to. The plan has “enhanced the capacity of Brown as a University to educate students and produce academic scholarship,” he said, and the University will harness this capacity “to increase the significance of Brown’s scholarship and our ability to help work on problems of the world” in future years. Under the plan, Simmons

launched the Campaign for Academic Enrichment, a fundraising initiative that raised more than $1.6 billion by its close in December 2010. The University also hired more than 100 new faculty members, expanded its graduate programs and established a School of Engineering. Simmons appointed a Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice in 2003 to research the University’s historical involvement with the slave trade and recommend steps for acknowledging the intersections between slavery and the University’s early years. The committee released its report in 2006, garnering national media attention. Other universities have since initiated similar investigations of their own. Stephen Robert ’62 P’91, who chaired the committee that selected Simmons as president, expressed

sadness after the announcement. Simmons is “the best university president in America,” he said. “She first of all raised Brown’s standards, forcing us to be much better than we were,” he said. “And she gave us permission to be self-critical instead of just being self-satisfied.” Simmons said she will return to the University as a professor of com-

parative literature and Africana studies after spending a year away from Brown to “take up projects that have been on hold far too long.” Though she has not decided how she will spend the year, she said she would like to go to France. — With additional reporting by Tony Bakshi and Elizabeth Carr


4 Arts & Culture

The Brown Daily Herald Friday, September 16, 2011

The soundscape of College Hill Good girls make bad By suzannah weiss Arts & Culture Columnist

Musicologist Theodor Adorno called pop music “wholly antagonistic to the ideal of individuality in a free, liberal society.” While this idea strikes me as a tad melodramatic, his point is well taken — listening habits are of great consequence. Despite the personal nature of musical taste, the soundtrack of your life is often curated by others. Strolling down Thayer Street, I find my head filled with songs I had no role in choosing. In a Wickenden Street cafe, I take a brief study break to Google the lyrics of an unfamiliar track. While picking up takeout from Haruki Express, my toes tap impatiently to yet another reminder that Nicki Minaj’s love interest is “slicker than the guy with the thing on his eye.” It becomes a sequence of regular activities, even routines: afternoon coffee and 90s alternative rock at the bookstore, mellow rooibos and indie folk at Tealuxe, study sessions at Coffee Exchange punctuated by big bands, classic rock and conversation. Adorno adds that “popular music commands its own listening habits.” If our habits are to be so commanded, perhaps it is best to be prepared and choose

the ambiance that best fits our personalities. To that end, here are some informal investigations of East Side eateries. Ives Street coffee joint Malachi’s is underpopulated — perhaps because of the intimidating biker population that congregates outside — and under-appreciated. The Postal Service and other coffee-shop-appropriate bands in the same low-key, subtly experimental vein complement the cozy, tasteful atmosphere. The College Hill Cafe, on the other hand, is regularly packed with students and their glowing MacBooks, drawn to the cramped space by double-shot espressos and an indie playlist. The music sounds like a Pandora station made by college students and 20-something hipsters — and it probably is. Generation Y throwbacks like R.E.M., Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins play back-to-back with more cuttingedge artists like Bjork, the Mountain Goats and Animal Collective. Blue State Coffee, under the same ownership, features a similarly enjoyable roster of tunes. On the other side of Angell Street, Tealuxe’s musical offerings are equally as likely to elicit cries of “I love this song!” as the question “Huh, what band is this?” The baristas-cum-DJs make music geeks feel welcome, responding

cheerfully to both reactions. Selections often have a country feel, but there is also a healthy and varied dose of indie pop artists, including The Flaming Lips, Rilo Kiley, Laura Marling and Bloc Party. Au Bon Pain is more of a gamble. The iced coffee flows freely, and there’s a decently arranged mix of conventional and slightly off-beat tunes, but be warned: Visitors may be subjected to elevator music. For those who choose to venture to Wickenden Street, The Duck and Bunny gets the award for variety, featuring French music, jazz, punk, dance hits and Pink Floyd Fridays — the night each week when they break out the disco ball and pump up the tunes. Most days, the music is at a more appropriate volume — loud enough to avoid overhearing the next table but soft enough to talk to your friend. The sound goes great with a red velvet cupcake — but then again, what doesn’t? The Coffee Exchange playlist is similarly eclectic, featuring Van Morrison and Elvis, but slants slightly toward a more mature aesthetic. If none of these soundtracks suits your style, there is always Moroccan music at Tea in Sahara or Bollywood classics at Kabob and Curry. But as Adorno says, live freely.

choices in alums’ film By Kristina Fazzalaro Arts & Culture Editor

“Who sits around boarding school obeying every rule?” According to “Tanner Hall,” a new film by Tatiana von Furstenberg ’91 and Francesca Gregorini ’90 opening tonight in Warwick, no one does. The movie follows the lives of four young women attending an all-girls boarding school in New England. According to Gregorini, the directors modeled the story off their experiences at similar schools in England — but hopefully not too similar. The film’s four protagonists find themselves in varying degrees of trouble as they enter the morally ambiguous realm of adulthood. The film is careful not to assign blame to any of its characters, despite their misdemeanors. “We did try to stay away from that kind of morality,” von Furstenberg said. “There is no such thing as the good girl or the bad girl,” Gregorini said. “As the good girl, you are capable of making bad choices.” The film follows its ensemble cast through six interwoven story lines that largely revolve around the four girls and the pseudostock characters they come to represent. The film reveals that both the good girl and the villainess are “capable of violence,” as Fernanda (Rooney Mara) so aptly says at the beginning of the film. Fernanda, the goody-goody, claims she wants to follow the rules­. But she also seems to invite trouble in, engaging in an affair with a married family friend that drives the film to its conclusion. Kate (Brie Larson) is a wild child who pops pills for fun, flirts with her married English teacher (Chris Kattan) and doesn’t stop to consider the consequences of her actions until it is too late. By contrast, cautious Lucasta (Amy Ferguson) tries to be the glue that holds this group together but is struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and cannot always act as mediator. The introduction of Victoria (Georgia King) to Tanner Hall at the beginning of the film further strains the girls’ relationships. Victoria is pegged as the villain from the start, and she does little to improve her image. She lies to and manipulates her peers, but her mother’s cool disregard and her own morbid fixation with death earn her some sympathy. Mara, who has recently been cast as the title character in the film adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” was brilliant as Fernanda, imbuing her character with the right amounts of confusion, rebelliousness and disenchantment that come with the entrance to adulthood. Her ill-timed suitor Gio is ef-

fortlessly played by the irresistible Tom Everett Scott. Fernanda is confused about her relationships at school and her budding maturity, while Gio is a lost city boy stuck in the country with a baby he doesn’t want on the way. It is “the intersection of coming-ofage and midlife crisis,” Gregorini said. What begins as a genuine friendship between the two soon develops into something more, and the earnest emotions conveyed by the actors leave the audience unsure where to place the blame for their affair — if, indeed, there is any blame to be placed. “We really took our time in the casting process,” Gregorini said. The casting crew made sure to seek out genuine actors for the roles — anyone with a “Hollywood vibe” was dismissed, Gregorini said. The film is steeped in reality. The girls’ problems are realistic, and their emotional responses are heartfelt and sincere. While the film’s themes are nothing new, the fresh take is interesting and timeless. The film is, in fact, set ambiguously set timewise — the clothing, music, cars and decor were all chosen carefully to represent any era within the last 30 years. “We wanted it to be relatable to everyone,” Gregorini said. “It’s not about today or yesterday, it’s about the process of coming of age.” This is the directorial debut for Gregorini and von Furstenberg, who have been “best, best friends” since their days at Brown, Gregorini said. Both directors took classes in Modern Culture and Media and studied with Lowry Marshall, professor of theater arts and performance studies. “The only training we had in filmmaking was at Brown,” Gregorini said. “They were both wonderful when they were in undergraduate school,” Marshall said. The two kept in touch with Marshall after graduation, and when they decided to film in Rhode Island, they invited Marshall to play a minor role in the film she describes as “beautifully shot.” The film also includes at least one scene filmed outside Brown Stadium, and another featuring dancers from the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies in a waltz scene. “Tanner Hall” transports the viewer to the world of boarding school, where emotions run high as childhood comes to end, and reality hits you square in the face. With strong acting and lush cinematography, the film promises to bring closure and hope to all those lamenting their earlier days and naivete.

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5

The Brown Daily Herald Friday, September 16, 2011

Soccer star looks to future Admins optimistic about finding successor pable successor. searches usually take a long time continued from page 1 career in finance “They picked President Sim- because universities use the search continued from page 8

How do you balance class, soccer and wrestling? I spend at least 50 hours a week between the two sports. It’s a job, and I’m basically committed all day, every day. But to be honest, it’s all I ever wanted to do, and I’m so grateful I was able to do it. What else are you passionate about, other than soccer?

I’ve been looking at a lot of investment banking, venture capital, private equity. I’ve been trying to get into business and finance the next couple of years. Sports is almost over, and it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow. But there’s going to be something else that’s going to get me just as excited, so I’m okay with that. I’m involved with Brown Investment Groups, and I do a lot of work in the community.

Corporation committee that chose Simmons, said the University will have an easier time finding someone qualified because of Simmons’ presidency. “She has made it easier to find her replacement because she’s elevated Brown’s position in a way that makes it attractive,” Robert said. Ralanda Nelson ’12, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, expressed confidence in the University’s ability to find a ca-

Funny ‘Friday’ at Trinity Rep By Caroline Flanagan Arts & Culture Staff Writer

Trinity Rep opened its 2011-2012 season this week with the outrageously funny period piece, “His Girl Friday,” adapted by John Guare from the 1928 play “The Front Page,” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. The play is set in the press room of a Chicago newspaper during the 1930s, and the chaos surrounding the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II serves as the backdrop for the events of the play. Protagonist Hildy Johnson (Angela Brazil) is an ex-reporter, revisiting her old office one last time before she moves to Albany with her new fiancee. Walter Burns (Fred Sullivan, Jr.), her former boss and ex-husband, tries to lure her back to the newspaper and his side by tempting her with the news story of a lifetime. The case of Earl Holub (Philipe Bowgen MFA ’12), an alleged warmonger and cop killer on death row, may involve political corruption and deceit — a dream come true for any journalist — and Hildy must choose between a killer story and peaceful retirement. All the action takes place during one night in the press room, but the fast-paced, witty banter between the characters keeps the audience

intrigued. In fact, the play is a roller coaster of emotion, teetering on outrageous as it approaches its chaotic climax. Sullivan shines as Walter Burns. His dry, sardonic sense of humor never fails to leave the audience in hysterics as he brings the character of the hard-headed editor to life. Brazil’s performance as the energetic Hildy is also impressive. The mixture of attraction and tension between her and Walter plays to good effect in the snappy dialogue. Secondary characters are equally entertaining. Stephen Thorne’s performance as Bruce Baldwin, Hildy’s simple-minded insurance salesman fiancee is particularly funny. The contrast between the bland Bruce and Hildy and Walter’s energetic duo is delightfully amusing. Among the more remarkable aspects of the play are the frequent, almost impossibly fast costume changes. Many of the actors play multiple roles, and changes between characters are used to great comedic effect. Brian McEleney, head of the Brown/Trinity MFA program, was particularly memorable for his hilarious role changes. McEleney played both Bensinger, a neurotic and anxious reporter, and Diamond Louie, a smooth-talking con man. The comedic value of these contrasting roles was further enhanced by the

fact that McEleney moved quickly and fluidly between the two. Often, works as old as “His Girl Friday” dealing with issues like gender equality and political corruption don’t age well. But Trinity Rep’s production is uproariously entertaining, and also fresh and modern. “This ‘Girl Friday’ examines America’s tormented relationship with truth, justice and the media,” Director Curt Columbus writes in the program. “The issues speak to our current moment — an out-ofcontrol media that will do anything to get a story, a corrupt political bureaucracy that will do or say anything to keep power, a world situation that unhinges even the calmest of world leaders.” “His Girl Friday” succeeds in creating an intimate atmosphere, sharing inside jokes with the audience that are familiar and selfdeprecating at times. The play is entertaining from start to finish.

mons — I don’t doubt that we can pick somebody great,” she said. Tisch said he expects to see strong internal and external candidates for the position, a sentiment Robert echoed. “They can come from Brown or they can come from a university in China,” Robert said. “We just want to have the best person and not place artificial restrictions on our search.” Simmons said presidential

to evaluate their standing and consider new directions. But she said she does not expect this to be the case during the impending search process. “I’d like to think that at this juncture, Brown is certainly not in crisis,” she said. “This process will go smoothly … because of the state the University is in today.”

— With additional reporting by Elizabeth Carr

Professors call Simmons an ‘inspirational’ leader continued from page 2 the department, which Simmons will join, said he was unaware Simmons would step down as president or return as a professor of Africana studies and comparative literature. But her decision makes sense, he said, because Simmons has helped develop the Africana studies department. During her tenure, the department added a doctoral program and recruited renowned faculty, including acclaimed writer Chinua Achebe. It will be a “hard task” to replace Simmons, who had an ambitious tenure as president, said Roberto Serrano, chair of the economics department. Within the last 10 years, many well-known economists have joined the department, he said. Professor of Economics Ross Levine, who came to Brown seven years ago, said Simmons is “one of

the most inspirational and effective leaders that I can imagine,” with a “unique power and leadership quality about her that I’ve seen in one or two other people in my life.” Glenn Loury, professor of economics, said Simmons supported his research on race and inequality and provided him with the resources to conduct it. “What I think is incredibly remarkable about President Simmons is her capacity to look into the future and see possibilities that other people might not have seen,” said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron. “It’s hard to know exactly what one is feeling, but she’s an amazing leader, and we’re really fortunate she’s been with us.” ­ With additional reporting by — Lucy Feldman, Morgan Johnson, Sahil Luthra, Shefali Luthra, Kat Thornton, Caitlin Trujillo and Emma Wohl

comics Fraternity of Evil | Eshan Mitra, Brendan Hainlin and Hector Ramirez


6

The Brown Daily Herald Friday, September 16, 2011

Diamonds & Coal

Editorial comic

b y lo r e n f u lto n

Coal to U.S. News and World Report for ranking Brown 15th again in its annual college rankings. We’re not saying your methodology is worthless. We’re just saying that “student access to pizza in a cone” should count for at least 15 percent. A cubic zirconium to Dick Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior adviser to the president, who said renovations to the Sharpe Refectory are “part of the master plan.” Does this mean the next president is going to hail from Gotham City and control Brown from deep within the bowels of the Rat Cave? A diamond to David Rohde ’90, who was imprisoned by, and then escaped from, the Taliban while reporting for the New York Times and will come to Providence to teach an investigative journalism class in the spring. We admire any man who braves a harsh, unforgiving climate and hostile native population to get a job done. Oh, and the reporting from Afghanistan was cool too. A cubic zirconium to Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who testified before the Rhode Island Senate Monday about the state pension system’s “death spiral” and admitted, “I think it’s fair to say that none of us wants to be here right now.” If Lil’ Rhody becomes unbearable, we hear the Afghan government is hiring. A cubic zirconium to Andrew Yang ’96, whose nonprofit Venture for America helps start-up businesses in the “lower-cost cities” of Detroit, New Orleans and Providence. Yang explained the organization was priced out of Kandahar. Coal to State Rep. Helio Melo, D-East Providence, who said at a State House hearing Wednesday on the Rhode Island pension crisis that many legislators were learning of the crisis “for the first time.” We covered the Monday hearing. Don’t any of you people read The Herald? Coal to the student who left her bike outside Emery Hall Aug. 4 and returned to find it stolen Sept. 8. This is Providence. If you left the SciLi unattended for a month, it would go missing. And a diamond to President Ruth Simmons for what will be 11 years of dedicated service to Brown.

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“Higher education today is caught in an ever-widening

dilemma in which silver and gold dominate our thinking and our planning. In the lure of this gold are the seeds of irrelevance, self-satisfaction and loss of public trust. Universities exist not to amass wealth but to release minds and to amass knowledge. I will be intensely interested, you can be sure, in improving both the capital and the operating funds of the University — but I hope never, ever to lose sight of the fact that Brown’s core values, and not the size of its endowment, will forever be this University’s greatest asset. Brown must fix and stay its course and not imitate the gold chase of so many in higher education today.

t h e b r ow n da i ly h e r a l d

Kristina Fazzalaro Rebecca Ballhaus Claire Peracchio Talia Kagan Amy Rasmussen Tony Bakshi Alex Bell Ethan McCoy Ashley McDonnell Sam Rubinroit Anita Mathews Tyler Rosenbaum Sam Carter Hunter Fast

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— President Ruth Simmons Introductory speech to the Brown community November 2000 See Legacy on page 1.

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Correction An article in Thursday’s Herald (“Alum offers grads new ventures in Providence,” Sept. 15) incorrectly stated that salaries for Venture for America fellows would be $50,000 with benefits, plus a $10,000 bonus and three weeks of paid vacation. In fact, companies will individually determine their own terms of compensation. The Herald regrets the error. C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to letters@browndailyherald.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.


Opinions 7

The Brown Daily Herald Friday, September 16, 2011

Eschew college rankings By Hunter Fast Opinions Editor The U.S. News and World Report recently released its annual list of America’s top universities, and given the intensity of public reaction to Brown’s ranking alongside Cornell as the worst in the Ivy League (“No news in U.’s U.S. News ranking,” Sept. 14) — a fate certainly worse than death — one would think these rankings were rooted somehow in objective reality. This is a point of view that is wholly without merit. In the future, the University administration should join several other colleges that have rejected the charade of college rankings as a shallow attempt to promote readership masquerading as a scientific measurement. In doing so, Brown would follow the lead of Reed College, which has consistently decried U.S. News thinly veiled attempt to boost its sales since they began publishing college rankings in 1983. The case for Reed’s rejection was bolstered by the Wall Street Journal’s 1995 revelation that many colleges were blatantly falsifying the statistics that they provided to U.S. News and other ranking publications in order to present themselves as higher quality schools to the public. For instance, the same Wall Street Journal article pointed out that in submitting data for Money Magazine’s college rankings, the New College of the University of Southern Florida “inflated its SAT scores by lopping off the bottom-scor-

ing (6 percent) of students, thereby lifting the average about 40 points.” This reveals the fatal flaw in collegiate ranking schemes: They rely on the institutions themselves to report data honestly. In response to the utter incompetence in data collection displayed by college ranking publications, Reed College announced it would stop submitting information for such rankings altogether. In retaliation for Reed’s intransigence, the U.S. News and World Report relegated Reed to the lowest quartile of its rankings, despite the fact that

Given that it has already been demonstrated that colleges are willing to lie outright about the quality of their students in order to move ahead in the rankings, what assurance is there that university presidents would give their honest opinions about their competitors? Would it not serve an institution’s interests better for its president to give unambiguously negative appraisals of peer institutions so as to sabotage their rankings? If Brown were to abandon college rankings altogether, as Reed and several others

Does Brown really want to attract students who give credence to such an obviously flawed metric as the U.S. News rankings? it had previously been consistently hailed by the same publication as one of the best liberal arts schools in the country. In addition to whether the institution in question has hurt U.S. News editor-in-chief Mort Zuckerman’s feelings, the U.S. News and World Report rankings incorporate several other metrics of academic quality that are completely invalid. Chief among them is the reputation metric, which is assessed by surveying university presidents regarding their opinions of the academic quality of competing institutions. This measurement accounts for a quarter of an institution’s overall score in the ranking.

have done, then what would be the consequences? Sources within the University argue that rankings affect “public perception” of Brown, and thus the quality of students that the University can attract. Therefore, they say, college rankings are a necessary evil. This assertion raises several questions. Did the same occur at other institutions that refused to play into U.S. News hands? In the case of Reed, no. Reed continues to attract among the brightest students in the country, despite its abysmal 57th place showing in the 2012 U.S. News rankings. Indeed, Reed ranks third in the country in terms of the percentage of its undergradu-

ates who go on to receive doctoral degrees. Does Brown really want to attract students who give credence to such an obviously flawed metric as the U.S. News rankings? Brown lauds critical thinking as among its highest virtues, so if a potential applicant is willing to accept the advice of college rankings without looking at the gross statistical incompetence buried just underneath, it is safe to assume that said applicant would not be a good exemplar of the intellectualism that Brown advances as an institution. Brown should not devote any of its already strained resources to competing in ranking systems that constitute pure theater, designed solely to boost the circulation figures for the publications that conduct them. Furthermore, Brown should withdraw from such rankings altogether, thereby detracting from their prestige and providing additional impetus for peer institutions to do the same. Indeed, if Brown faced reprisals from U.S. News and its imitators for rejecting shoddy statistical practices, it would garner publicity for standing up for the principles of true academic inquiry, which would serve to attract the critical thinkers that the University purports to celebrate. As Sachi Yokose ’12 told The Herald, “I know to take ratings with a grain of salt.” I say, do not take them with a grain of salt. Take them with a pillar. Hunter Fast ’12 is a computer scienceeconomics concentrator from Bloomington, Ill.

A modest proposal By sam carter Opinions Editor Brown imposes few requirements on its students. This is one of the reasons many of us are here. The New Curriculum is treated as something sacrosanct, even if many of us do not fully understand the complex processes that led to its development and enactment. Here on College Hill, academic freedom is not merely a belief, but a way of life. And while there are some requirements, they are nothing to sweat about. The successful completion of 30 courses, the successful completion of a concentration, the demonstration of writing competence and the fulfillment of the enrollment requirement of eight semesters are the stringent constraints on our academic pursuits. Of the requirements mentioned above, the only one that is not a formal expectation at nearly every other institution in the country is the demonstration of writing competence. Within the framework of the New Curriculum, it is perfectly conceivable that one could avoid writing-intensive courses with little to no consequence. But for the class of 2013 and beyond, seniors will be required to display evidence of their writing competency in order to graduate. In the same spirit as this writing requirement — which, while being a requirement, is certainly not a huge imposition — perhaps another one is permissible: a dem-

onstration of competency in at least two languages. Notice that this formulation is fairly vague. That is no accident. There is no mention of the English language in that formulation, but since it is the language of instruction in a majority of Brown’s classes, it is more than likely that it would constitute one of the languages for many students. So it is easy to see how half the work is already done by the time a letter of acceptance arrives. The same cannot be said for any of the other degree requirements described on the Dean of the College’s website.

will probably appeal more to concentrators in such fields, while the former could likely appeal more to those concentrating in the humanities. But there is no saying who will choose what, and it is really of no importance. There is no need to pigeonhole. But why a language requirement? A complete list of the benefits of learning — or already knowing — another language has no place in a column like this, not only because it would take up too much space, but also because it is simply impossible to account for all the times when learning a language proves useful at some point in the

At the very least, it presents an intellectual challenge worthy of a Brown student.

In the same way that there is no single required language, there is no specification as to what kinds of languages would be permitted. No distinction was made in the formulation between natural and formal languages, that is, between the languages spoken by peoples across the world and the languages used in fields like logic, mathematics and computer science. The latter

future. But here is a quick sampler: When you learn a language, it is almost certain that, through learning how that language works, you learn more about how your primary language works. At the risk of sounding like a crude cruise advertisement, a new language presents new opportunities and the chance for discovery. At the very least, it presents an intellectual challenge

worthy of a Brown student. It will presumably be objected that there is no need for such a requirement, that we are doing just fine as is. And there is not a need. And we seem to be doing just fine. But limiting ourselves to talking only about what we need is a dangerous step, for it suggests that if we already have what we think we need, there is no reason to look any further, which appears to be at odds with the very spirit of a Brown education. Perhaps the word globalization is at the tip of your tongue. If you are inclined to say that a language requirement is a terrible idea, you might cite globalization as proof, saying that as one language, whatever it may be, begins to assert its dominance, the need for learning new languages disappears. But this kind of objection applies only to natural languages — it does not address formal ones. It also fails on the count that that one language might end up being one you do not already know. A language requirement here at Brown would have to be appropriately vague, like the one discussed above, to gain any measure of student acceptance. Such a requirement could only serve to enrich — and not only impose on — a student’s time at the University. Whether it ever becomes feasible in a community like ours remains to be seen. All I can say is que sera, sera. Sam Carter ’12 is a philosophy and Hispanic studies concentrator from Washington, D.C. He can be reached at samuel_carter@brown.edu.


Daily Herald Sports Friday the Brown

Friday, September 16, 2011

Season begins under Friday night lights By Ethan Mccoy Sports Editor

After a nearly 10-month hiatus, the football team is set to take the field for the first time in 2011 Saturday at Stony Brook. When the teams faced off last year, the Bears came away with a thrilling 33-30 doubleovertime victory at Brown Stadium. Saturday’s matchup is the final installment of a four-game series between the two schools in which Brown currently holds a 2-1 advantage. The Seawolves (0-2) are off to a tough start in 2011, having dropped road games to the University of Texas at El Paso (1-1) and the University of Buffalo (1-1). “The advantage we have here is that Stony Brook hasn’t seen us yet this year,” said Head Coach Phil Estes, adding that the Seawolves have not faced quarterback and co-captain Kyle Newhall-Caballero ’11.5 in two years. “The downfall that we have is that they have two games under their belt, and they know what they do well and what they don’t do well.” The Bears are also wary of a winless, but inspired, Stony Brook team looking to avoid falling into an insurmountable early-season hole. “They’re down two, so they’re really playing to get back into it,” said co-captain defensive tackle Kyle Rettig ’12. “If they lose their first three games, they’re on their way to a really shaky season.” On offense, Stony Brook is a large and athletic unit that “hangs their hat on being a power run team,” Estes said. The Bears will encounter the two-headed rushing attack of Brock Jackolski and Miguel Maysonet, who both eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark

By Sam sheehan Sports Columnist

Herald file photo

The Bears celebrate their double-overtime victory over Stony Brook in 2010.

in 2010. “They have a dynamic duo,” Rettig said. “We’re focusing on keeping them under 150 yards. If we can do that, then we’ll definitely have a chance to be successful in the game.” On the other side of the ball, the Seawolves boast a big and speedy defense — led by preseason All Big South defensive end Ryan Haber and linebacker Craig Richardson — that can get after the quarterback. “They rely on being really strong and fast and getting to the points where they need to be,” said center Jack Geiger ’12. Geiger also stressed the importance of communication between the Bears’ offense and NewhallCaballero, for whom the game will be his first since he was injured in the third game of 2010 against the University of Rhode Island. But Estes said he is not concerned about possible growing pains for the fully healed Newhall-Caballero as he gets reacquainted with live game action. “Kyle is just anxious to get going,”

Estes said. “This will be a test for him because they have great corners on defense and a great pass rush. He’s going to be challenged.” Kickoff is set for Saturday at 6 p.m., marking the first of three consecutive night games for the Bears, which both the players and coaches are excited about. “I’d say it’s a pretty accurate statement for most guys on the team that it reminds everyone of those Friday night lights,” said cornerback A.J. Cruz ’13. “There’s just a different energy about playing under the lights. You get so amped, and the atmosphere is so great.” But above all else, the Bears are excited to get out on the field, put their offseason and training camp preparation to the test and, as Estes said, “simply play and hit another team.” “Preparing as much as we have for these guys, it’s going to favor us,” Cruz said. “Our coaches do an incredible job scheming, and we’ll be ready for everything they have.”

Popolizio ’12 balances athletics, class By Dan Jeon Contributing Writer

The men’s soccer team, coming off a successful 2010 season, is stronger than ever. The squad’s motto, “winter is coming,” reflects its ambitious journey toward the ultimate challenge of this season — the NCAA tournament in November. Forward T.J. Popolizio ’12 will be a key player for the Bears this fall. The prolific striker scored two goals in the Brown Soccer Classic, propelling the team to a weekend sweep over Temple University and George Mason University. For his strong play and unwavering commitment to the team, Popolizio has been named the Herald’s Athlete of the Week. You’ve just won the Brown Soccer Classic. What do these wins mean for the team, and where does the team go from here? I think they’re important. You definitely want to start the year out strong, because these games are when you build the chemistry and the camaraderie that you need later on. Right now, it’s a time when we need to build the team attitude and mentality, because if you don’t build it now, you’re only playing catch-up.

A nation saved: the return of football

The Bears were ranked as high as 11th at the beginning of the season. Does this recognition change the team mentality? When you’re young, you look at those rankings, and you get excited, and you want to flaunt it — but as you get older, you realize they mean nothing. They are just a reflection of last year’s team. If you do well one year, you’re going to be ranked highly. That’s great, but it really means nothing about this team. All that matters is getting wins and getting results, and the rankings will take care of (themselves). It’s tough, though, because there’s a target on our back. … Everyone gets excited to play us. As a senior, do you have any personal pressures or goals? I just want to enjoy it. The guys on the team are the best friends I have. It’s tough to think about losing them, but at the same time, you can’t think about that. You have to take every day and do the best you can on the field. I know it’s going to be over soon, and it’s sad, but I enjoy it so much that I’m appreciative of it and want to enjoy being with the guys for one last year. You are also a wrestler. What are your thoughts on the situation re-

garding the potential cuts of some varsity sports? I understand the financial problems and how the scope of the athletic department is too large. My outlook is that by taking out the human element of what wrestling does to the school, it’s really doing it a disservice. The other sports on the chopping block bring a characteristic to the school, too. The wrestlers are a unique talent — the mental toughness is like nothing you can imagine. The soccer team, we work really hard, but the commitment to be a wrestler, I think, is so far beyond that. We’re adding a level of culture to the school by having so many athletic programs. I think the wrestling team is such a specific culture — blue collar workers — in that the only way to be good at it is to work hard at it. By losing that, I think the school’s losing a lot. What are some of your favorite memories during your years at Brown? The UConn game last year was probably the best memory. Being able to go in there, in a hostile environment, and win really gave us confidence last year that we can go anywhere and beat anyone. continued on page 5

Nearly a month and a half ago, there was a knock on my door in the middle of the night. I opened the door in my nightdress, wondering who could be calling at that hour. There stood the NFL Season, soaked in rain and begging to come back into my life. “I just don’t want you to ever leave me like that again,” I said, with tears in my eyes. “You can’t quit on me like that again.” The NFL Season started to apologize, but I cut it short, exclaiming, “You had me at ‘the lockout is over!’” Yes, football season is happening! It’s really happening! Another year of pretending that fantasy football is important. Another year of high-fiving total strangers at Spats and pretending that sports are a good reason to be in a bar at one in the afternoon. Another year of glorious, glorious football. But there are still so many questions. Will Rex Ryan actually get fat enough to have his own gravitational field? At what point does the Panthers’ death spiral stop being funny? Will Jerry Jones demand that he be referred to as “Senator Palpatine”? Let’s start off the year by taking a peek at how the division races are going to match up this year in the American Football Conference. AFC East

The parallels between Mark Sanchez and Ryan Gosling are truly staggering. The two are charismatic 20-somethings who wandered into good job situations and are fiercely defended by the 17-23 year-old female demographic. This is the year that Sanchez has to either stop being spectacularly average or else the Jets will begin to slide back into mediocrity. The Jets lost some good defensive players in the offseason as well as reliable target Braylon Edwards, so The Sanchize has got to step up his game if the Jets want to be back in championship conversation. Long story short, I think Sanchez gets better, the Pats and the Jets split their games this year and we see the two teams finish 13-3 and 11-5, respectively. The Dolphins put up a respectable 9-7, while everyone’s favorite Harvard alum Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the Bills to a 6-10 finish. Champs: Patriots, Wild Card: Jets AFC North

The country watched with bated breath as the Steelers went into Baltimore for last week’s game. The black and yellow were coming off a Super Bowl appearance and returning the most starters of any team in the NFL. But they left Baltimore more ashamed than Anthony Weiner’s family, as Ben

Roethlisberger turned the ball over five times and proved the existence of karma. Despite all of this, I still expect the Steelers to win the division at 11-5, while the Ravens slug their way to a 10-6 record. The Browns will be better, but I just don’t see them in the playoffs. The Browns finish 9-7, while the Bengals end the season a putrid 4-12. Champs: Steelers, Wild Card: Ravens AFC South

As the division where anything can happen, the AFC South is going to see big strides by the Titans this year. Particularly with Peyton Manning’s neck proving as durable as the new Brown Dining Services take-out boxes. The Texans finally got a band-aid for their anemic pass defense this year, aggressively signing some talented secondary players. Even the Jaguars could, in theory, win the division … Maybe … Okay, actually, there is no way that will happen. The Titans are going to capitalize on the many weeks that Peyton Manning is out and finish 11-5. The Colts will be hamstrung by Peyton’s absence and limp to a pitiful 6-10. The Texans will be set back by Arian Foster’s disappointing year, but still finish 10-6. Jack Del Rio will actually have a stressball sewn to his hand to prevent him from throttling his players during the Jags’ 4-12 campaign. Champs: Titans AFC West

Something lost on many NFL fans is that the San Diego Chargers actually finished the last season first in both offensive and defensive yardage. However, San Diego’s special teams were about as reliable as Banner during the first day of registration — am I right, guys? — and as a result, the Chargers were nipped by the Chiefs for the crown. But the Chiefs were just thoroughly disemboweled by the lowly Bills, and the Chargers spent the offseason creating a special teams unit that can actually tackle people. The division title is the Chargers’ to lose, and I don’t see the Raiders or the Broncos doing much to change that — you know, because their quarterbacks are Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton. The Bolts will finish 11-5, while the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos will end up 7-9, 6-10 and 4-12, respectively. Champs: Chargers Check back next week for the NFC preview. Sam Sheehan ’12 has in no way let his fanatical devotion to the Patriots leak into the narrative of this column. Talk sports with him at sam_sheehan@brown.edu or follow him on Twitter @SamSheehan.


Friday, September 16, 2011