In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the University’s severance of its educational partnership with Al-Quds University last November, several members of the Brandeis community took to pubic forums to express their discontent with how the situation unfolded—including a longtime member of the advisory board of Brandeis’ International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Michael Ratner ’66.

On May 28, The Jewish Daily Forward’s website published an open letter from Ratner to University President Frederick Lawrence, announcing and explaining his resignation from the advisory board. 

“While I appreciate that you were willing to reappoint me for another term, I do not feel my service on that board is compatible with your suspension of Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the President of Al-Quds University, from that board,” Ratner’s letter reads. “In addition, in light of your suspension of Dr. Nusseibeh and of Brandeis’ relationship with Al-Quds, I will not be making further donations to Brandeis. My reasons, which I am making public, are set forth below.”

Ratner graduated from Brandeis in 1966 with a degree in English and then attended Columbia University Law School. In 2006, he was awarded one of two Alumni Achievement Awards by the University, an honor given to graduates who have made “distinguished contributions to their professions or fields of endeavor,” according to an Aug. 28, 2006 BrandeisNOW article.