At their Jan. 27–28 meeting, Board of Trustees members discussed funding for the Springboard Funding Plan, the reaccreditation process and disability issues on campus, University President Ron Liebowitz announced in a Feb. 5 email to the community

One of the issues discussed was Liebowitz’s “Framework for the Future” plan, and Trustees participated in interactive sessions with members of the Framework’s task forces, Liebowitz reported. The Trustees “expressed valuable ideas” on enhancing student life, expanding research projects and maintaining the University’s values and Jewish roots.

During his report to the Trustees, Liebowitz briefed them on searches to fill several administrative positions, including senior vice president for communications, marketing and external relations, the vice provost for student affairs, the director of athletics and the vice president for human resources, per the email.

In addition, Liebowitz discussed the Jan. 22 accessibility forum, and the Trustees “agreed that [the University] must pursue, as a high priority, specific recommendations on services for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities, both physical and nonphysical.”

The Trustees then reviewed feedback on the second part of the independent investigators’ report on the campus climate and discussed ways in which they could work with administrators on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, according to the same email. Liebowitz also briefed the Trustees on the recently proposed changes to federal Title IX regulations and expressed concerns on their “overly prescriptive approach that would inhibit our ability to craft procedures, unique to our particular circumstances, that ensure equity, fairness, and respect for all community members,” he wrote.

Profs. Pengyu Hong (COSI) and Susan Lichtman (FA) were promoted to full professor status during the meeting, and Prof. Amy Singer (HIST) was awarded tenure and full professor status.

Trustees also met with their respective committees over the course of the two days. At the Resources Committee meeting, Board members reviewed Fiscal Year 2019’s goals and budget updates and learned that the original budget had an operating surplus. Members also toured Brown Social Science Center to examine its physical conditions, which will be evaluated during the three-month review of the campus’s physical infrastructure as part of preparing for Liebowitz’s “Framework” to be implemented.

The Investment Committee reported that the return for the calendar year is 1.2 percent, compared to a policy benchmark of -4.7 percent.

Dean of Arts and Sciences Dorothy Hodgson presented the new general education requirements, Brandeis Core, to the Trustees. This common core is the first major revision of the requirements in 25 years and will first apply to the incoming class of 2023 when they matriculate in fall 2019. 

Provost Lisa Lynch also spoke about the reaccreditation process and the steps the University has been taking to address the issues raised, such as hiring Athletics staff and searching for a new vice provost for student affairs and director of athletics.

The Institutional Advancement Committee discussed the University’s fundraising efforts for FY 2019, and reported that 58 percent of fundraising goals had been met by Dec. 31, 2018. Based on forecasts, the University will meet its fundraising goal by the end of this fiscal year. In addition, the Committee reported that Alumni donations have increased since prior years, due in part to Toshizo Watanabe’s ’73 $10 million donation for international students, and is up to 55 percent of total fundraising.