September Board of Trustees meeting report
On Oct. 3, University President Ron Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community with a summary of the September Board of Trustees meetings. The Board convened in person for the first time since January 2020.
Three new trustees were added to the Board: Marjorie Hass, Leonard X Rosenberg ’89, and Jay Ruderman ’88 H’18.
During the meeting’s plenary session, Liebowitz provided the Board updates on matters related to student life; the “larger-than-expected” Class of 2026, which has 1,007 students; revised COVID-19 policies on campus; and the curriculum. Additionally, Hannah Peters, interim senior vice president of institutional advancement, gave an update on fundraising.
Trustees met with a variety of students, faculty, and staff, both in committees and over lunch and dinner, over the course of two days.
Profs. Tory Fair (FA) and Paul Miller (BIOL) were promoted to the rank of professor with tenure. Also, Profs. Prakash Kashwan (ENVS), Jeffrey A. Lenowitz (POL), and W. Benjamin Rogers (PHYS) were promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure. Liebowitz offered his congratulations to these five professors.
The Academy Committee suggested to the Board to close three master’s programs in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Global Studies, Comparative Humanities, and Genetic Counseling. During the meeting’s plenary session, the Board accepted the recommendation.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee heard updates on “the status of the university-wide Anti-Racism Plans, the Black Action Plan, … the reorganization of the Office of DEI under its new leadership … [and] plans for a campus-wide climate survey.”
The Institutional Advancement Committee discussed six new professorship endowments and an endowment to launch the Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation. Additionally, the committee talked about preliminary plans for the 75th anniversary celebration.
The Resources Committee examined Fiscal Year ’22, which showed a modest surplus and projects that FY ’23 will have as well. They also heard updates on the “Science Phase 2A” construction project. Finally, the committee “discussed the university’s decarbonization study and a comprehensive housing study aimed at improving residential life on campus.”
The Risk Management and Audit Committee reviewed the annual audit of the University’s financial statements and the plans for an internal audit of the University’s payroll operations.
Student representatives Inaara Gilani ’23 and Shelley Polanco ’24 gave a presentation to the Student Life Committee. Gilbert Hinga, interim director of the Brandeis Counseling Center, discussed efforts to expand student accessibility to therapists. Leah Berkenwald, director of Health and Wellness Promotion, and Matt Galewski, director of Student Engagement, talked about how the University uses campus wide events to address mental health and wellness. Director of Pre-Health Advising Kate Stutz showed her unit’s work and provided updates on new initiatives and programming.
Liebowitz concluded the email by expressing his gratitude toward the Board, and he thanked University staff for their help organizing the meeting and the students and faculty who presented to the trustees.