The Board of Trustees approved the University's budget for the next fiscal year on Thursday, including a 3.7 percent increase in total undergraduate tuition and fees. "While we know very well that no increases are welcome, this keeps the increase substantially below the level envisioned in the strategic plan; both the Board and the administration are very sensitive to the need to control, insofar as possible, the cost of a Brandeis University education," reads a statement that Senior Vice President for Communications Ellen de Graffenreid provided to the Justice. Although the fiscal year is not yet complete, de Graffenreid wrote that the University projects the deficit has been reduced to less than $3.5 million.
The University is moving forward with a proposal to create a full-time staff position and center in the interest of gender and sexuality.
For the first time ever, housing selection took place online this year, using a program called MyHousing.
The Psychological Counseling Center has begun offering several workshops since full-time Associate Director Michael LaFarr was hired last fall, after the University announced several changes to the Golding Health Center and Psychological Counseling Center's structure following Hodgkins-Beckley Consulting's review of both centers. According to Senior Director of the PCC Robert Berlin in a phone interview with the Justice, since the release of the Hodgkins-Beckley Consulting report on the Health and Psychological Counseling Centers, no definitive plans have been made to address several suggestions the report made, and changes will not be set in stone until an executive director is hired. However, as an executive director to oversee health and wellness has not yet been hired since Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel announced the changes this past November, the PCC has been at a standstill and has been unable to make concrete plans to address Hodgkins-Beckley Consulting's suggestions in its report. The report stressed the need for an executive director for health and wellness, who will oversee both the Health Center and the Counseling Center, due to the existence of "stakeholders who are highly resistant to change and must be educated to recognize and understand the deficiencies of current operations and the opportunities associated with new strategic options. "In addition to raising the service level of campus health and wellness, a position with this level of experience will be critical to conducting a successful request for proposals (RFP) process, realizing potential savings of shifting organizational and practice structures, and for implementing an insurance billing system to create significant savings/revenue," the report stated. According to a Nov.
Adjuncts across the country and throughout Boston have been unionizing due to a general lack of benefits and low wages.
The University Budget Committee is currently in the process of reviewing the wages of workers at Brandeis in order to assess University policies on paying workers a living wage. The review comes after members of the Brandeis Fair Pay Coalition and faculty members including Profs.
A special election held on Feb. 12 for one Finance Board member and one associate justice, which was held as both seats remained unfilled after a Jan.
A group of students has organized a protest against executive compensation at Brandeis. The event, which, as of press time, had 38 respondents listed as planning to attend the event on Facebook, will take place outside of University President Frederick Lawrence's office in the Irving Presidential Enclave in the Bernstein-Marcus Administration Center, on Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. The students organizing the event are Aaren Weiner '16, Elaine Mancini '16, Joy Brenner-Letich '16, Guy Mika '17, Abbie Goldberg '16, Iona Feldman '17 and Mitch Mankin '16.
The American Sign Language Club is currently lobbying the University to offer American Sign Language as a course, and to ensure that the course would help to fulfill the language requirement. "Our goal is to have the first semester have 10a, second semester have 20 and then the third semester have 10 and 30, just having it so that it fulfills a language requirement and in seeing what the interest is," said ASL Club President and Co-Founder Jaclyn Kellner '16 in an interview with the Justice. According to Kellner, the club's goal is to at least have ASL fulfill the language requirement "because Brandeis doesn't like offering languages that don't fulfill the language requirement and students don't like taking languages that don't fulfill the language requirement." Kellner also added that it would be "odd" to start learning a language and "not get to a level of good, solid conversation before you stop." The ASL Club was formed and recognized by the Student Union last year, but at that point, according to Kellner, advocating for an ASL course was a potential goal, not the primary goal of the club at that time. The ASL Club recently created a Qualtrics poll to gauge interest in the course, should it be offered in the future. The survey, according to Co-Founder and the club's Class Coordinator Brittany Lerman '14, was posted to Facebook groups affiliated with Brandeis and was sent out to members of the club's listserv.
According to data provided by University Registrar Mark Hewitt, students registered an average median grade of an A- and an average grade point average of 3.4. Although Hewitt was unable to provide averages for separate areas of study, he was able to provide a "rough ranking" from past studies done on the subject.