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Final Report

After visiting campus, the Visiting Team drafted a comprehensive final report for NEASC.

Introduction

This report reflects the findings of the NEASC team which visited Brandeis University as part of its decennial re-accreditation. The team reviewed the institution's self-study and other related documents that were made available, and conducted a series of interviews with trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and students. While responsible for looking at the extent to which and how the institution meets NEASC standards for accreditation, the team also sought to provide some guidance and thoughts for consideration with respect to issues which Brandeis leaders had identified in their self-study and in conversations as of importance to them.

The self-study was comprehensive. Together with other documents, it covered the NEASC standards and provided insight into the current state of Brandeis, its past accomplishments and aspirations for the future, and the concerns and issues it faces in striving to achieve them. It will serve Brandeis well as a guidepost for planning and for assessing institutional effectiveness and achievement.

Brandeis is a distinguished research institution, which has attained a level of recognition exemplified by its membership in the Association of American Universities (which it achieved less than 40 years after its founding). It has a unique and clearly articulated mission, grounded in the philosophy and social commitment of the Jewish community and of the individual whose name it bears. This mission is explicitly stated in various publications and widely understood by the University community, and it plays a significant role in institutional planning and development.

The team was greatly impressed by the commitment of all segments of the community to the Brandeis mission and to striving for continued excellence. We found administration, faculty, students and staff to be enthusiastic and dedicated, as well as extremely helpful to and open with the team as it went about its task. There is a dynamic and capable administration, a faculty dedicated to research and teaching, students eager to learn, to partake of the Brandeis experience and to engage the world, and a hard-working and loyal staff.

As with all institutions of higher education, there are difficult choices ahead to be faced. But Brandeis has grappled successfully with hard issues in the past and there is every expectation that they will do so in the future. The concerns of the previous accreditation review in 1996 have for the most part been addressed; the current study
chronicles the great strides made since then and recognizes where further steps need to be taken.

Although we refer to the most significant strengths and concerns which we found during our review, and offer our suggestions and advice at the conclusion of our report, other strengths, concerns, and suggestions may be found within the body of the report. We hope that they will be helpful to Brandeis. We recognize that the institution needs to apply its own judgment; our recommendations are offered in the spirit of collegiality.

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