July 1, 2015
Dear Members and Supporters of the Brandeis Community,
As I begin my new role as interim president of Brandeis University, I think back to the day I first arrived on campus in 2008 to become dean of the Heller School. I came to Brandeis because of its rich history as a Jewish-founded nonsectarian university open to all and because of its core values: deep intellectual inquiry, rigorous discussion and debate, and a commitment to thinking about others before self in order to repair the world.
With each passing year at Brandeis, my understanding and appreciation of all that Brandeis stands for in higher education and, more generally, of its unique role in society has grown deeper and deeper. Not a day passes when I am not proud of or humbled by the accomplishments, values and character of our community. From the faculty members who are recognized for their scholarship or creativity, to those in our community who tap into the power of their knowledge to push back on those whose bigotry and prejudice would divide us, we are all advancing the dream of our founders.
Over recent years, like so many other universities, we have strived to accomplish our mission in the midst of financial challenges. We have done this through shared sacrifice, unswerving support from our donors and creative innovation. Now, with a balanced budget, an endowment at its highest level ever and a projected future of enhanced financial stability, we can look ahead with confidence. Over the past few years, we — faculty, students, staff, graduates, trustees and donors — have come together to create a new momentum that is fueling the next phase of Brandeis’ growth and development.
Yet what defines Brandeis is not a financial statement. As our mission statement says, “The University that carries the name of the justice who stood for the rights of individuals must be distinguished by academic excellence, by truth pursued wherever it may lead and by awareness of the power and responsibilities that come with knowledge.”
Over the coming year, as Brandeis conducts a search for its next president, I will do all I can to further this vision. I approach the opportunity of being interim president with great excitement and humility. We all agree that this is not a time to stand still, and I know that with your help and support we will continue to move forward to advance the vitality and dynamism of Brandeis University.
Lisa M. Lynch