Leadership Transition

June 30, 2014    

Dear Brandeis Faculty and Staff,

Three years ago, Steve Goldstein '78, MD, PhD agreed to return to Brandeis to serve in the role of Senior Vice President and Provost. I enlisted him to implement a new “strong Provost” model, to help us face challenging financial tradeoffs and to plan for a strong future, all with transparency and input from across our academic community.  

Having set us on a solid path forward, Steve has advised me that he plans to move to an institution that will allow him to resume his commitment to healthcare delivery, biomedical research and pediatrics.  He has agreed to serve Brandeis for one additional year to facilitate the search for his replacement and a smooth administrative transition. A search process for a new provost will proceed expeditiously to facilitate this transition.

Over the last three years, Steve has reorganized the academic administration to improve efficiency and strengthen the management of the Schools, Centers, Institutes and the administrative units that report to the Provost.  He has provided leadership for institutional budgets and planning and, through direction of the Integrated Planning and Budget Committee, introduced a mission-based budgeting process that has reduced Brandeis’ annual operating deficit while increasing investment in deferred maintenance of the campus and strategic priorities.  These have included faculty recruitment and retention, the library, dormitory renewal and new classroom construction. Steve led the effort to build the new and expanded Lemberg Child Care Center in a way that is cost-neutral to the University and implemented plans to revitalize the Mandel Quad and create a Social Science Quad. He also worked to attract a major gift to provide a home for the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, establish three endowed professorships, and create a new auditorium in Schwartz. Additionally, he has worked with leaders across campus to develop consistent guidelines for external advisory boards.

Steve provided leadership for the process that resulted in “Fulfilling the Promise” – Brandeis University’s strategic plan. Many aspects of the plan have moved into the implementation phase including strategic faculty hiring, which began with a cluster of faculty in African Diaspora Studies last year and will lead next year to an increase in the number of searches, further enhancing faculty depth and diversity.  He also launched the Senior Faculty Research Leave program to provide Brandeis’ top scholars with the opportunity to focus on key research projects. Additionally, he created the external awards committee to support election of Brandeis faculty to named societies, fellowships and professorships.

Under his leadership, Brandeis has launched seven new graduate programs, five new undergraduate-to-graduate dual degree programs, and has doubled BA/BS-MA/MBA slots, to produce graduates who are even more desirable in the marketplace and who are deeply dedicated alumni. Under his direction, committed funds for undergraduate research have doubled.  He collaborated with Senior Vice President Andrew Flagel to found the Brandeis Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine, serving as Board Chair for this innovative program that introduces some of the best high schools students across the country to Brandeis.  Sixty of the first 150 students in the program applied to Brandeis, and 20 of these top students will attend this fall. Additionally, The Center for Teaching and Learning, a key component of the Strategic Plan, will open in the fall.  

Steve has also made key hires including Christopher Bedford, Director of the Rose Art Museum, whose leadership has revitalized the museum; John Unsworth, Head of Libraries and Chief Information Officer, who has brought 21st century ideas to both endeavors; Dean Susan Birren (Arts & Sciences), who has overseen our recovery from the recession with creative innovation; and Karen Muncaster (Rabb School for Continuing Education), a national expert on online education.  He also hired Rebecca Menapace, a leading expert in licensing and commercialization, to grow the Office of Technology Transfer so the benefits of Brandeis discoveries reach the world and to help Brandeis support basic research and education and further commercial innovation through programs like SPROUT Grants.

Please join me in thanking Steve for all that he has done as our Senior Vice President and Provost, what he will continue to do for us next year, and the pride we will take in the years that follow in one of our most prominent alumni. I will share details of the search process for a new Provost as soon as they are finalized.


Fred Lawrence