News Regarding the Board of Trustees

July 19, 2017

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I want to share with you a letter to our Board of Trustees, below, letting them know that Larry Kanarek '76 has stepped down from his position as board chair. The board's Nominating and Governance Committee will now take the lead in recommending a new chair after extensive consultation and engagement with trustees in a process that reflects transparency and good governance.

In the interim, the three current vice chairs — Meyer Koplow '72, P'02, P'05; Lisa Kranc '75; and Cynthia Shapira — will serve as interim board co-chairs.

I am enormously grateful for Larry's wisdom and guidance during my first year as university president. Please join me in thanking Larry, a Brandeis graduate who has made service to his alma mater one of his life's great passions.

Best regards,



Dear Trustees,

It is with regret that we are writing to let you know that Larry Kanarek '76, chair of the Brandeis Board of Trustees, has announced that he is stepping down from the Brandeis board, effective today.

In a note to us, Larry said, “The past two years have been an exceptionally rewarding time for me at Brandeis, first leading the presidential search committee that resulted in the hiring of a new president, and then as your chair helping Ron settle into and become familiar with Brandeis, while working with you to bring about changes in the board’s structure, the issues on which it focuses and how it works together. This required a nearly full-time commitment on my part during which I put aside some other significant personal and professional commitments. Now that Ron is fully integrated into Brandeis and with a very successful first year under his belt, I feel the time is right to step down. I will of course remain close to Brandeis and continue to be one of this great university’s most committed alumni. I hope to find other ways to contribute to Brandeis, which changed the arc of my life.

“I want to thank each of you for your wise advice, unwavering support, hard work and, most important, your friendship. I look forward to maintaining that friendship. Getting to work with such an exceptional group of people on behalf of our beloved institution was the highlight of the last seven years on the board for me. I am confident that with your leadership and Ron’s, Brandeis’ best days lie ahead.”

A board member since 2010, Larry’s involvement with the university spans decades. For example, in the 1990s, Larry led the development of the strategic plan for the Brandeis International Business School, and sat on its Board of Overseers. He led the fundraising campaign to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of economics professor Barney Schwalberg, and supported the Joel Friedland ’76 Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, among other initiatives.

Larry’s strategic thinking has proved invaluable at a time of transition and new leadership at Brandeis. His insight, generosity and dedication to his alma mater have led him to view the chairmanship of the board as almost a full-time job. He did it well, and we are in his debt.

“I have appreciated being able to work so closely with Larry during my first year at Brandeis,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “Larry’s love for this university is both palpable and inspiring. I know I speak for my colleagues on campus and members of the board when I say how grateful we are to Larry for his passionate commitment to Brandeis and that we look forward to continuing a warm relationship.”

The process for the selection of the next board chair begins with the board’s Nominating and Governance Committee. That group will consult with President Liebowitz and with other trustees in a process that is broadly consultative before bringing a recommendation to the full board. In the interim, the three of us will serve as interim co-chairs and collaboratively fill the responsibilities of the board chair.


Meyer Koplow ’72, P’02, P’05

Lisa Kranc '75

Cynthia Shapira