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Lemberg Children's Center Committee

On July 25, 2012 Provost Steve Goldstein sent the following announcement to the faculty:

When I returned to Brandeis, I heard many positive accounts of the Lemberg Children’s Center (LCC) but also concerns about affordability, waiting lists, possible removal of certification due to inadequate facilities and even safety issues. I needed to understand more.

I asked Michaele Whelan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Mark Collins, Senior Vice President for Administration, to work over last semester with the LCC staff to assess the center with the Director, Howie Baker, and external experts. Howie provided a self-study of the center covering the last five years that detailed contributions to Brandeis including student employment and educational experiences, research initiatives, child care for Brandeis faculty and staff, and reported on the financial and administrative soundness of the center, licensure and facilities constraints, and offered a market analysis of the cost and quality of childcare in greater Boston.

Two external reviewers, one from Tufts and the other the head of the children's center at Boston College, then conducted a site visit and submitted a report based on their visit and the LCC self-study. In brief, they commended the quality care and cited poor facilities as an outstanding constraint. One of the primary recommendations they made was to create an ad hoc committee to explore next steps for the center, and I am acting now on that advice. I am pleased to report that Professor Sacha Nelson, Biology, has graciously agreed to chair the committee. Michaele Whelan will co-Chair and Mark Collins will provide continuity and help with facilities issues. The charge to the committee is to consider the three most pressing issues identified in the report: pent up demand for child care (infant through pre-school) in the Brandeis community and attendant worries about affordability; inadequate facilities that limit enrollment and the delivery of quality care; and potential synergies between Lemberg and the University in the areas of research and education. These issues are to be considered in the context of recruitment and retention of faculty and staff and existing fiscal constraints.

The committee's exploration and discussion will be during the fall term with recommendations due in early December. Members of the committee include Brandeis faculty, administration, and members of the Lemberg community.The committee is expected to draw upon the Strategic Plan Facilities and Campus Evolution Task Force as a resource since its recommendations will have strategic impact.

Thank you for writing to me earlier this year to express your support and concern for the LCC. I share your commitment and enthusiasm for excellence in care for our children, support for the parents, and educational and research opportunities for our students and faculty. We will keep the community informed via the University Advisory Council as the committee's work progresses.

Membership:

  • Elif Sisli Ciamarra, Assistant Professor of Finance, Brandeis International Business School (Board of Lemberg)
  • Melinda Cimino, Employee Relations and Employment Specialist, Human Resources
  • Mark Collins, Senior Vice President for Administration
  • Paul DiZio, Chair, Department of Psychology
  • Devi Gollapalli, Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology (Board of Lemberg)
  • Sarah Lamb, Professor of Anthropology
  • Sacha Nelson (Chair), Professor of Biology
  • Avi Rodal, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Michaele Whelan (Co-Chair), Vice Provost for Academic Affairs