Office of the President

Dec. 2, 2021

The Office of the President at Brandeis University is committed to addressing systemic racism and anti-blackness. The following plan includes a list of action items and initiatives that the office will undertake to help work toward creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. This plan focuses specifically on the staff and operations of the Office of the President itself. 

The Plan

  • The members of our office will engage in comprehensive diversity training, with a specific emphasis on anti-racism training. Through this effort — which will enhance the strength of our team to effectively and equitably engage with our diverse campus community — all members of the office, at the time this plan was written, completed this training prior to the start of the 2021-22 academic year. New members of the office will receive this training promptly after beginning their role.

  • We commit to diversifying our office's small staff as openings arise. In support of this goal, we will institute the "Rooney Rule" for all future hiring processes — meaning that we intend to require the finalist pool for future positions to include at least one candidate of color. 

  • Our office provides significant support for many university events that highlight and explore issues of race, anti-racism, religion, diversity and civic life (e.g., the Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life, the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, among others). We will continue to support these activities and will seek out additional opportunities to foster open engagement and discourse on these topics across the institution. 

  • For FY 2022, President Liebowitz committed to contribute $100,000 from the President’s Discretionary Fund toward anti-racism initiatives included in the anti-racism plans. Beyond this commitment, the Office of the President will continue to look for opportunities to provide seed funding for events, initiatives and projects that engage with DEI-related topics. 

  • Public art, campus buildings and other physical symbols are important markers of our institution's values. As we seek to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution, it is important for these symbols to evolve and reflect our campus community. In this spirit, during the 2020-21 academic year, the Office of the President has spearheaded an effort to diversify the artworks included in the Bernstein-Marcus Administration Center's Board of Trustees room, which is a centralized and frequently used administrative meeting room. Looking to the future, the Office of the President is committed to working with the Public Art Advisory Committee — which advises the President on matters related to public art at Brandeis — to identify additional opportunities to diversify the public art and symbols that enrich and define the physical environment of our campus.

  • We commit to ensuring that the anti-racism plans of the senior administrative units are reviewed annually at a meeting of the President's Cabinet. This will include a review of units' progress in implementing their anti-racism plans, as well as a strategic discussion about new metrics and goals that can be integrated into the university's long-term planning.