A Framework for Our Future focuses on strengthening three priorities, each an essential pillar of our institution.
Our students — undergraduate and graduate students alike — are diverse, intellectually curious, and deeply committed to our founding values. Their growth and development should be sparked not only in the classroom, but all across our campus as they become critical thinkers, responsible citizens, and leaders in their chosen professions.
In order to better foster and enrich our students’ learning environment, we need to re-examine all aspects of student life — from residence halls to dining halls, from curricular choices to spiritual life, and from advising to athletics.
Through this framework, we will devise educational experiences that stimulate and challenge in new ways, while fostering a sense of community and a climate of caring and inclusivity. We will create every opportunity for students to develop meaningful relationships with their professors, and also with each other and with staff. And we will expand personal and professional networks on campus and beyond, ensuring that our students identify proudly and meaningfully with their alma mater.
Whether they’re pursuing original lines of inquiry or collaborating across disciplines, nurturing an undergrad’s education or advancing a postdoc’s career, our faculty are the bedrock of our university. As we look to the future, this framework seeks to embrace and cultivate the cutting-edge excellence in research and scholarship that has defined the institution since its founding.
At the same time, Brandeis’ culture of openness has always extended to the pursuit of new knowledge. Our faculty have long cooperated across traditional departmental and disciplinary boundaries. And their creative collaborations have contributed significantly in multiple disciplines. Indeed, these collaborations have often set Brandeis apart.
This framework seeks to preserve and institutionalize this porousness and connectivity, while actively rooting it in our disciplinary excellence.
Since its inception, Brandeis has been animated by a set of values rooted in Jewish history and experience: reverence for learning, the exercise of critical thinking, and a commitment to improving the world through one’s talents and actions. At the same time, this commitment to Jewish tradition has always comfortably coexisted within a firmly secular and nonsectarian university.
Founded on the principles of access, inclusivity, and tolerance, the open doors of our young university stood in direct opposition to the quotas and elitism that marked other institutions of the time.
Over the past seven decades, these Jewish and secular values have taken on new and evolving meaning — both at Brandeis and beyond. The Framework for Our Future seeks to embolden our university as the place where American Jewry, as well as the socially-conscious, turns for intellectual clarity and moral leadership.
This requires us not only to reaffirm our commitment to the Jewish community, both at home and abroad, but also to revitalize and integrate our research in and engagement with Jewish issues and ideas. It also requires us to embrace our secular values as we continue to grow as a community that is open to all, supportive of one another, and strengthened by our many backgrounds, experiences, and identities.