Ronald D. Liebowitz Takes Office as Ninth Brandeis President
July 1, 2016
Ronald D. Liebowitz, a recognized leader in higher education, began his term as the ninth president of Brandeis University today.
“I am honored to become the president of Brandeis University,” Liebowitz wrote in a welcome message to faculty, students, alumni and staff. “Despite its relative youth, Brandeis has grown to become one of the most important and consequential research universities in the United States, having excelled early on across the curriculum. We boast many illustrious alumni and a distinguished faculty. As we look to the future, we must celebrate and draw upon our rich, if comparatively brief, history.”
Liebowitz was named president by the Brandeis Board of Trustees on Dec. 17, 2015. Over the intervening months, he has been on campus weekly, having conversations with students, faculty and staff. An Inaugural Ceremony to mark his new presidency will be held at Brandeis on Nov. 3, 2016.
“Ron is a proven leader in higher education. He has demonstrated that he can bring all communities within a university together to rally around and commit to a set of high aspirations and ideals, and he can build and lead a team to get results,” said Larry Kanarek '76, chairman of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees. “The board and I have every confidence that Ron will do that at Brandeis and he has our full support. We warmly and enthusiastically welcome Ron, his wife Jessica and their family into the Brandeis community.”
Prior to his appointment at Brandeis, Liebowitz, 59, served as president of Middlebury College for 11 years. He joined the college’s faculty as a geography professor in 1984 and became provost in 1997. Under his leadership, Middlebury made enormous academic, programmatic, reputational and financial gains.
A native of New York City, Liebowitz received his BA in economics and geography from Bucknell University and a PhD in geography from Columbia University.
“Early in its history Brandeis was called a ‘young university in a hurry.’ It still is — and must be — in order to face the challenges and seize the opportunities before higher education today,” said Susan P. Curnan, associate professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and chair of the Faculty Senate and Council. “Ron conveys a sense of energy, determination and a spirit of innovation necessary to accelerate the pace of change at Brandeis, while honoring the university’s principles of social justice, excellence in education, research and community building. The senate is eager to collaborate with Ron and the Board of Trustees to realize our shared goals for a diverse, sustainable, safe and excellent center of learning for all students, staff and faculty.”
Liebowitz succeeds Interim President Lisa M. Lynch, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. She will return to her previous position of provost and chief academic officer at the university.
“The board and I are grateful for Lisa’s leadership as interim president,” said Kanarek. “She led Brandeis with a deft combination of a deep knowledge of Brandeis’ values, concern for those who make up the wider Brandeis community and a willingness to listen to everyone before making a decision. In doing so, she always put the interests of Brandeis first. The board is thrilled that we will still be working with Lisa as provost.”