Independent Investigation Update

April 10, 2018

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Yesterday, several hundred of us gathered in a town hall meeting to discuss the termination of our men’s basketball coach and the launch of a related independent investigation. We heard loudly and clearly that our community is feeling a great deal of anguish and pain, and we are grateful to all those who shared their experiences. We have a great deal of work to do to build the kind of community that we all want Brandeis to become.

Many who spoke yesterday rightfully expressed impatience. We share that impatience. We are committed to seeing that this institution takes the necessary actions needed to improve our culture around issues of race and mutual respect.

The most immediate step in this process is the independent investigation that will examine the policies and practices in this case, as well as the wider climate at the university. We have created an independent investigation website, which includes information on the scope of the investigation, and details how to reach Walter Prince, the former assistant U.S. attorney who will lead the investigation, and Justice Malcolm Graham, who will partner in the effort. You can also see when and how you can meet with members of the investigation team either on campus or at their offices in downtown Boston. Please note that office hours begin tomorrow from 2-5 p.m. in Goldfarb Library, Room 69-34.

We want to assure you that this investigation will protect the identity of anyone who comes forward and that there will be no retribution for those who share information. You should know that the independent investigation team will report to Meyer Koplow, who is the chair of our Board of Trustees, not the administration, and that the facts and best-practice recommendations from the investigation will be shared with the campus community.

It is obvious from yesterday's meeting that there is confusion around where members of our community who have a variety of legitimate, serious concerns should turn, and that we have done an inadequate job of clarifying the processes and procedures that exist. Therefore, the new website also explains how to file complaints or seek redress of grievances beyond this investigation. If anyone has additional questions about where to turn or what to do, please feel free to contact Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas directly for clarification and assistance. We are providing additional resources, including the engagement of an external examiner, to ensure that any concerns or complaints are acknowledged promptly and followed up professionally.

Students who are struggling with their emotions can contact the Brandeis Counseling Center, and staff and faculty can connect with the Employee Assistance Program; both services are confidential.

We were reminded yesterday by Mr. Prince that the independent investigation will take time. However, we are continuing to take additional actions on implementing interim steps that will help to address some of the identified issues more immediately. We will regularly communicate with you about those actions.

Thank you for your commitment to Brandeis and to upholding our values.


Ron Liebowitz

Meyer Koplow
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Lisa Lynch