Report on May Trustees Meeting

May 27, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to report on actions taken by the Board of Trustees during its recent virtual meeting on May 22. 

At this year's meeting, in addition to approving the awarding of degrees at Commencement the board also took several actions that I am pleased to share with you.

The board voted to promote four members of our faculty:

Please join me in congratulating these four faculty members in recognition for their scholarship, teaching, and contributions to the Brandeis community.

During the plenary session, the board then voted on three initiatives related to our academic offerings and research endeavors. 

The board approved the creation of a new minor in Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies. The study of Asian American and Pacific Islander histories, literatures, and cultures will add to our overall engagement with and study of race, cultures in diaspora, and inequalities in both national and global contexts. 

The board also voted to grant the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) departmental status. Brandeis’ WGS Studies Program was established as a small interdepartmental program in 1975. It has since become internationally recognized for its research and education that explores the understanding of how gender and sexuality form a dimension of identity in society, politics, and in all cultural and historical settings.

Finally, the board voted to approve a change to the Faculty Handbook, proposed by the Faculty Senate, which will create a Faculty Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. This new committee will monitor the metrics on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the university; solicit guidance from the Brandeis community on how to improve DEI and social justice initiatives; and engage in strategic planning with the university’s office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

After the votes, I provided the board with an update on the ongoing work of the COVID-19 Task Force and the factors and criteria that the university is weighing in our decision-making regarding the fall semester.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the trustees for their continued commitment to Brandeis as this challenging 2019-2020 academic year comes to a close.

Best regards,

Ron