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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Campus hotel would bring revenue

Published: November 4, 2011
Section: Editorials

In his fall 2010 farewell letter, former President Jehuda Reinharz wrote about his achievements and shortcoming as the leader of Brandeis for more than a decade.

“I had also hoped to be able to renovate the Castle, build a campus parking garage, create a conference center with hotel-quality overnight facilities, and bring Brandeis’s U.S. News & World Report ranking into the twenties,” Reinharz wrote in December 2010. “These challenges await my successor.”

Building a hotel and conference center for Brandeis would be an effective use of funding and a worthwhile investment on multiple levels. It will undoubtedly take several years to raise the money for such a project but in the long-run it will be a thriving source of revenue for the university. On commencement, move-in and fall visiting weekends, parents will pay high rates to stay on campus. This is especially true at Brandeis, as many families observe Shabbat and now have to walk to the Newton Marriott after attending services on campus.

Many larger universities have hotels, including Syracuse and Georgetown. When Brandeis holds conferences, it will allow guest speakers and lecturers to enjoy more conveniently their visit.

Clearly, a hotel is a long-term investment. In the short term, it will take leaders who have the vision to plan a future for Brandeis that goes beyond just the next five years. A hotel would also attract local businesses to advertise and restaurants to open inside. Furthermore, the university would receive funding from the athletic teams that travel to play at Brandeis nearly every weekend.

These type of projects take time to plan and they take leaders who can weigh the short-term costs and long-term benefits of financial investments. Now that Brandeis is on stable financial ground, it’s an ideal time to revisit what Reinharz wrote last year.