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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: French compensation package unacceptable

Published: August 31, 2012
Section: Editorials

When Brandeis’ former Executive Vice President and COO Peter French retired in 2009, he was given $2.99 million in his termination package, and an additional $226,000 in consultation fees on top of it. Even given the circumstances of French, who was very sick and retired unwillingly, we find the size of this package beyond the pale. Under any definition the money is too much for one official, and moreover, Brandeis has a long list of priorities for which the money could have been much better spent.

Our university administrators work hard, and Brandeis’ benefits from diligent leadership are exemplified in the rapid rise of our U.S. News rankings in recent years and the increased national and global brand recognition. But more than $3 million?

Coming at a time when the university cut staff, demoted departments to programs and has steadily, repeatedly increase the price of tuition, the 2009 package for French is a disturbing decision. Avoiding several tuition hikes, renovating shabby residence halls or keeping staff and broadening their departments: such are only a few better uses for millions of dollars, and we are quite sure every Brandeis student can think of more.