Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis president emeritus Reinharz’s salary incites students

Published: November 22, 2013
Section: Front Page, News

Instigated by the reports in the Globe revealing the triple digit salary of President Emeritus Jehuda Reinharz, protests circulating across Facebook condemn the allocation of university resources to the pockets of high ranking administration officials. Succeeded by President Fred Lawrence, Reinharz is nevertheless still reported to have earned $627,228 in total compensation from the University according to 990 forms, in addition to the $800,000 he is alleged to receive from the Mandel Foundation, a large supporter of the university.

Citing discontent with what it deems “unacceptable behavior” on behalf of the University, the petition expresses outrage against the high salaries of members of administration, especially in light of steadily increasing tuition fees and student debt.

In 2011, Reinharz was the second highest paid administrative official, surpassed only by current President Fred Lawrence.

When asked to comment on whether large exit packages for officials such as Reinharz were an effective use of the university budget, Ellen de Graffenreid, senior vice president of communications, responded, “Many of your questions are matters of opinion, and I don’t believe that my personal opinion is relevant.”

Reinharz, who is currently pursuing academic research on the role of the donkey in literature, asserts that his compensation package was initiated by the Executive Committee of the Brandeis Board of Trustees in 2009 when he announced his resignation in the wake of the Rose Art controversy. According to Reinharz, the board of trustees provided him with this package given his worth in assisting the future president and performing various other duties until July of 2014.

“My advice to the President is always private and I believe he sees value in the relationship,” Reinharz stated.

Reinharz explains his services to the University, including helping to to secure pledges made during his administration, helping to recruit new board members, introducing the President to donors, meeting with faculty on occasion and continuing his research and publication as a faculty member, among other duties.

Explaining his academic research, Reinharz recently told The Globe, “There are smart donkeys, stupid donkeys, evil donkeys, etc., and no one has ever contemplated this on a large scale.” He further went on to state, “It’s probably the most ambitious topic I have ever contemplated.”

When asked to comment on the university’s standpoint on Reinharz’s research, de Graffenreid said, “The University doesn’t dictate the topics of faculty research projects. That is a matter of academic freedom.”

In an email correspondence with The Hoot, Reinharz wrote, “Although I spend 50% of my time on Brandeis activities as President Emeritus, I also devote a portion of my time to the Mandel Foundation.” Yet, in an interview with the Globe published last week, Reinharz stated “I don’t punch a clock…I work when my work is needed.”

Reinharz stressed his role as consultant to the Mandel Foundation, a role for which he was reportedly compensated $800,000 for in 2011. Citing his personal bond with Morton Mandel, Reinharz explained that he “is the one who set my compensation and I presume he believes I bring him and his Foundation substantial value in terms of advice and counsel.”

Stressing the discrepancy between Brandeis’ policy of social justice and recent administrative decisions, the online petition states, “The gulf of inequality at Brandeis University is growing.” Demanding transparency regarding the executive compensation packages, the petition asserts “Brandeis undermines its own values when it prioritizes donor relationships and institutional prestige over student access to scholarship and good stewardship of our communal resources.”

Although the Globe exposed the high salary of Reinharz, articles published in 2005 and 2012 by The Hoot cited the issue of high compensation packages for administrative officials, such as Mel Bernstein and Peter French, in the past.