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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis receives $10 million in gifts

Published: February 4, 2005
Section: News

Two major gifts in support of faculty development were announced Thursday by University President Jehuda Reinharz. The Kay Fellows Fund will bring young postdoctoral scholars to campus for two-year appointments in interdisciplinary programs. The Norman Faculty Support Fund will fund faculty research and paid research leave for assistant professors.

Both gifts fill needs identified by Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe in his plan for academic restructuring.

Chairman of the Board Stephen Kay has pledged $3.5 million that will be combined with $1.5 million from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to permanently endow what has previously been the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows program, Reinharz wrote in a message to faculty. The renamed Kay Fellows Fund will pay for two-year appointments for postdoctoral scholars in two or more departments or programs, in order to build important cross-disciplinary links, said Reinharz.

Provost Marty Krauss recently told The Hoot that the restructuring proposal aims to give interdepartmental programs increased importance. They dont have the same clout, so to speak, as the departments, and thats problematic from a curricular planning perspective. So [Dean Jaffe] has made some proposals to give the interdepartmental programs more voice in curriculum and hiring decisions and I think that there is probably a fair amount of support for that, she said.

The second gift, a $5 million endowment by Brandeis alumnus William Friedman 65, will create the Norman Faculty Support Fund. This fund will, allow enhanced support of faculty research costs, finance paid research leaves for all assistant professors and allow us to enhance or top-off funding secured by faculty through prestigious external awards in order to facilitate scholarly leave for faculty who win such awards, said Reinharz.

In his 61 page Arts and Sciences restructuring proposal, released in November, Jaffe proposed the phase-in of paid leave programs for assistant professors and contract faculty. He claimed that many existing policies, such as heavy teaching loads for junior faculty and the absence of research leave opportunities for contract faculty, inhibited faculty development.

The announcement of these two gifts, timed less then two weeks before the release of the Faculty Review Committees report on Jaffes proposals, may demonstrate Reinharzs support for the plan publicly presented by Jaffe. The gifts were first made known to faculty at yesterdays Faculty Meeting.