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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Provost Krauss creates Rose Committee

Published: March 6, 2009
Section: News

FATE OF THE ROSE: Annie Chiorazzi ‘11 views an exhibit in the Rose Art Museum last month with her friends. <br /><i>PHOTO BY Natasha Rubin /The Hoot</i>

FATE OF THE ROSE: Annie Chiorazzi ‘11 views an exhibit in the Rose Art Museum last month with her friends.
PHOTO BY Natasha Rubin /The Hoot

University Provost Marty Krauss announced that she is establishing a new committee to “help chart the future” of the Rose Art Museum in an e-mail to the Brandeis community Tuesday.

The committee, which will be an extension of the Faculty Senate’s Rose Committee, will be comprised of faculty, students, alumni, a member of the Rose Museum staff, a member of the Rose Board of Overseers and a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Krauss told The Hoot in a phone interview that while any decision to sell or keep art is solely the decision of the Board of Trustees, the committee will be charged with proposing ideas of how to better integrate the rest of the museum into the university.

“Even if we sell some pieces, we will still have the building, and we will still have a lot of art,” she said. “The question now is what kinds of programs we can do at The Rose that relate to the university.”

“No one has said to the committee that The Rose as it currently exists needs to change,” she continued. “We’re trying to take a deep breath and look at how we can best use The Rose in the future.”

President Jehuda Reinharz initially announced that the Board of Trustees had voted to close the Rose on Jan. 26. Later, Reinharz said that the Board of Trustees had actually voted for the authorization of the closing of the Rose in the event that the university’s administration deemed it financially necessary; however, the clarification came after two weeks of community outrage at the unilateral nature of the decision.

Krauss said that the formation of the Faculty Senate’s committee and university committee is a result of “the vigorous reaction to the decision [to authorize the closing of the Rose].”

“We decided to slow down,” she said. “We broadly constituted a committee that could advise the university on the types of options we have for The Rose.”

She added that because of the importance of the decision, the university administration felt that they needed to know “the level of support from the Board [of Trustees] before we brought it to students.”

“If [the trustees] had rejected it, nothing would have happened,” she said.

Student representative to the committee Catherine McConnell ’10, who is a studio arts major, said that she believes “something like this should have been formed earlier.”

“It took a lot of negative reactions for them to get to this point,” she said. “It’s about the difference between a process done in a committee and one done behind closed doors.”

At yesterday’s faculty meeting, President Reinharz apologized for the “negative media attention that ensued after the wrongly handled announcement about The Rose.”

Reinharz also noted that until the new Rose committee makes a recommendation for the fate of the museum, it will remain open. He also said he expects a recommendation from the committee by the end of the semester.

At the meeting, Prof. Thomas King (ENG) responded to Reinharz saying that; “you’re asking us to do so many things to help the university in its time of trouble. Before I do that, I need to know that we will not be misrepresented in the upcoming Rose decision as we have in the past.”

Reinharz responded saying that the committee would ensure community representation in any new recommendation for the Museuem.

Representatives from the Rose Art Museum did not respond to requests for comment before print time.