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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Students hope new univ. President has greater on campus presence

Published: October 2, 2009
Section: News

The_Hoot_10-2-09_Page_02_Image_0002While praising Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz’s touch with donors, some students say they hope his successor spends more time with them.

Phil LaCombe ‘10 called Reinharz a “phenomenal fundraiser,” but said “he does not connect well with students.”

LaCombe cited Reinharz’s reaction to student opposition two years ago to arming campus police.

“We had 800 people sign our petition, and we met with him, but it was as if his mind was already made up,” LaCombe said. “It’s amazing how the administrative building is right next to the student center on campus, and yet we never see each other.”

LaCombe wants a president “who is out and about on campus and who shakes your hand as you walk to class.”

Former Student Union President Jason Gray ‘10 was one of three students given advanced notice of the resignation announcement. The others were editors from The Hoot and the Justice.

“The more I worked with Reinharz,” Gray said, “the more I came to respect him.”

He rejected the notion that the president ignored student life, although Reinharz did not attend either of Gray’s State of the Student Union addresses. “He and I had great communication outside of that,” Gray said.

Student Union President Andy Hogan ‘11, said Reinharz’s resignation announcement “was a surprise.”

Hogan said Reinharz had “done a good job and that his legacy will be defined in his fundraising abilities.”

Hogan said that he wants to make sure students have a role in selecting Reinharz’s successor.

Board of Trustees Chair Malcolm Sherman told The Hoot last week that students would be included on a hiring committee.

In the past year, several university committees included one non-voting student member.

Hogan said he would press the trustees to give students a larger voice.

“I want as many students as possible to have as much input as possible in this decision,” he said.