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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.


Published: March 5, 2010
Section: Editorials

You may be wondering why a university committee charged with saving the university money would want to cut a program that is revenue-positive by $100,000. We’re wondering the same thing.

While The Hoot editorial board would like to give Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe (and the rest of the Brandeis 2020 Committee) the benefit of the doubt that there are legitimate reasons for this proposed cut, we can’t.

Because rather than participating in transparent discussion of the university’s choices in a time of crisis, Jaffe has decided to tow the party line.  As he wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot he’d “prefer not to share” the Committee’s deliberations with those affected.

This isn’t the first time administrators have made virtually unilateral decisions which they then refuse to explain.  When the board of trustees announced they wanted to sell works from The Rose Art Museum to raise funds, they again refused to explain their decision in any amount of detail.

It very well may be that selling art is the only way to save the university, and there may very well be “hidden costs” to the Cultural Productions program which explain it getting the axe.

But if the administration doesn’t show us, how are we supposed to support their decisions, let alone trust them in the future?

In a time of crisis, no one wants to believe the worst in people.  We hope that hard times bring us together and help us overcome–isn’t that why Tom Brokaw calls those who grew up in the Great Depression and World War II “the Greatest Generation”?

But if this is Brandeis’ dust-bowl, it doesn’t look like the administration is planning fireside chats any time soon.

This article has been modified to reflect the following changes: A version of this article printed on March 5 incorrectly attributed the 2020 Committee’s proposals to “the administration.”