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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Reinharz to lead Mandel Foundation after Brandeis

Published: April 16, 2010
Section: Front Page

University President Jehuda Reinharz will become President and CEO of the Mandel Foundation once he officially leaves office at Brandeis. The move is yet another step in the long-time friendship between the university and foundation, which funded the Mandel Center for Humanities currently under construction.

Reinharz, who announced in October he would be resigning as president of the university for personal reasons, has said he will stay on at the university no later than July 1, 2011 or until a replacement is found, said he has been discussing the prospect of permanently joining the Mandel Foundation with Morton Mandel for roughly six years.

“This has been an ongoing conversation that was intensified when I announced my resignation in the fall,” Reinharz said.

He added he received seven different job offers upon his resignation but chose the Mandel Foundation because “we are in sync.”

“I have a familiarity with the organization by virtue of being on its board,” he said. “This foundation doesn’t just write checks, they try and figure out what their gift does and how it works. They are careful in how they give their money.”

Reinharz has sat on the board of the Mandel Foundation since 2005, the same year Barbara A. Mandel, wife of Morton, began serving on the Brandeis board of trustees.

Prior to funding the Mandel Center for Humanities, the Mandel Foundation also founded the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at Brandeis and sponsored three fellowships.

As to whether his new job would further the partnership between the foundation and the university, Reinharz said he hoped the two could work together to find a common interest.

“Chances are the foundation will continue to fund important projects at Brandeis, but a lot of that depends on what projects the new administration wants,” he said.

Members of the Mandel Foundation could not be reached by press time, however Morton Mandel was quoted in a Brandeis press release saying “We believe that exceptional leaders are the critical factor that enables organizations to contribute significantly to society. Dr. Reinharz brings a vast array of professional experience and a keen understanding of the foundation’s current work worldwide.”

The timing of Reinharz’s move from university president to foundation president depends on the progress of the university board of trustees’ presidential search committee.

Committee member Prof. Gina Turrigiano (BIO) told Thursday’s faculty meeting that she could not give a specific timeline for when the committee would begin interviewing candidates. She did say “we have identified a core group of phenomenal candidates who really care about Brandeis.”

“We are currently engaged in a number of informal discussions with these candidates and anticipate we will soon begin formal interviews of top candidates,” she said.

The committee recieved over 80 applications from people with backgrounds in education and “more creative” fields, Turrigiano said.