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Brandeis Students Protest 'Irresponsible' Pay to Former President

December 31, 2013 By:
JTA
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Former Brandeis president Dr. Jehuda Reinharz.

More than 1,600 alumni and students of Brandeis University and others with ties to the institution have signed an online petition protesting pay to former university president Jehuda Reinharz.

Reinharz reportedly receives more than $600,000 a year in retirement pay and at least $800,000 a year from the Mandel Foundation, which he serves as president. The Boston Globe reported last month that Reinharz has earned at least $1.2 million for part-time advisory work since stepping down as president at the end of 2010.

The petition calls on the university’s board of trustees to institute a policy of transparency regarding past, current and future executive compensation and to overhaul its compensation policies.

“We owe a great deal to the university, which taught us the tenets of social justice that continue to influence our lives and careers. We expect to see these values reflected in the decisions the university makes,” the petition says. “The gulf of inequality at Brandeis University is growing.”

The petition also accused the university of undermining “its own values when it prioritizes donor relationships and institutional prestige over student access to scholarship and good stewardship of our communal resources.” It warns: “This path is financially unsustainable and irresponsible.”

Brandeis spokeswoman Ellen de Graffenreid told the Globe that the board is considering making changes to its compensation policies and could vote on a proposal at its next meeting in late January.

The university also acknowledged last week that it paid Reinharz’s wife, Shulamit Reinharz, an extra $30,000 a year for hosting university events and fundraising, in addition to her salary as director of the Women’s Studies Research Center and as a sociology professor.

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