To the Brandeis community,

I and many others are deeply upset and concerned over the recent news regarding the closing of the Rose Art Museum.  Personally, I regard the Rose as a very integral part of my Brandeis education–I doubt I would have chosen to attend Brandeis had the Rose not been a part of the package.  Recently, a group of students, myself included, demonstrated outside of a closed faculty meeting in an effort to gain transparency and inclusion of students in the discussions/ decision-making processes surrounding the budget crisis.  We were led to believe that our efforts were not in vain–many faculty members spoke out in support, and a motion was passed to encourage student imput.  I and other concerned students are deeply dissapointed and dismayed by yet another blatant lack of consideration for the thoughts and opinions of the broader Brandeis community, especially where such an important issue is concerned.  I am not alone in my outrage over the lack of communication and consultation concerning the Board of Trustees’ decision, and in order to convey that, a group of my fellow students and I would like to organize a sit-in in and/or around the Rose at 1pm this coming Thursday, the 29th.  Our hope is that both students and faculty will turn out in support of the Rose, and that the administration will be forced to take notice and openly communicate with the concerned members of the community.  I feel that something must be done to react against what is an imposing and inconsiderate decision on the part of the Board and the administration.  I hope sincerely that you will be in support of our idea, and encourage anyone who is able to attend.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me at, or Maarit Ostrow at

Rebeccah Ulm

11 comments on “Reaction to the Rose Art Decision”

  1. Sahar Says:

    People who knew anything was going on before the Board decided to sell of their Rose-

    Fine Arts Faculty – No
    Faculty in general – No
    Students – No
    Rose Art Director – No
    Board of Trustees – Yes

    See the problem?

    Also, let’s repeat Jon’s excellent point:

    I’m worried that the “long-term plan” stipulation will soon become a fixture on campus. It’s been applied to a number of the changes already announced, and will likely be applied to more in the future. This can mean one of two things:

    1. Several major changes have been in the works for months, or even years, with virtually no information communicated to students (and likely most faculty), changes which had to wait until a financial crisis to be announced and implemented;


    2. Several major changes have been proposed in response to the financial crisis, and are now being quickly implemented with the proviso that they are, in fact, long-considered judgments.

    The first version of events portrays the administration as secretive and crafty, waiting for an opportunity to alter our community with little option for us to respond. The second portrays them as somewhat dishonest, as well as eager to shut off debate. I can only hope that there’s a kinder angle that better describes the situation.

  2. Jody Says:

    This story made it on CNN! It just ran across the bottom “extraneous headlines” bar at the bottom of the screen. Ridiculous.

  3. Dev Says:

    What is this sit-in trying to accomplish? Are we asking for transparency and student input on future decisions, or are we trying to save the museum?

  4. Jody Says:

  5. Rebeccah Says:

    Both. We’d like the administration to realize that people are upset by the lack of transparency regarding the decision, but also the decision itself. I am not prepared to accept the closing of the Rose Art Museum without at least a detailed, open discussion of the mostives behind the Board’s decision. If you ask me, that is what should be happening in the first place, before broad, sweeping changes are decided upon behind closed doors without the consent of the broader Brandeis community. I’m sick of hearing about changes being made to my academic experience after the fact in generalized, rather unsatisfying emails from President Reinharz. There needs to be a mobilized reaction to this.

  6. Leor Galil Says:

    For those of you who are upset by the decision to close the Rose Art Museum, action is being taken. There is an alumni petition circulating online, which you may sign by going to this website:

    For anyone else who is interested in learning more about the Rose Art Museum and how you can help the cause to keep the gallery open, please visit this website:

    This is clearly an uneasy time at Brandeis, but the board of trustees’ swift and conclusive decision should not be carried out without further inquiry. The lack of transparency in executing this decision is reprehensible, and the point at which one of the biggest attractions at an institution that prides itself on its radical nature in the realm of liberal arts institutions induces more fear and consternation about the school’s future than anything else. I hope the Brandeis community’s voice manages to get heard, no matter what the opinions may be.

  7. Brandeis Students Sound Off on Rose Museum « Hankblog Says:

    […] Sit-down to Save the Rose Museum […]

  8. Mario Says:

    If Brandeis has it’s agenda set, there is nothing your protest is going to accomplish other than waste time. Instead of wasting your time, why don’t you spend it making sure the art gets in good hands? Obviously people are upset. I am upset! Take it from an old anti-establishment rock and roller like myself – Protesting this matter is a waste of time. In the real world, money talks and BS walks.

  9. Shawna Says:

    I think its important to let the admin. know that you don’t agree with their decision. Why is art/culture the first thing to go in a recession? What about the fat paychecks of some of the administration? I’m sure there are plenty of places, other than the art or the museum that can be cut to help the endowment. Why not just sell a few pieces of art to help raise some funds. Regardless of whether the artwork was appraised in 2007 for $350 million, people aren’t worth what they were back then and the art is not worth what it was in 2007 either, so that means the art will be sold at bargain prices.
    I hate to tell you this, but once they close those doors of the museum, its all over. That is, you will be lucky if a museum ever appears on that campus again in your lifetime. Its so sad. Lesson learned, beware of the Bernard Madoff predators, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.(by the way, what role did the Board play in approving who managed the money?? Maybe its time to move to replace some of those warlocks!)

  10. Rebeccah Says:

    This is an opportunity for students and faculty alike (neither of whom were consulted or considered in this decision) to make it clear to the administration that we are upset and angered by their decision, and that we are not going to sit by complacently and accept it without an open discussion. That is not a waste of time.


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