Just in case you guys ignore most of the e-mails you get from the Student Union and Provost, here’s a link to the short, 8-page report made by the Brandeis 2020 Curricular and Academic Restructuring Steering (CARS) Committee: http://www.brandeis.edu/provost/adhoc/Brandeis2020_rpt_22Feb2010.pdf

Oh, and the even more succinct summary: http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2010/february/2020report.html

To oversimplify, the report was designed to suggest feasible changes Brandeis could implement over the next decade in order to save money. Many of the 18 suggestions proposed involve immediately, or within the next year, terminating masters and PhD programs. Also, a large portion of money would come from limiting arts programs, particularly the MFA program in theater design, and greatly reducing the Brandeis Theater Company’s budget.

Another point of interest is the proposal that the Hebrew Language and Literature major should no longer be offered, nor the undergraduate minor in Yiddish and East European Jewish Culture. Might this speak to the new direction the University is taking, in terms of our Jewish scholarship?

Budget cuts have to be made, but of course any of us who came to this school hoping to pursure a specific degree are going to be upset to see our department, major, or even passion cut down. I’m not sure yet what I think of the report, what do you all think?

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7 comments on “CARS2020 report”

  1. Alex N. Says:

    I thought the proposals were very…sensible. The committee obviously was aiming to cut the most amount of money while affecting the least amount of students. Who attending this school right now can say that they are going to be affected by these changes? The programs being cut are being phased out through suspending admissions. Faculty are being cut primarily through non-replacement. As for the character of the University, what does this actually change? The graduate theater program is weakened, surely, but it certainly wasn’t huge to begin with. The American Studies major will probably do better as a program. Hebrew has no business being a major when we have NEJS, which has a Hebrew requirement built into a much more comprehensive major. Yiddish is not a useful tongue for a University to teach anymore. Overall, I think we couldn’t have asked much more from the the good people at CARS.

  2. Lev Says:

    I actually tend to a agree – the changes do appear mostly sensible – though I am certainly open and willing to listen to all criticisms of it. For the most part I’d say I haven’t made up my mind, but that I lean towards indifference.

    With that said…. I strongly disagree with this sentence: “Yiddish is not a useful tongue for a University to teach anymore.”

    That is quite a silly thing to say. Who are you to determine the usefulness of a language? The number of people who speak Yiddish as a first language (!) is rising, and anyone who wishes to the study the history of Eastern European Jewry must develop some understanding of the language – or at least know someone who can translate for them.

    Thankfully, the report does not recommend cutting the language, simply the minor.

  3. Derek Says:

    The Brandeis credit rating takes a hit:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2010/02/22/daily5.html

  4. Stuart Says:

    Most important takeaways from the Biz Journal article is that Brandeis applications and,significantly, its endowment have rebounded. The credit rating hit was expected, given the deficit, and is not itself significant.

  5. Guy Says:

    “Waltham, Mass.-based Brandeis reports about 5,000 full-time equivalent students and its liberal arts education has commanded strong growth of net tuition per student. That figure of $20,420 per student, Moody’s said, is up 15 percent over fiscal year 2005.”
    – from Biz Journal…

    ICK!

  6. Carrie Says:

    As important as the facts are, that journal article is poorly written. My fourth grade teacher scolded me for starting off so many paragraphs with the same words. Tim McLaughlin needs to be scolded to overusing “Moody’s said…” at the start of paragraphs. Tisk tisk!

  7. Alex N. Says:

    Lev:
    Thanks for pointing that out, that was a kind of dumb thing to say. I hadn’t realized Yiddish was growing as a language. But yeah, I think the study of Yiddish here will not be adversely affected by removing the minor.