Jason Gray’s Letter to the Faculty

Now made available to the public:

To the Faculty and Academic Administrators,

As the Student Government President, I have been given a unique vantage point on the realities of the University’s financial situation.  The budget gap that Brandeis faces is large, and its current and continuing impact on the Student Body and the future of our institution is very real.

I am not writing to advocate for a specific position on any of the proposed changes.  I am instead writing about the deliberative process that is being created to develop these changes.  It is of utmost importance that students are substantively involved as we determine what is structurally necessary to reduce costs and attract more students to Brandeis.

Real, constructive student input in generating ideas, obtaining feedback, and making decisions will lead to better choices for all those who hold a stake in Brandeis’ future.  We know how these changes will impact our academic lives, our social lives, and our college experience.  We know how it would impact Brandeis’ ability to recruit future students. We also know what makes the Brandeis student unique – and what we all need to do to protect what makes this place special.

The students who gathered outside the faculty meeting today spoke what many others believe: Community-involvement in the decision-making process is not only beneficial, it is just.

I would like to propose that students be included in all academic committees that are established to evaluate different proposals, create solutions, and deliberate various ideas.  The appropriate mechanisms already exist to quickly provide qualified student representatives for these different committees. I further hope that we can determine the best way to provide accessible, comprehensive information about all of this to the Student Body at large.

I respect and appreciate the unique expertise of the faculty in dealing with the problems ahead, and I understand the immense impact that any changes may have on your lives and careers.  Also, I know how engaged the faculty has been in ensuring that the best interests of the University and its students are kept in mind during this difficult time.  On behalf of the Student Body, I deeply thank you.

I, and the students of Brandeis, look forward to working with you to make the best of this situation. I hope to discuss soon the best ways to substantively integrate students into the coming process.

Thank you for everything you do.

Yours in Service,

Jason Gray ‘10
Student Union President