More thoughts on Prez Fred

So – new president. Here’s what I think, from what I’ve read so far.

F-Lawrence knows what is truly important and interesting about Brandeis: Social Justice, Louis Brandeis being awesome, and us being a liberal arts school that happens to also be a research university.

He has the right resume and says the right things: He’s a civil rights lawyer, won a teaching award, is a blogger. He’s talking about outreach to students and good stuff like that.

It’s also interesting that he ties his story to Brandeis’ story

I’m most excited about an opportunity to sit down as a community and really discuss and decide what sort of place Brandeis should be in the future and what Social Justicde means to us as a school. We have a chance to really unite at Brandeis, and bring students, teachers, staff, and workers together for real.

Lawrence represents hope and change. So far, everything looks great. I hope that he takes this great opportunity to rally the Brandeis community together, not just the faculty and staff but the whole community. We have a stellar opportunity to visualize the Brandeis we want to be, and take the steps needed to get there, together.

I’ve downloaded all the papers of his I’ve seen on Jstor, and I haven’t read them yet. He’s still an unknown quantity. But he’s a civil rights lawyer and an admirer of Louis Brandeis! He talks about Brandeis’ commitment to Social Justice. That’s really cool; I just hope that he increases the trend of administration respecting students and their ideas, and that he fosters a new climate at Brandeis, a climate where both students and staff have the opportunity to learn about Social Justice and Social Action – not just what they mean but how to make it happen.

My main worry is the way he was chosen – in a secretive process where we had to fight hard just to have one non-voting student member on the search committee. Hopefully he can reverse this culture of Board of Trustees unapproachability and unaccountability to students.

Three  things Brandeis lacks. Hopefully Flawrence will bring them to Brandeis:
– Real community across students, staff, faculty, workers, grad students, etc.
– Administration respect for students
– Talking about how to *make* social justice happen not just what’s wrong with the world.