The Provost’s Report: Do Student Voices Matter?

Bump! — sahar

In her response to the the Brandeis 2020 Committee proposals, Provost Marty Krauss lists the five groups tasked to work towards healing Brandeis’s long-term financial deficit.  They are:

  • The 23 member Brandeis 2020 Committee, which identified reductions in Arts and Sciences.
  • The professional school revenue committee, composed of 4 administrators and the Office of Budget and Planning.
  • The 18 member Bold Ideas Group, which identifies new revenue streams.
  • The 9 member Administrative Resource Review Committee, which identifies administrative efficiencies.
  • The 7 member ad hoc committee on increasing revenue from the Centers and Institutes.

The most striking thing to me is that of these 61 committee members, exactly one is an undergraduate student (Jason Gray of the Brandeis 2020 Committee).  That means undergraduate students, the university’s primary reason for existing, make up 1.64% of the voices currently working to solve our biggest problems.  We are just as invested in the future of our university as anyone else, and we have unique perspectives that will otherwise go completely unheeded.  Why are we being so thoroughly excluded from these processes?

Marty Krauss has two important questions to answer.  First, do the students deserve a substantial voice in the university’s future?, and second, how will our voices be incorporated as the committees move forward?  However, I’m not confident that she will actually address these questions, and I’m even less confident that her answers will be satisfactory in establishing the student voice as a vital part of the process.  Therefore, the student body is left with a significant question of its own: How do we overcome our lack of direct involvement to make sure we too can help Brandeis succeed?

It’s a tough question, and we should start considering answers now.