Brandeis is trying to rebrand itself. But what will be its new image?
Today, Brandeis University joins FIRE’s Red Alert list, a distinction afforded to colleges and universities that act with severe and ongoing disregard for the fundamental rights of their students or faculty members. In the case of Brandeis, the university’s mistreatment of Professor Donald Hindley and subsequent shameless attempt to sweep the incident under the rug earn it a spot on the list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Brandeis. I love the people here, the professors, and the fact that I cite Justice Louis Brandeis quotes and use them to great effect. I love sitting by the Justice Brandeis statue and basking in the fact that Earl Warren wrote the statue’s dedication. Our mascot is named after Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr! How much more awesome can you get? (I’ll tell you how – if we had named Ollie’s Eatery Thurgood’s, that’s how). Many times, however, I’m upset by how this University – dedicated to perhaps the most fair and famous advocate of civil liberties, honest government, protecting the powerless, and other great progressive causes- seems to forget it’s commitment to both Brandeis’ name and his ideals.
Which of Brandeis’ sophisticated marketing campaigns will win? Einstein holding a bagel spread, or a University steadfastly refusing to admit it was unacceptably curbing academic freedom?