Liebowitz contract extended for five years

April 16, 2021

The Board of Trustees has extended President Ron Liebowitz’s contract for another five years, according to a press release sent to the Brandeis community on April 9. The Board of Trustees stated “strong support for his [Liebowitz’s] continued leadership” in the press release. 

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to advance the work we began four years ago and to implement Brandeis’ Framework for the Future,” Liebowitz wrote in an email to The Brandeis Hoot in reaction to the extension. “What’s best for the university has been my number one priority since I arrived here and this will continue for me to be front and center. I am honored to work with exceptional faculty and staff to the benefit of our students and proud of the university’s teaching, research, and creative achievements. I look forward to building a better and stronger Brandeis along with all of the university’s constituencies.” 

The Board of Trustees is “committed to strengthening its partnership with President Liebowitz, while reinvigorating its own structures for greater transparency and dynamic leadership,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Meyer Koplow said in the press release. 

“From day one, Ron [Liebowitz] has been a leader who is committed to driving Brandeis forward in a way that both reinforces our historic values and prepares our graduates for successful futures in a dynamic, global environment,” Koplow added. “The board has always recognized that Ron has fostered a strong academic culture and created a detailed plan for an agile and dynamic university of the future.” 

Liebowitz increased fundraising efforts during the most recent fiscal year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a 15 percent increase in giving during fiscal year 2019, according to the press release. “During his tenure, the university secured the largest endowed professorship and the largest single gift to the endowment to support student financial aid,” the press release also noted. “The latter was also the largest gift in Brandeis’ history from an alumnus or alumna.”

During this tenure at Brandeis, Liebowitz unveiled the “Framework for the Future” in October 2018, with the goal to bring the university’s programs in line with the university’s mission and institutional financial capabilities, according to a previous Hoot article. He is also responsible for hiring Mark Brimhall-Vargas, the university’s first Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, according to the press release. 

In March, Liebowitz had refused a one-year contract extension offered by the Board of Trustees according to a previous Hoot article. The original “dead-end” contract would not allow him to “complete the ongoing donor solicitations, particularly those greater than $1 million, that the board [of Trustees] has claimed are so critical to the university’s future,” according to a statement obtained by The Hoot from a public relations firm that was representing Liebowitz in March. 
Liebowitz became the university’s ninth president in July 2016, according to the university’s website. Liebowitz’s current contract is set to expire in June 2021.

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