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Heller School dean stepping down in June 2022

The current dean of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, David Weil (HELLER), will not be retaking up his contract, according to an email sent to community members on April 15. Maria Madison will be taking up Weil’s position, acting as Interim dean starting in July 2022, according to the email sent by Carol Fierke, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

“Weil has been a wonderful colleague and leader. During his time at Heller, David worked with the Heller community to move the school forward, integrating and strengthening its academic programs including bringing its global master’s programs under one umbrella and enhancing the student experience,” wrote Fierke to community members. 

Weil has served as Dean of the Heller School since August 2017, according to his faculty page. Prior to working in his position as dean, he was the Peter and Deborah Wexler Professor of Management at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. From 2014 to January 2017, Wiel worked under the Obama administration as the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, according to his faculty page. In this position, he was the first to be confirmed by the Senate in over a decade as the division head. Weil had also been nominated for the same position under the Biden administration, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article, however, his position was not confirmed by the Senate. 

“His experience arises from both his decades of research on labor, employment, and the structure of labor markets and labor policy as well as leading a major federal agency,” according to his faculty page

While working as the Dean of the Heller School, the Heller School has been nominated with top rankings including being within the top 10 ranking in two U.S. News & World Report graduate school categories, according to a previous Hoot article. From the U.S. News & World Report, Heller was ranked eighth best for the social policy category and 10th for the health management category. According to the article, Heller was ranked within the top 25 percent of graduate schools. 

“He also strengthened Heller internally, embedding equity, inclusion and diversity into all aspects of the school’s operations and deepening bonds across the Heller community,” wrote Fierke in her email. 

Weil has also worked in tandem with the Heller research centers and institutes to “collaborate across boundaries” and increase research funding activity and public engagement, according to the email. Weil led the Heller School throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the Heller School in a state that is “strengthened financially and invigorated internally and externally,” wrote Fierke.

Madison, who will be acting as Interim Dean of the Heller School, has been working at Brandeis since 2017 as the first Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. “In this role she developed and implemented a targeted, evidence-based approach to improving [diversity, equity and inclusion] for all members of the Heller community, and forged innovative and effective partnerships across the school and the university as well as with policymakers and various organizations,” wrote Fierke. 

Madison then became the director of the Heller School’s Institute of Economic and Racial Equity (IERE), in this position she changed the name of the institute—formerly known as the Institute of Assets and Social Policy. The IERE received a one million dollar gift from the Kapor Center under Madison’s leadership. The grant is to be used for a new initiative on racial justice and tech policy.

In her career, Madison has been named as one of GK50’s Most Influential People of Color in Higher Education, she is also a trained public health researcher with a ScD in a population and international health degree from Harvard School of Public Health, according to Fierke’s email. Prior to working at the university, Madison worked for over two decades in designing, implementing and managing global public health projects including clinical trials and registries. 

In her work, Madison has overseen non profit organizations including multinational budgets and teams, wrote Fierke in her email. She is also the president and founder of The Robbins House— a non-profit organization preserving and bringing awareness to the history of African Americans in Concord, Massachusetts, according to their about page.

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