Jehuda Reinharz's Generous Compensation Package Raises Eyebrows at Brandeis

Ex-President Makes $300K Annually for His 'Accomplishments'

Nice Work If You Can Get It: Last year, Brandeis University reduced Reinharz’s salary to $287,600.**
Brandeis
Nice Work If You Can Get It: Last year, Brandeis University reduced Reinharz’s salary to $287,600.**

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 13, 2013, issue of December 20, 2013.
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Check back on Monday to find out who makes what in the Jewish community.

One of the highest-paid individuals in Jewish communal life in 2011 took a bit of a hit in 2012 — but in neither case was he listed on the Forward’s salary survey.

Jehuda Reinharz, the noted historian of modern Jewish history, left his post as president of Brandeis University at the end of 2010, and thereby moved beyond the scope of the Forward’s CEO salary survey. But in 2011, a year he spent on sabbatical, Reinharz received $500,000 in salary and another $100,000 in benefits from the university — just $88,000 less in salary than he received the previous year, as president. Last year, Brandeis reduced his salary to $287,500.

The cash and benefits are to compensate Reinharz for serving in his new formal positions as president emeritus, as a returning faculty member of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and as director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, according to Brandeis. But in those positions, Reinharz teaches no classes, advises no graduate students and keeps no office hours.

His main job, he told The Boston Globe, which broke the story about his compensation package in November, is to advise Frederick Lawrence, his successor as Brandeis’s president.

It may be good he does not have to spend much time at Brandeis. The Mandel Foundation, a major Brandeis benefactor, paid Reinharz $800,000 the same year, 2011, for what it described as a full-time position as its president. But Reinharz told the Globe that he is actually a consultant to the foundation, with no set schedule there, either. “I don’t punch a clock,” he said. “I work when my work is needed.”

The sweet deal has rankled students, alumni and some faculty members of the Jewish university, which is named for Louis D. Brandeis, a former U.S. Supreme Court justice whose historical claim to fame rests in part on his career of battling corporate privilege.

But when asked about the arrangement, Reinharz told the Globe, “I am compensated according to my accomplishments. It’s the way America usually works.” He cited his multiyear record of fundraising for the school, and what he said was his continuing role in helping connect his successor with potential donors.

Reinharz, 69, was born in Haifa, Israel, and moved to the United States with his family at age 17. He joined the faculty at Brandeis in 1982 and became president in 1994.


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