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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Under the departure arrangement he has negotiated with Brandeis, the former president will receive his 2012 salary of $287,500 through 2014. After this, he will receive $180,000 per year for a position as a half-time professor.

According to the Globe, the Mandel Foundation “did not make it easy” for the public to see Reinharz’s compensation arrangements there for $800,000 in 2011, the most recent year available. The group’s publicly available federal tax records for that year listed Reinharz as simply an unpaid board member. It was only reports filed by three related Mandel family foundations that listed him as a paid consultant, making clear his financial compensation package with the major Brandeis donor.

The Mandel Foundation did not return calls seeking information on Reinhatz’s compensation package.

The news about Reinharz’s departing compensation package has moved some former students to start a petition calling on Brandeis trustees to put limits on top salaries and to be more transparent with the institute’s finances. One signer wrote, “I was a student during the most recent Brandeis financial crisis and cannot believe that this is what the trustees have decided to do with the little money they have to support their current faculty and programs.”

Some faculty members also spoke, mainly off the record, about what they saw as executive excess.

Others took issue with Brandeis’s stated mission to advance social justice, according to Jewish values, as one of its “four pillars.”

“Many of us feel that it lost its way,” said Sahar Massachi, a Brandeis alumnus who was among the organizers of the online petition, which was sent to the school leaders. “The way Brandeis is run is becoming more corporate.”

The university’s Senate, made up of faculty members, sent a letter to the board of trustees on December 9 expressing concern over Reinharz’s post-presidential compensation. In the letter the faculty members call for increasing oversight and transparency in the process of determining compensation. They also asked that decisions will take into consideration the need for fairness and proportionality.

In response to such complaints, Perry Traquina, chairman of the university’s board of trustees, put out a letter on November 22 in which he stated, “As Board Chair, one of my highest priorities will be to ensure that all current and future executive pay packages at Brandeis are fair, motivational and consistent with best practices.”

While not addressing Reinharz’s compensation directly, he added, “I pledge to make sure that everything we do meets the highest ethical and moral standards worthy of our namesake, Justice Louis D. Brandeis.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or follow on Twitter @nathanguttman


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