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Brandeis President to Step Down

Not as a result of Rose Museum mess, he insists

Orlee Maimon
September 29, 2009

The saga of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum reached one of its final chapters late last week, when the university’s president, Jehuda Reinharz, announced he’ll soon step down. The controversy started in January, when the Brandeis board of trustees, facing a steep plunge in endowment and fallout from the Madoff scandal, voted to close the 48-year-old art museum and sell a part of its collection, which includes famous works by Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. In the months since, a series of botched PR efforts led to international criticism of the museum, the school, and Reinharz by everyone from art collectors to Brandeis professors. Now the museum, which was set to close in late summer, will stay open on the recently announced recommendation of a university committee. Reinharz, who’s been the public face of the messy decision, insists the decision has nothing to do with the museum brouhaha, and he’ll stay on through the end of the 2010-11 academic year, unless a successor is found sooner. “Every job that one does has great periods, and some periods that are more difficult,” Reinharz commented earlier this year.