Nov 4, 2004 — At two town hall meetings this week, President Richard M. Joel outlined developments in undergraduate academic programs, student life resources, key appointments and Jewish community initiatives.
The sessions, held at the Wilf Campus Nov. 2 and at the Beren Campus Nov. 3, are designed to allow the president to address faculty, students, administrators, and staff on issues important to university life.
“This is an opportunity to learn from you and for you to get some information from me,” he said.
At the Wilf Campus meeting, President Joel introduced Morry J. Weiss, YU’s new chairman of the Board of Trustees, who noted the university’s many contributions to the American Jewish community and to the quality of Jewish life.
Regarding new programs and appointments, President Joel announced the appointment of Howard Weisband, former director general of the UJA Federation’s Canada Israel Office, as senior advisor on Israel affairs who will aid YU leadership in Israel. Rabbi Richard Bieler, director of development at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, will join the administration as senior executive director of community affairs, and Rabbi Kenneth Brander of Boca Raton, FL, was named inaugural dean of the new Center for the Jewish Future.
President Joel also announced the creation of a mental health center, to be led by Dr. Victor Schwartz, a member of New York University’s counseling service.
“We understand that students face many pressures, including challenges of growing up and identity questions,” President Joel said. “We really care and we want to help, but you must reach out to us.”
The president took questions from audiences at both meetings, which ranged from issues of faculty tenure, campus safety, career services and exam scheduling, to recycling policies and printing costs.
President Joel urged the YU community to “keep my feet to the fire so we can continue partnering to make a difference in our circles of concern.”