Beleaguered Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence announced he would resign at the end of the school year, releasing a statement to members of the community. Lawrence wrote, “After careful consideration, and in close consultation with the Board of Trustees, I have decided to step down at the end of this, my fifth academic year. For the time being, I am looking forward to returning to full-time scholarship and teaching as a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.”
Lawrence has presided over one of the most contentious school years in the school’s history. It included the decision last April to rescind an invitation to speak given to noted spokesperson Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to the revelation in July from Truth Revolt’s Daniel Mael, a Brandeis senior, of a faculty listserv that smoldered with anti-Israel sentiments, to a dispute in December between Mael and Brandeis University student Khadijah Lynch, an undergraduate representative for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies who tweeted of the ambush/murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, “lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f**king country.”
Mael wrote of those and other inflammatory tweets on Truth Revolt, precipitating a war between students championing Lynch who threatened Mael and First Amendment champions of Mael’s simple reporting of events, including Alan Dershowitz. Lawrence later defended the university’s actions in the matter in the Wall Street Journal.
Lawrence stated in his resignation notice that the Brandeis Board appointed Lisa Lynch, the former Dean for the Heller School as interim president while a search for a successor is conducted.