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President Joel to Make News at State of the University Address

Many Yeshiva students have probably noticed the many signs and advertisements—not to mention the opening page of the University website—publicizing the “2012 State of the University Address.” But they might not fully appreciate the significance of the event.

For starters, the event is not just another Town Hall Meeting. The standard format, in which President Joel addresses approximately one hundred Yeshiva College students and then answers questions, is not to be expected.

The event will be something else entirely.

If nothing else, this is the first ever State of the University Address. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs is nothing if not deliberate about their presentation of the President’s image, and they would not don a regular Town Hall Meeting with such a heavy title.

What’s more, the event is being run in a peculiar way. Although it has been advertised publicly, it appears the address is in fact an “invite-only” event. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs explained that the event is geared mainly toward alumni, student leaders, and media outlets rather than at the average student. Alumni of note and student leaders received personal email invitations to attend the event and to have a seat reserved for them by the CPA. It seems there will be standing room for other students, but certainly not the open stadium seating arrangement used for regular Town Hall Meetings.

Students can, however—and this only adds to the event’s hype—watch the address via live video feed on the University website. The event will also be simulcast downtown at the Beren Campus for the women at Stern interested in what the President has to say.

The high profile of the event indicates that Wednesday night will bring an important announcement from the President. That sentiment was supported by Mayer Fertig, Senior Director of Media Relations, who would only say, “the President will make news this week.” Upon further questioning, Mr. Fertig declined to comment as to the nature of the news the President would make.

One thing he did say to expect, though, was that President Joel would, for the first time, publicly discuss matters pertaining to the school’s budget. He did, however, note that Mr. Joel would probably not mention any heavy details about the budget cuts undertaken over the past year, though he would announce that some budget statistics will now be posted on the school website for public scrutiny.

Rumors about the central topic of the address have made there way to The Commentator desk, but most are purely speculative. However, one issue may prove to have teeth, and is therefore worth noting in this context. President Joel’s contract is approaching its end and many wonder whether he will continue on as this institution’s Commander-in-Chief. An anonymous source has told The Commentator that the President plans to sign a new five-year contract with the university. Perhaps that is the big news to be unveiled about the state of our university at this highly anticipated address.




This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: September 11, 2012

The Commentator Staff news brief about the State of the University Address referred incorrectly to Mr. Fertig’s comments regarding his expectation that President Joel would discuss matters pertaining to the school’s budget. While he did say the subject of the budget could be expected to come up in the speech, he specifically noted that he did not expect heavy details to be discussed.