Brandeis closes art museum to focus on students: Bravo!

Zac Bissonnette

With its endowment plunging and donations expected to fall in part because of losses sustained by Madoff victims, Brandeis University is closing its Rose Art Museum. As part of that, the university will be selling more than 6,000 pieces of art, including paintings by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, according to The Wall Street Journal. (subscription required)

The circumstances of the closing are sad, but it looks like a prudent step. College tuition and fees have been rising at two to three times the rate of inflation and colleges need to look hard at cost-cutting measures that will allow them to focus on the unique things that they provide.

Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis is close enough to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and other celebrated institutions that students and researchers will still have easy access to world class art. The sale of the collection will provide Brandeis with the cash it needs to provide value to students and its other constituencies -- without jacking up tuition prices and saddling students with unmanageable debt loads.