Professor Judith Berman Brandenburg Dies at 61: First Woman Dean at Teachers College
Judith Berman Brandenburg, Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, and the first woman to hold the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College (1985-1994) at Teachers College, died on Sunday, January 26th. She was 61 years old.
Commenting on Ms. Shannon Faulkner, who was the first woman to enter The Citadel military academy and resign under a grueling initiation, Professor Brandenburg told The New York Times (8/25/95) that, "those of us who have been -'the first woman' in a position can attest to the incredible pressures and loneliness that accompany the rewards of this experience."
Much of her professional and personal life was dedicated to equity issues and to assuring access and excellence in education. When she was Associate Dean at Yale College, Yale University (1977-1985), Brandenburg played a leading role in establishing the Women's Studies Program and chaired a committee that developed grievance procedures for sexual harassment complaints. These model procedures were adopted by many other institutions of higher learning across the country.
At Teachers College, Professor Brandenburg initiated sexual harassment grievance procedures, and a faculty seminar on the Scholarship of Women and Gender.
In her book Confronting Sexual Harassment---What Schools and Colleges Can Do(Teachers College Press, 1997), Brandenburg described how schools and individual practitioners can confront sexual harassment within their own communities and how schools can become models that educate students to deal with sexual harassment in the larger social setting.
As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Brandenburg also initiated grant programs for untenured faculty, students, and a research fellowship program. During her tenure she sought to emphasize minority student recruitment and developed the Minority Fellows Program. At the same time, women faculty increased from 32 percent to 50 percent and faculty of color increased from 5 percent to 12 percent.
Prior to Yale, Brandenburg was Assistant Professor and Psychologist in the Counseling Center at Queens College of CUNY (1968- 1976), where she initiated programs for older women ("Women Involved in New Goals") and open admissions students.
Earlier in her career, Brandenburg was a Biology teacher at Roslyn High School in Long Island, New York (1962-1965).
Brandenburg was a trustee at Cornell University, her alma mater from 1994-1999. She graduated Cornell University in 1961 with a B.S, an M.A.T. (Master's of Arts in Teaching) from Harvard University (1962) and a Ph.D. with honors from New York University (1971).
She was a member of the New York State Council of University Deans, an organization of all public and private institutions of higher education in New York State with doctoral programs in education. Brandenburg received the "Award for Creative Leadership and significant Service" in 1993 from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. She was named Educator of the Year (1985-86) by the Columbia University chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. At Queens College, Brandenburg was named "Favorite Teacher of the Year" in 1975.
She made her home in New York City and Amagansett, New York. She is survived by her husband Lane H. Brandenburg, her brother Judge Richard M. Berman, and the Brandenburgs' two sons, David (32) and Neal (28). Lane Brandenburg called Judith "a devoted scholar and a devoted wife and mother."
Published Monday, Aug. 25, 2003