NYU might have to divert some funds to settle another lawsuit. The plaintiff this time is Sara Shirazi, founder (and until very recently, the president) of Tisch Asia. Riptide Communications, a public-relations firm that advises “groups…committed to progressive social change,” sent this information in an email via Sahil Bahtia.
Shirazi, who was striving towards a partnership with Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to create a joint undergraduate program, was slapped this spring with charges of embezzlement and misuse of private funds.
Shirazi credits the merge-in-progress with the potential to provide NYU with funds and damage control. Willing to forgive NYU’s whopping $9.6 million debt, the MOE was also prepared to grant several more million dollars to the university. NYU has turned around to accuse Shirazi of misappropriating money from the Tisch site in New York to its satellite campus in Singapore.
Not long after being removed as an administrator, Shirazi lost her teaching job in Manhattan. According to Shirazi, NYU originally pushed her to settle with hush money. Shirazi refused, deciding instead to go public with her story, even if — as she’s acknowledged — her pursuit for justice costs her her reputation. Dozens of faculty members have protested the firing, but the petition has contributed little to the investigation.
Shirazi is a self-described “American Dream” child: A new asylee in New York who hailed from Iran, she gained a job as a teller at NYU and within twenty years became a faculty member at Tisch. (Along the way, she earned two Master’s degrees and one PhD – all at NYU.)
NYU spokesman John Beckman dismissed the lawsuit as meritless.
“The University expects to prevail in any court case,” he told NYU Local.