BREAKING: NYU London And Library Faculties Call Administrative Actions Into Question

NYU London’s faculty approved a resolution calling into question overwhelming student debt, controversy surrounding NYU 2031, and generous loans given to administrators for secondary homes. Of London’s 77 faculty members, 29 professors responded to the online survey, with 28 approving the resolution and one abstaining. The resolution read:

While supporting moves towards more open and transparent forms of university governance, provision of additional financial support for students to maintain diversity in access to education, and progression towards being a global university, NYUL Faculty want to put on record that we are disturbed by revelations of substantial loans made to senior members of administration and faculty at below-market rates and in some cases forgiven, are embarrassed that NYU students are the most burdened with debt in the United States, and are concerned at the hostility generated by the 2031 development plan.

The library faculty also passed a statement this semester, voicing concern over recent financial decisions, faculty involvement with NYU 2031, and the university’s global expansion. Prior to this vote, the library armed constituents with information on the main issues to be used at a faculty forum, held on June 25, 2013. “Although the majority of organized faculty reaction has taken the form of ‘no confidence’ votes, we feel that the substantive issue is not the individuals involved, but the form of governance through which individuals make decisions,” read the beginning of the final statement. “Consequently, we believe that the only long-term solution is a change in the culture of governance at NYU – a change that incorporates the concepts of shared governance and collaborative policy-making.” Read more…

John Sexton’s Presidency Gets Another Look In This Week’s New Yorker

“The Imperial Presidency,” an article published in this week’s New Yorker, provides an intimate discussion of John Sexton’s presidency at NYU. As reported by Washington Square News, the author Rachel Aviv provides details of Sexton’s everyday life and personal history, portraying the president as a human rather than a symbol. Yet details of Sexton’s rising opposition are not forgotten. 

The article serves a reminder that both Sexton and his opposition love the university. Strife arises when opinions clash; yet, criticisms from both sides stem from a desire to see the university excel. Read more…

Let’s Review: No Confidence at NYU

Last year ended in a frenzy of no confidence votes but this semester is off to a quiet start. In fact, the most noticeable conversations regarding university president John Sexton’s future stem from the administration’s proactive actions. Before the semester even began, the Board of Trustees and John Sexton sent two separate emails, discussing governance, financial aid, and other developments within the university.

In the first email, sent mid-August, the Board of Trustees divulged the actions of their Special Committee, a new commission built to hear and voice the concerns of the NYU community. According to the email, the committee developed multiple plans for action after meeting with seventeen university stakeholders. While the email touched upon many subjects, including student and faculty participation within governance, two developments stood out. First, the university will no longer grant loans for secondary homes. Second, John Sexton will leave the university when his current agreements ends in 2016. Read more…

Sexton To Depart After 2016, NYU Backtracks On Vacation Home Loans [UPDATED]

In a university-wide email today, the Board of Trustees acknowledged for the first time that John Sexton would not continue serving as President after 2016. The Board will begin a search for a new president within the next three years, and is committed to including student and faculty representation in the process. Additionally, the Board issued a recommendation ending university loans on secondary residences in an effort to provide greater “equilibrium” among all participants.

“John Sexton’s agreement with the University to serve as President extends to 2016,” the email from the Board’s Special Committee states, “and he has made clear that he will not serve beyond that.”

The announcement comes after a tumultuous year for Sexton, characterized by backlash from a disconnected faculty and overburdened student body. By the end of the spring term, more than half of the total voting faculty had voted no-confidence in Sexton’s leadership—including the majority of the Tisch, CAS, Gallatin and Steinhardt faculty. Organizations like Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (FASP) have spearheaded protests against President Sexton’s expansionist administration, which it views as unresponsive to faculty involvement and ultimately detrimental to the academic environment. This culminated in a dismissed lawsuit last March, as well as a truncated hearing earlier last month. Read more…

NYU Is Also Giving Faculty Vacation Homes With Your Tuition Money

NYU Local has reported on NYU’s tendency to give bigshot professors and administrators loans on multimillion-dollar residences, and pay that far outstrips most of the faculty. Everyone knows about the $25 million tax-exempt real estate company tucked away in the returns. It’s also public knowledge that former NYU EVP and current Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew received a $1.5 million mortgage on top of a pretty hefty severance package, and that the university has $72 million in outstanding real estate loans to other faculty members.

But beach houses? Beach houses are a new one.

The New York Times reported yesterday that NYU distributed loans to at least five upper administrators for second homes in Connecticut and the Hamptons. This includes a series of loans totaling $1.6 million for John Sexton’s kick-ass Fire Island getaway, a $5.7 million loan to former law dean Richard Revesz including a 65-acre Connecticut property, and a $200,000 loan to EVP Martin Dorph on a home that he already owned. And both portions of Sexton’s and Dorph’s loan are being either partially or completely forgiven.

Read more…

BREAKING: Silver School of Social Work Shoots Down No Confidence Vote

Faculty of the Silver School of Social Work shot down a vote of no confidence against university president John Sexton yesterday. The motion of no confidence failed to pass after 12 faculty members voted in favor, 20 voted against, and 9 abstained.

Yesterday’s vote differs from other referendums regarding Sexton’s leadership, as all previous motions of confidence or no confidence passed. Faculties at the College of Arts and Sciences; Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Gallatin School of Individualized Study; and Tisch School of the Arts passed votes of no confidence earlier this year.

On May 10th, the faculty at Tisch Asia also voted no confidence, with 19 for, 1 against and 2 abstaining. The abroad campus, which once housed 158 students, will close down in 2015. The Union of Clerical, Administrative and Technical Staff at NYU also passed a motion of no confidence on May 10th, with 157 yeas, 5 nays and 1 abstention.

To date, only the NYU School of Law passed a vote of confidence in favor of John Sexton. Yesterday’s vote rejected a vote of no confidence, rather than passing a motion of confidence. Read more…

BREAKING: Tisch Faculty Vote No Confidence In NYU President John Sexton

After some deliberation, the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts voted no confidence in President John Sexton’s leadership this week. The results of the electronic poll were tallied Tuesday morning. Of the 169 professors who voted, 93, or 55%, voted in agreement of the following statement:

“I, as a member of the full-time faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts, have no confidence in the leadership of the Sexton Administration.”

An image of the results of the electronic poll are below.  Read more…

BREAKING: Steinhardt Professors Vote No Confidence in President Sexton

Faculty of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development voted no confidence in university president John Sexton’s leadership yesterday. The measure passed with 117 yeas, 45 neys and 22 abstentions.

“I am concerned that the current crisis at the University will interrupt Steinhardt’s positive momentum of consistent enhancement of academic stature,” said Steinhardt Dean Mary Brabeck in a letter to faculty. The full letter can be read below.

Gallatin professors also voted no confidence in Sexton last week. Earlier this semester, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a well publicized no confidence vote. In contrast, faculty at NYU School of Law voted in favor of their former dean.

Read more…

BREAKING: Gallatin Professors Vote No Confidence In NYU President John Sexton

The faculty of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study voted no confidence in John Sexton’s leadership today. The measure passed with 23 votes for, 21 against, and 6 abstentions.

“A no-confidence vote is a serious matter and we do not take this step lightly,” read the faculty statement released alongside the vote. Faculty members against Sexton’s leadership felt recent administrative actions strayed away from the motto, “a private university in the public service.” The full faculty statement can be read below.

This week the Silver School of Social Work agreed to schedule a no confidence vote. Likewise, the Tisch School of the Arts plan to vote in the coming weeks on whether or not to hold a vote of no confidence. Read more…

Tisch Deciding Whether Or Not to Hold No Confidence Vote

On Tuesday, the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts postponed a preliminary vote on whether to schedule a no confidence vote against university president John Sexton until this weekend or the next.  That same day the faculty at the Silver School of Social Work passed a similar measure, with 16 yeas, 12 nays and 9 abstentions.

The decision to postpone the vote followed a two-hour Q&A session with Sexton. During the session, Sexton tried to clarify his role as both a member of the faculty and president of the university.

Read more…