Exclusive: NYU Emails Faculty Amid Fallout Over Jack Lew’s Shady Bonus

NYU has taken significant heat lately over the news of large exit bonuses and other financial perks doled out to Jack Lew, NYU’s former VP of Operations, and a select group of other “star” NYU employees. In an email sent Friday and acquired by NYU Local, university administration attempted to address the controversy with the population for whom it hits closest to home: NYU’s faculty members.

When Lew worked at NYU from 2001 to 2006, he received a $840,000 salary and $1.4 million home loan, much of which was forgiven. When he left, Lew got a $685,000 severance bonus. A select group of other faculty have received similarly lavish rewards, and NYU maintains that these deal-sweeteners are what it takes to attract and retain top staff. But for the vast majority of professors who make a fraction of that money, those figures are unsettling. (Read the full text of the email below.) Read more…

G. Gabrielle Starr Announced As New CAS Dean

Last night John Sexton announced the appointment G. Gabrielle Starr as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. If that second name sounds familiar, it’s because Starr has been CAS’s Acting Dean since Fall 2011, when her predecessor made the move to NYU Shanghai.

Prior to that, Starr chaired the English Department, taught literature at NYU and Harvard, and racked up an impressive RateMyProfessor score.

But, according to an email sent to CAS and LSP students:

“Impressive as her qualifications are, what struck us—and the Search Committee—more was the job she has done over the last year-and-a-half as Acting Dean. From the start, she was an activist, looking for ways to improve education and the student experience in the College.”

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[UPDATE] NYU Faculty Send Email To Top Administrators, Demand A Stop To “Deception” On Coles Gym Demolition

Twenty-three NYU faculty members, among them such prominent professors as Zadie Smith,  signed an email sent to President John Sexton and other top administrators yesterday to demand that the university be more up front with its plan to demolish Coles Gym as soon as next year.

Part of NYU’s ‘2031 plan,’ Coles is slated to be torn down as early as 2013 to make way for the new “zipper building,” named for the varying heights of its several proposed towers. The zipper building will have a new sports facility (as well as a university-run hotel and student housing), but it would not be completed until 2018, if all goes well. In the mean time, NYU included plans for a temporary gym facility to be built nearby, but little has been said about what that facility would provide.

According to the faculty behind this email [see full text below], the temporary gym would not fill in for Coles at all. It would have no exercise equipment, treadmills, weight room, squash courts or pool, and it would be used “exclusively by certain NCAA teams.” As the email points out, that means Palladium will be the only accessible gym for at least six years.  Read more…

Ex-Governor Paterson To Join NYU Faculty

Ex-Governor David Paterson might have a new job at a Washington Square Park near you, reported the NY Daily News yesterday. Paterson, who left his position as Governor on the 31st of December, is in talks with NYU about a teaching job, though neither NYU nor Paterson has disclosed the details of the arrangement. For now, we don’t know what Paterson will be teaching, but, according to NYU spokesman John Beckman, Paterson will be a guest lecturer for the remainder of the semester and will participate in school-wide events until he develops courses to teach in the 2011-2012 school year.

Paterson, who was sworn into office amidst ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal in 2008, withdrew his 2010 gubernatorial candidacy after a scandal concerning the solicitation of free tickets from the Yankees for the World Series. In a radio interview Thursday with WOR’s John Gambling, Paterson said, “things are working out well” since his days in office.

Paterson seems to be following suit with his new job at NYU – Spitzer assumed a teaching position also at the City College of New York after his stint as governor.

Stern Undergraduate Dean Sally Blount To Leave NYU for Northwestern

According to an e-mail sent out to the Stern community, the undergraduate Dean of the Stern School of Business, Sally Blount, will leave NYU in July to become the Dean at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago. Blount’s accomplishments include launching the Stern World Studies Track, as well as the Cohorts Program. She also reportedly scored the school’s first $15 million donation, so her departure will clearly leave a gaping hole in Stern’s academic and financial goals. Full press release after the jump. We wish Dean Blount good luck at Northwestern.
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