Sexton, Lipton stray from NYU vision

In light of the decisive votes of no confidence from faculty against NYU President John Sexton, the vacation homes loan scandal and the NYU administration’s failure to offer faculty and students a meaningful role in governance, it is clear that Sexton and NYU Board of Trustees chair Martin Lipton have failed in their duties as university leaders and should resign immediately.

Sexton has made significant achievements. During his tenure, NYU has grown exponentially in faculty size, student interest, capital investments and fundraising profits. He has overseen the creation of important new academic programs in New York City and abroad, as well as the award-winning student services like the 24/7 Wellness Exchange. Sexton has built a compelling legacy for his presidency, but his proud vision for NYU has fallen out of alignment with those he is supposed to serve — the faculty and students.

In August 2013, Lipton sent out a university-wide memorandum in which he promised better mechanisms to include faculty and student voices in governance. If we compare these changes to the demands made by the faculty, it is evident that the administration has been hypocritical in their position on shared governance and has yet to address it properly.

The administration claims to support the principles of shared governance, but their actions thus far have demonstrated the opposite. According to documents from the Faculty Senators Council acquired by WSN, the FSC passed shared governance principles in May of 2011, pushing for transparency and stronger faculty engagement in decision-making. While intermittent meetings between select faculty and administrators took place after the resolutions were passed, the FSC did not receive an official response from the administration for 14 months.

On June 29, 2012, the administration responded by demanding that the FSC remove the resolutions from their official website because, in their view, the resolutions went beyond what faculty have the authority to do.

An FSC member, speaking to WSN on the condition of anonymity, said “If the administration cannot control FSC then they oppose it in the boldest of ways by declaring that shared governance is not something that faculty can have.”

University spokesman John Beckman rejected the claim that the administration is against shared governance, saying that by December of 2012 the “principles of shared governance were agreed to by both the administration and the FSC, and approved by the Board of Trustees.” Although the board and the FSC may have come to an agreement about how to frame these principles, there has been no practical redress of faculties grievances about governance — which is why the Faculty of Arts and Science passed a no confidence in March of 2013, followed by votes by four of the other major undergraduate schools.

Stakeholders in higher education deserve to have a voice at the table. Faculty and students are the heart and soul of any university and, as such, should play a significant role in shaping school policy. While the student body changes every year, the faculty are permanent members of the NYU community. In National Labor Relations Board v. Yeshiva University, the Supreme Court affirmed that faculty members at private institutions play an important managerial role. The court said, “The faculty’s professional interests … cannot be separated from those of the institution.” The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, of which NYU is a member, refers to shared governance as a three-legged stool between faculty, board of trustees and the administration. In recent years, the Sexton administration has excluded the faculty from this three-part partnership, and as a result, much of the faculty has been fighting back — and rightfully so.

After a significant amount of controversy over their plans, the administration has deliberately misled the university community on whether progress has been made. A prominent example is the creation of ad hoc committees like the Sexton Space Committee to carry out NYU 2031. The appointment of an FSC member to lead this committee gives the impression that the university listened to faculty input. But the picture painted is far from reality — the group is essentially designed to execute NYU 2031 even though most of the faculty is against it. Most of the 39 resolutions from various departments at NYU were passed unanimously and have expressed opposition to NYU 2031.

Developments about exorbitant bonuses to administrators and the uncovering of NYU’s loans policy for vacation homes have shocked the university community. A memo Lipton sent at the beginning of the school year defended the loan policy and suggested ways for improvement. But it did not acknowledge the loans as wrong or unethical and failed to answer tough questions, such as whether the money from the loans would be recovered. Not only should the loan issue be remedied, but the leadership that produced these loans should step down.

The Board thinks that real problem between faculty and the administration is communication. Their solution is to establish “mechanisms through which the board and the constituencies at NYU can communicate with each other.” But the idea that the no-confidence votes happened simply because of poor communication is deceptive. The board has been doing a lot of promising and boasting but has offered no tenable solutions. They continue to express firm conviction in Sexton’s leadership despite the sweeping no confidence votes.

Sexton’s term expires in 2016 and there has never been an expectation that he would exceed it. However, by serving the remainder of his term, Sexton is showing a blatant disregard for the concerns that have been raised by faculty and students.

Together, Sexton and Lipton have been an overly ambitious team that has transformed the university into a Wall Street investment bank rather than a nonprofit institution with an educational mission. So it is not surprising that Lipton would support the lavish bonuses and unfair loan practices at NYU. In fact, Lipton has a history of defending Wall Street characters who had multimillion dollar bonuses, which stockholders called excessive and outrageous at the time.

The no-confidence votes should not remain purely symbolic — they should be a call to action. The only hope for meaningful implementation of shared governance rests in new leadership. If Sexton and Lipton wish to leave with dignity, they should respect the university’s overwhelming votes of no confidence and step down before the expiration of their terms. There is still a waning opportunity for a graceful transition.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 17 print edition. Raquel Woodruff is opinion editor. Email her at rwoodruff@nyunews.com. Edward Radzivilovskiy is a deputy opinion editor.  Email him at eradzivilovskiy@nyunews.com.

*This article was originally published under the title “Lipton, Sexton should resign in 2013″ but was altered due to a decision by WSN management.

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24 Responses to “Sexton, Lipton stray from NYU vision”

  1. John Beckman on September 17th, 2013 10:54 am

    This is a disappointingly one-sided op-ed. It trivializes the agreement on principles of shared governance, which the Faculty Senators Council proposed, and on which all the parties — the FSC, the Administration, and the Trustees — successfully came to terms. It dismisses the very real and thoughtful work of faculty being done on committees examining space priorities,our global efforts, and technology. It pays little heed to the weeks of meetings that the Trustees spent directly with groups of faculty, students, and administrators, and the new proposals for governance, voice, and communications that emerged out of those. And it entirely ignores 1) votes of support for John Sexton and schools that voted down resolutions of no confidence, 2) the fact that added together, the total number of faculty voting in favor of no confidence measures barely exceeds those who did not, and 3) the fact the total number of those who voted was well less than ¼ of NYU’s full-time faculty.

    All-in-all, this op-ed lacks appropriate thoughtfulness and balance, and pays scant attention to the real and constructive steps being taken to improve governance at NYU.

    –John Beckman

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  2. Allison Seneca on September 17th, 2013 11:13 am

    So this is going to piss some people off but I’m sick of reading the same thing over and over. I get it. A few faculty are pissed off. So what? Do they think they could do better than what’s happened at NYU over the past few years? (And, yes, I like this place. I’m even proud of it. Go ahead, start the jabs.) Do they even care about students? At one meeting one of these Faculty Against the Sexton Plan people actually said he doesn’t want to live near students “for obvious reasons.” Let’s be real: these few faculty members could care less about us students. They are selfish and pissed off about 2031 because they’ll
    have to deal with contraction noise … in their lovely subsidized apartments in
    the Village. Boohoo.

    And what’s their end game? They’ve asked to be heard. They’ve been heard. And, now they’re beating a dead horse. They want a leadership change – for what? Do they think ANY University President or leadership is going to take them seriously at this point? Or any student? Hell, I sit in class and wonder if the person standing at the front of the room even gives a shit about me. About MY education. The one I’m paying for. The tuition that pays THEIR salary.

    And when they bring student debt into the picture like it’s their concern, let’s be real. I, like most of my friends, CHOSE to take out loans to pay for NYU. I wanted to be here and knew the cost. I made that decision. JSex didn’t force me to come to NYU. So stop using it to campaign for your selfish reasons, FASP.

    Nothing good will come of spewing the same crap. It’s dead. Past. Over.

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  3. Adam H. Becker on September 17th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Allison Seneca, are you really a student at NYU? You do not show up anywhere in my searches (nor do you show up anywhere at all online). Funny. You seem to be voicing common administration tropes, caricaturing faculty and not actually engaging with the various arguments made in the article nor made repeatedly by faculty in various fora. What exactly are you “proud” of if you hate the faculty so much and disregard the opinion of your peers such that you can’t respond to what is written in this piece? I won’t respond to the other comment (the one also posted about the same time as the previous one) because I understand that the author of it, as spokesman for the university, is hired to write such things and I would rather not debate with him if I too am not being paid.

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  4. Michael Rectenwald on September 17th, 2013 2:53 pm

    Forming committees and improving “communications” do not constitute faculty governance. They are PR campaigns that attempt to assuage faculty without really *addressing* their issues, and the issues that faculty and students have with the way NYU is being run. The “Space Committee,” for example, was formed AFTER 2031 was a fait accompli. Merely forming committees comprised of administration and administration-selected faculty does not constitute faculty governance. NYU is in violation of the Yeshiva ruling that makes clear that faculty are to be managers of the university, not mere spectators and back-fill agents to implement administrators’ desiderata.

    No one on the Board or the administration is even addressing the question of the legality, let alone the morality, of the outlandish loan and loan forgiveness packages for vacation homes, the exorbitant payouts to people like Lew when he resigned voluntarily, the Citibank/NYU scandal, which seriously implicates Lipton in a conflict of interest, or any of the scandals that are plaguing the university. The Board of Directors and the top administrators are treating NYU like a cash cow that they can milk at will, while caring not in the least for how their egregiously misplaced priorities affect students and faculty, or the integrity and health of the institution at large.

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  5. Allison Seneca on September 17th, 2013 3:03 pm

    Yes, Adam, I am a student at NYU. And, no, Santa Claus is not real.

    I intentionally did not use my last name to submit comments to this article, because I didn’t want to deal with you and your FASP cronies targeting me online on my personal accounts, or better yet, using your power and privilege against me in the classroom, just because I don’t hold your views. You’re an associate professor in CAS; and I’m a student. Isn’t it kind of messed up that I can’t even voice my own opinion without fear of retaliation in the classroom?

    Given that, FASP has in fact, had some pull on campus – you’ve crippled student voice. You’ve paired faculty against students who just want to be here and focus on getting their degree. You’ve paired faculty against administration. And, let’s face it. You’ve paired faculty against each other. For what? I’m still trying to figure that out.

    And, BTW, let’s be clear. I certainly don’t hate ALL faculty. I hate faculty like you; faculty who put themselves first instead of students.

    And, as far as “disregarding my peers,” this article may as well be co-authored by FASP; not the two students who claim to have written it. But then again, it’s an opinion article, so who needs balance.

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    Rebecca Karl Reply:

    Dear Allison: No matter what you think you know FASP to be or not to be, let me correct you on a couple of things:
    1. I am confident I can say that nobody in FASP “hates” students either general or specifically. If you hate some faculty because you think they punish you for not agreeing with them, that is of course your prerogative, even though that type of rage not only is debilitating but also almost surely misplaced. We faculty teach those who come to our classes and who take seriously the prospect of trying to get educated; that is what we do as our profession. We do this not only because we are paid to do so, but because it is what we chose to do back when we got PhDs and decided to make our lives in the academy.
    2. FASP has never ventriloquized through students any of its positions (which are various, in any case); FASP, like any social movement in resistance to a dominating establishment, issues its points of view and promotes its vision through writing, interviewing, speaking, and various forms of educating and activisms. Any institution that values freedom of speech must value or at least tolerate such a movement; at no time has anyone in the administration — however adversarial things have become — tried to shut FASP up as an organization on campus.
    3. By the same token, there have indeed been consequences for some of those faculty who have dared to speak our truth to the Administration. We sometimes mask our names for fear of retribution. This has consequences for our families and our own children, as well.
    4. Your entirely unfounded allegation that the students who wrote that opinion piece were puppets of some nefarious organization (FASP) is lamentable. The fact that there are divisions within the faculty, and between parts of the faculty and parts of the Administration at this University is also lamentable. The fact that you are here at NYU at such a volatile moment can either be lamentable or an opportunity for you to learn how movements in opposition work, and how powers that be attempt to hold on to their power. In other words, rather than dismiss the whole thing — plague on your house-style — you could take it as a real-world laboratory for some of the things you might be learning from texts and classrooms in your humanities classes.
    Why not make this a productive time, rather than one of false finger-pointing and unproductive rage? Just a suggestion.

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    Adam H. Becker Reply:

    “Allison,” I am not going to be as generous as Prof. Karl. I remain unconvinced that you are a student but would be fascinated to be proven wrong. I have taught at NYU for 12 years and remain friends with many of my former students. I also taught here as a graduate student (1994-7). I have never met a student who sounded precisely as you sound and so I am intrigued. I also do not buy your after-the-fact explanation for your subterfuge (Why not use “anonymous student”? Seneca? If I were more paranoid I might suggest you were John Beckman himself, who did in fact study Classics—it is not the first random name that most undergraduates would think of, but then again you are certainly uncommon). In any case your angry, even ad hominem approach ignores the actual issues of the editorial. You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about FASP, an informal group of faculty who are not mentioned in the editorial (one of numerous groups and organizations my name is signed on to, and one with many, many faculty members, as well as those private members who fear retaliation for membership). The editorial has one brief paragraph about 2031, which is I suppose why you bring up FASP, but really it is not about 2031 and FASP. The editorial criticized the president of the university and the chair of the board of trustees, but somehow out of that your response is to attack faculty. The divisiveness you accuse some faculty of is precisely what you are engaging in. You do not seem to be interested in actual argument.

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    John Beckman Reply:

    I can assure you, Professor Becker, that it is not I; when I go on-line, I sign my comments. I find it discouraging that you feel no compunction about making such a charge without any basis. If a student anonymously supported your views, I doubt you’d raise a question. — John Beckman

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    Adam H. Becker Reply:

    Mr. Beckman, I apologize: I should have used “would” instead of “might” to make it precisely clear that I was making a contrafactual conditional statement, not a charge (Remember in Latin: si imperfect subjective, imperfect subjective = “were” “would”). However, you have no compunction to suggest implicitly, by ignoring the conditionality of my statement, that I am paranoid, which I am not. In any case, I did not question “Allison’s” views because they differ from my own. I questioned them because s/he used subterfuge to sow divisiveness and discord, while not engaging with the actual points made in the piece. Arguments in good faith, whether anonymous or not, can at times be distinguished from the manipulations of a provocateur. Or do you think that NYU faculty actually persecute their students for their beliefs and that students truly need to hide their identities therefore? Assuming that “Allison” is really a student, which I do not, was “her” concern legitimate? Do you not agree that NYU faculty allow their students to think and say what they like without punishing them and that therefore such a concern, if not an invention, is at least unfounded?

    Adam H. Becker Reply:

    Hannah, Please remove your comment if you can. You allude to important issues, such as the buying of vacation homes for university administrators and the ethical and political problems of NYU’s campus in Abu Dhabi, but your comment is vitriolic and ad hominem, and could be taken as offensive, and thereby hurts your point. Furthermore, you engage in threats and this is inappropriate in any public forum, even if you are joking. All the issues you raise could get anyone irate, but simply being nasty does little but perhaps ultimately justify the editor of this page removing the comments section from this article (which then removes all of our voices). Why not remove this post and write one that engages with the issues?

    Allison Seneca Reply:

    Well, Adam, I certainly feel persecuted, enough so that I had to think long and hard as to whether to continue to engage in this bullshit. Not that you will ever admit that your statements make students uncomfortable, but case in point: I spoke up; you attacked — publicly. You can shroud it stating that I “used subterfuge,” but I was actually trying to avoid this…being attacked by faculty in my own school because I voiced my opinion. Because that’s all it was. I voiced my opinion. Much as you and your faculty friends — dare I use FASP, as Rebecca will feel the need to jump in — think what you’re doing is for the better, I wrote to challenge you to think about those who are indirectly being affected by your movement: the students. Because, ultimately, there’s no need for faculty if there are no students. So, just remember that we shouldn’t be an afterthought in your public cries for attention.

    Adam H. Becker Reply:

    “Allison,” I don’t understand why you feel persecuted. You are not my student and this is not class. I have no power here, whether you are a student or not. I don’t even know who you are (whereas you know who I am). Furthermore, with no evidence you suggest that I am such a poor and unethical pedagogue that I would “persecute” a student if I were in the position to do so (However, you already told me above that you “hate” me and so I am not going to expect much warmth from you this discussion at this point). Rather than “persecuting” you I simply suggested that I did not believe your claims, first of all the one that you were “Allison Seneca,” which you are not. In any case, you raise a very important issue, which I would like to see you expound upon with some argument and detail, as opposed to what seem to me to be the posturing you engage in above. How exactly do the various issues raised in the editorial relate to what you deem to be the harm done to students by faculty engaged in various political issues within the institution, particularly the actions of FASP? First, it seems you will have to demonstrate how faculty members organizing (along with some students, alumni, and community members) in opposition to the university expansion is harmful to students. You may have to engage with some of FASP’s arguments to do this (go to their website). Then please explain exactly what this has to do with the editorial, which is a discussion of several important issues and only briefly mentions 2031 and makes no mention of FASP. The editorial was a critique of the president and the chair of the board, but somehow your response was to attack the faculty. Please demonstrate your point and then demonstrate its relevance to the comments section for this opinion piece. We could then debate the pros and cons of the editorial, the points they make therein, or whatever substantive issues that arise pertaining to NYU.

    John Beckman Reply:

    Professor Becker, I’d certainly hope that no student would have grounds for the kind of concerns that Allison raises. It has been my observation, however, that many who have opposed the space plan have engaged in hectoring behavior or personal attacks towards those that expressed support for the plan, and that might well be grounds for feeling intimidated.

    Adam H. Becker Reply:

    Mr. Beckman, are you suggesting that NYU professors have harassed or engaged in personal attacks on students who have embraced the 2031 plan (such students I am certain are quantitatively few)? Or that students should worry about their professors who question or are openly opposed to the expansion plan because those professors might give them trouble? Does “Allison” have grounds for feeling intimidated (ignoring the fact that no one knows who “Allison” is or if she is even a student)? I too would “hope” that “her” fears are groundless, but I also assume that they are because I have yet to see any evidence that our faculty harass their students over issues pertaining to the internal politics of the university. Some people have certainly engaged in criticisms of individuals employed within the university, administrators for example who give themselves huge raises while faculty see no real increase in their wages and more and more students go into debt. People have at times named names to point out the disparities in the system or to suggest that certain actors are not engaged in honest dealing. However, if the people who make so much money and force their decisions upon the institution with little authentic consultation with the faculty feel uncomfortable when they are called out on it I would not call that “personal attack” (For example, http://bit.ly/1bur2Y0). In any case, what does this have to do with students feeling “persecuted”? Please provide evidence of “hectoring behavior or personal attacks” in this regard.

  6. Sameer on September 17th, 2013 3:16 pm

    Maybe if folks actually paid more attention to university governance instead of writing distortionary pieces like this, more comprehensive change would occur. The administration is not perfect, and there are many things students should take issue with. But to propose an absurdly shortsighted solution like this misunderstands everything you purport to know about university governance and cheapens your argument to the point that it lacks any sort of integrity. We get that you don’t like Sexton & Lipton, considering this is the 10th such piece about the exact same issues – but are you so out for blood that you would sacrifice the process of finding a new President by 2016? Instead of repeating controversial issues ad nauseum, maybe you should try being a part of the process that solves these issues.

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  7. Mark J on September 17th, 2013 5:45 pm

    Allison – glad you can afford NYU’s high tuition that is financed on the tax payers dime. NYU is operating as a for profit but non profit in name for the tax breaks. What ever happened to a quality affordable education?

    Why does a University have to grow in size to be competitive? Does that not sound like a business to you? Besides, online education is the thing of the future. Yes, it will take time for students and professor to adjust but in 20 years I have no doubt at least half of college courses will be conducted online. There will be no reason for NYU to build all these buildings to sit empty (just like they are on Friday’s currently).

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  8. Pen_Is_Mightier on September 17th, 2013 7:27 pm

    Well done, Raquel and Edward, for speaking truth to power and throwing much needed light on our current administration’s abuses of power and shocking absence of accountability. I write as a faculty member (under a pseudonym, for fear of retribution), and it saddens me greatly to say that I no longer recognize the NYU that I joined not so long ago. What was once an intellectually vibrant and economically diverse university in and of New York has been transformed, under Lipton-Sexton’s watch, into a sprawling global brand. The top-down corporate-style “leadership,” which Mr. Beckman is paid big bucks to justify, frankly is more appropriate to Haliburton or AIG — not a “private university in the public good,” as our increasingly-hollow motto reads. Bottom line: What we are now witnessing can be described as nothing less dismaying than the inversion — or perversion — of our university’s entire mission. Rather than our trustees, president and upper administration existing for the intellectual betterment of our students at an affordable price, it would seem that our STUDENTS exist to justify the unchecked growth, gift-giving, vacation homes and outrageous compensation of the university’s top administrative ranks. And then there is the insatiable desire to expand and expand and expand some more, to bursting point, both in the Village (i.e., NYU 2031, a real estate land grab if ever there was one, devoid of any genuine academic rationale) and abroad (i.e., the mismanaged mess that is the GNU). This cannot stand. Not when my students are dropping out for their families’ inability to shoulder their ever-rising tuition payments (a 5% spike in the last year alone); not when the total cost of attending our school for 4 years has climbed to an obscene $280,000, counting room and board; not when students are graduating with an average of $36,000 of loan debt. The stakes are very real — and so is the cost of doing nothing. The faculty have spoken; our students, too, are telling Lipton-Sexton that the game is up. This university’s bloated bureaucratic class has had enough time at the trough. The rest of the country is watching. Are our students, faculty and alumni indeed the lifeblood of our university — or is it the administrative top brass? Our reputation and institutional integrity rest on the answer.

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  9. Anastasia Moryakova on September 17th, 2013 7:43 pm

    Adam Becker hits the nail on the head.

    As much as Sexton’s plans for expansion may profit the University in some regard$$$, this school will not see a dime from many of their alumni for many, many, many, many years. What a shame.

    Fellow alumni who are interested in giving back to future students and specific departments, here is a comprehensive list of individual funds you can contribute to by school and by department. I feel a lot better about having these options than the 1831 Fund. I hope this helps you make a decision on how best to give back.
    https://www.nyu.edu/giving/give-now/

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  10. Quixote on September 17th, 2013 9:35 pm

    Until you change the culture of academic hubris, backbiting and fear that fosters this kind of situation, along with the rule that certain things “must not be said,” NYU will remain a trivial educational institution. That deplorable culture is present in many American universities, but nowhere have its effects been so visible and so tragically anti-humanistic as at NYU. Most recently, officials of this institution sought to silence a critic of an influential department chairman (who is an alleged plagiarist) by collaborating with New York City prosecutors to have that critic subjected to a witch hunt and inquisition strangely reminiscent of the McCarthy period and incarcerated in the notorious Rikers Island penitentiary. In their trial testimony, available at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    they explained that “nobody reads” NYU’s faculty code of conduct with its definition of plagiarism, and that they used the “reputation for honesty” of the alleged plagiarist, rather than the actual textual evidence, as a test for deciding whether to investigate serious accusations of plagiarism. To this date, the allegations themselves, as well as the negligence of the faculty officials in question, remain a topic that must not be spoken about at NYU. This affair stinks of unethical collusion and stands out as a perpetual sore in the face of the humanities in this country. The other ugly manifestations we’ve been seeing result from the same arrogant disdain for humanistic principles which many NYU faculty members have shown themselves capable of entertaining when it is in their interest to do so.

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  11. Matt Berkman on September 20th, 2013 1:35 am

    As an NYU alumnus twice over (CAS ’07, GSAS ’09), I’ve witnessed a gradual blackening of my alma mater’s reputation among the people I most respect–both former professors of mine and other alumni–at the same time as the school’s global profile has skyrocketed. Personally, I was somewhat disturbed by the ethical quandaries presented by the Abu Dhabi expansion, particularly what appeared to be President Sexton’s endorsement of the UAE government’s crackdown on freedom of expression and political dissent (http://www.thenation.com/article/161058/repression-united-arab-emirates). The subsequent home loan revelations were even more shocking. Judging by my own conversations with friends, NYU had always been perceived by its students as something of a corporate juggernaut. But these recent ethical compromises suggest a new level of overreach, even hubris, on the part of the administration that is a cause for embarrassment among alumni.

    At a gathering here in Philadelphia just a few days ago, I ran into a recent NYU graduate who told me that she was grateful for the quality education she received, but that she “hated” President Sexton–for all the reasons described in this editorial. I don’t bear similar personal animus against the man. In fact, I recall him as an affable figure with seemingly good intentions. But it’s clear that his administration has sown deep divisions and animosities, and appears unwilling to make substantive changes to its lucrative investment plans. Whether or not President Sexton heeds the advice of this column and steps down early–and I assume he will not–I hope the string of controversies will serve as a warning to the next President to cool the jets of NYU’s unsustainable hyperexpansion and attend to the concerns of its most important assets: its faculty and students.

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  12. Natalie Short on September 20th, 2013 3:16 pm

    “Together, Sexton and Lipton have been an overly ambitious team that has transformed the university into a Wall Street investment bank rather than a nonprofit institution with an educational mission.” Amen. As an alum of NYU (’08), it embarrasses me to see Sexton et al treat it as some fast food chain. NYU is an educational institution that would be nothing without its faculty. It is downright shameful that Sexton continues soldiering on with a plan (NYU 2031) that has been roundly rejected by both the school’s faculty AND local community.

    Pushing on with the status quo after multiple no-confidence motions can only mean one thing: the educators mean nothing to Sexton. In that case, why is he running a school? I’m sure corporate America would embrace his values.

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  13. Mariam Ehrari on September 22nd, 2013 12:55 pm

    The level of misinformation and rhetoric used in this article and the dialogue it spurred is unfortunate. Additionally, the fact that a fellow student who chose to express her opinion is being vilified and bullied by certain members of “FASP”, along with the idea that she felt the need to hide her identity to feel comfortable in class, raises a number of other serious concerns. This state that we’ve reached– this “he said, she said”, where no one trusts anyone, needs to end. It’s time we start working together to find a peaceful middle ground. There’s no good sense behind being up in arms like this.

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    midwifemomma Reply:

    Mariam and Allison, Vilified? Bullied? I see no evidence of that. From what I’ve read here you were simply asked your perspective and for proof for stance. Pretty mild in my opinion. The aggression seems to be one sided and not coming from anywhere but yourself.

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  14. Teems on September 26th, 2013 4:23 am

    After reading the entire thread of articles:

    Although I am just one person, I am knowingly posting as the voice of a various number of students from NYU. And as a courtesy to Mr. Magder, I warn you, this is just an OPINION.
    Definition: Opinion (o·pin·ion) noun: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

    1. Edward Radzivilovskiy and Raquel Woodruff’s initial article had some incredibly valid points. I am not incredibly versed in the dealings of the scandal, but I am an active member of the student body and am definitely well read. The article articulated Mr. Sexton’s successes as our school President as well as his faults. Both of which were supported through interviews, research, and sheer fact. If I had a method of protesting and voicing my opinion on a daily basis about the matter, there is no doubt that I would. But, since I prefer to stay out of the spotlight, I am extremely grateful that writers of WSN (such as Edward and Raquel) can stand up for the student body instead.

    2. It is incredibly disappointing that a respected faculty member decided to negatively single-out students who are voicing their OPINION and CONCERN, but also did not contribute any enlightening or beneficial information to the quarrel. Instead of proving his point, Mr. Magder seemed to put his guard up and defend his own pride, rather that help the student body further understand the issue.

    3. In response to Mr. Magder’s unprofessional “rebuttal” to the initial article, Edward very eloquently set matters straight here (http://edwardrad.com/2013/09/2…. I give endless kudos to the professionalism and grace in which he dealt with the issue and thank him for his contributions.

    4. As for Mr. Magder, instead of unnecessarily bashing students for their opinions — maybe try to actually listen to what the student body is saying, respond to their inquisitive emails, and get to know the issue from the bottom up. A coffee is a great place to start; I hear the Argo on campus is great.

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