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NYU Board of Trustees Rejects Student and Faculty Representation

Portraits+of+NYU%27s+Board+of+Trustees+on+display+on+the+fourth+floor+of+the+Global+Center+for+Academic+and+Spiritual+Life.
Portraits of NYU's Board of Trustees on display on the fourth floor of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

Portraits of NYU's Board of Trustees on display on the fourth floor of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

Sayer Devlin

Sayer Devlin

Portraits of NYU's Board of Trustees on display on the fourth floor of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

By Jemima McEvoy and Sayer Devlin

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NYU’s Board of Trustees voted down three resolutions written by three different University Senate councils which would have placed students and faculty members on the Board of Trustees, according to a statement released by the university on Tuesday.

Instead, the board has promised a laundry list of other initiatives which it believes will be “a far more effective way to take account of the wide variety of campus concerns.” The board has outlined intentions to meet more with leaders in student government and publish minutes of its meetings, update its website and create an email account where NYU community members can submit concerns, among other efforts.

The Board of Trustees did not cede any institutional power to students, faculty or staff.

“We believe these new practices, will provide robust mechanisms for discussing and addressing campus issues,” the board’s statement read.

The statement, sent from President Andrew Hamilton and Board of Trustees Chairman William Berkley to CAS senior Husniye Cogur, the chair of the Executive Committee of the Student Senators Council, puts a sudden end to advocacy efforts from members of the NYU community who believe that student representation on the board would increase transparency and better reflect the demands of the student body.  

“I’m happy the board has come to acknowledge that more needs to be done to incorporate the voice of students and faculty in their decision making,” Cogur said. “Importantly, I thank the advocacy of students on this issue as it clearly has affected the board. Even though this is only a first step of sorts, I look forward to strengthening student agency within the university.

The decision marks the fourth time in two years that the Board of Trustees has vetoed a resolution passed by the University Senate, NYU’s primary legislative body. The Board of Trustees also vetoed a resolution passed in 2016 that called on NYU to divest from fossil fuels.

“Though our outlooks on the appointment of student and faculty trustees may not be in alignment, we think we are — as we noted earlier — generally in agreement about the importance of improving communications,” the letter reads.

 

This story will be updated as WSN learns more.

Email Jemima McEvoy and Sayer Devlin at [email protected]

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