New York University
"New Yorkers are going to be asking for more police by the start of the next mayoral campaign," said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University and an informal Bloomberg adviser. "By early 2013, running against the police department is not going to be acceptable."
A poll of New York University faculty, the results of which were released yesterday, has found that a majority of them oppose the school's ambitious expansion plans. But there are reasons for the administration to hope they may yet move faculty to their way of thinking.(3)
N.Y.U. president hugs Scott Stringer for his OK on an expansion plan, but faculty, and some neighbors, are unmoved
“I also expect that at some point virtually all of my colleagues”—the university president, John Sexton, a professor of both law and religion, himself continues to teach—“have that moment where, as academics and people who think about the advancement of thought, and think in terms of generations, that they’ll recall that spot in themselves where it’s a worthy thing to plant a tree under which someone else will sit.”(3)
Late last month, the university's Department of Politics voted by a wide margin to oppose N.Y.U.'s ambitious expansion plan in a resolution. That such a large and institutionally important department should take this measure raised eyebrows, but it was not a unique occurrence. The departments of Comparative Literature, Performance Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology and Sociology have also voted to oppose it. Other N.Y.U. departments are said to be considering passing similar resolutions—or are considering the consideration of such resolutions, including English, History and Economics.(1)
N.Y.U.'s Alicia Hurley takes on intransigent neighbors, explains how they will sell faculty on the big 2031 expansion plan
"The community always said, 'we want a plan, we want a plan,'" Hurley said. "This is the only plan we can present."
"We've spent the last 20, 30 years building our facilities around the community," said Hurley. "Do I think it's right to just continue growing in the community and not try to absorb some of this on our own property? No, I don't. I think it's time to really consider more carefully how we should be expanding. We're trying to isolate it."(7)
"For N.Y.U. to survive, it seems to me that they do have to get the space for future education," Hack said. "You could argue that N.Y.U. is the most important institution in New York City," Gary Hack, professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design, told the crowd.
The audience actually laughed. But Hack persisted: "There needs to be a way for them to accomplish their objectives and the neighborhood to be okay with the way they accomplish their objectives."
At N.Y.U., faculty form a group to protest big 2031 expansion, and the Sexton administration stays mum about it
"Here's a project where just to service the debt would cost as much as the entire tuition revenue of the school," a professor in N.Y.U.'s Stern School of Business, who has joined the faculty group, told Capital. "And that seems completely absurd."
And at the other end of that debt repayment, some faculty see a bleak future.
"What we're looking at," professor Mark Crispin Miller said, "is turning the institution into a school for rich dummies."
“There’s some small number of people that you can’t reach,” he said. “And some of them you can’t reach because they just are at a place where they’ve gotta be what they are and they’re not gonna be dissuaded. And even if you do what they say, they’re not going to acknowledge it.”
The day after a Greenwich Village Community Board voted overwhelmingly against a planned N.Y.U. expansion, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said he had a lot of work to do.
“We’ve been pretty consistent in how we look at major development project, whether it was Columbia expansion, Fordham University and obviously now the N.Y.U. expansion proposal, and I need a couple weeks to think about a lot of the issues that were raised,” said Stringer, standing on Mott Street after a press conference on counterfeit-goods vendors in Chinatown.
A rally against the N.Y.U. expansion plan, but this time it's students and faculty holding the signs
"This is a moment of historical importance," said N.Y.U. professor of media, culture, and communications Mark Crispin Miller at yesterday's rally. He described a 50-year history of neighborhood protests against N.Y.U. expansion plans.
"Never before has the faculty stood with the community," he said. "We're standing with the community now."
Miller is helping to lead a new group that calls itself the NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, or NYUFASP, which was one group involved in organizing the rally. (The "Sexton Plan" is a nickname for NYU 2031, which comes from the name of its foremost proponent, university president John Sexton.)(2)
Brave new words: Writers and editors of e-publication 'The Atavist' discuss the future of long-form writing at N.Y.U.
Though The Atavist packages its long-form journalism with an array of multimedia bells and whistles, three writers for the literary website told an audience last night at NYU that words—no matter how many—were still king. Using an iPad, the panelists projected Matt Power’s 15,000-word article on a tree kangaroo seeker in a remote Pacific Island. “There’s probably less than ten major magazine stories a year that come out of that length,” Evan Ratliff said.
In the public-hearing phase for its huge new expansion, N.Y.U. girds for more tarring-and-feathering
Late in the afternoon yesterday, the plaza at near New York University’s Silver Towers was quiet. Bundled-up children played near a community garden and dog-walkers cut through the block. A small toy tractor sat alone on a bench.
Right across the street, hundreds of neighbors packed a raucous community board meeting, mostly to rally against city approval of NYU2031, a 19-year plan to build four new academic buildings in the area.(2)
In the spring of 2009, Columbia University opened two foreign outposts. There wasn't much fanfare at the time—the ribbon-cutting ceremonies garnered less coverage than, say, each of the university’s expansions into Manhattanville.
Last year, just as quietly, Columbia opened two more centers, in Mumbai and Paris. And later this year, Columbia will open a center in Istanbul, with a center in Santiago hot on its heels.
By 2012, according to Kenneth Prewitt, Columbia’s recently minted vice president for global centers, the university intends to have centers operational in Rio de Janeiro and Nairobi. This, all of this, is only Phase One.
East Village activists and bloggers will be especially interested to read an account published this morning on The Local: East Village by the site's community editor, Kim Davis.
Titled "What's Next for NYU in the East Village," it's not the first, but it's certainly the most comprehensive report the site has published on the dispute between neighborhood activists and New York University on the school's expansion plans, laid out in a proposal generally labeled the "2031 plan."(1)
If New York University had compromised with its neighbors back in 1965, Alicia Hurley’s office would have a less impressive view. Hurley, the university’s vice president for government affairs and community engagement, works from the top floor of Bobst Library, the massive red building on the south side of Washington Square Park, and her wide window looks out over the treetops and onto the Village, spread out below(1)