Professors Weigh in on NYU's Expansion Plan

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

As the City Council prepares to vote on NYU's controversial expansion plan, 34 of the University's academic departments and divisions have passed resolutions against the plan, including the Stern School of Business and the Economics Department. Three faculty members: Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, and Ann Pellegrini, Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies, explain their concerns, and look at how corporate influence is affecting higher education in general.


Jeff Goodwin, Ann Pellegrini and Andrew Ross

Comments [24]

Coles Closing from Coles Patron

I noticed that Coles employees keep it silent that Coles will be closed and none of the patrons will have a gym for many, many years. It's like NYU wants to keep everything quiet. I thought NYU said that all its students were for the plan???? Why not tell them the truth?

Jun. 29 2012 08:25 AM
Stop NYU #2 from New York

I agree partially that it would have been nice to hear a supporter of the NYU Plan. However, NYU has been at the forefront of its media campaign for 5-years telling the media, administration and alumni that almost everyone is on board with this plan. You never heard opposing voices in those discussions.

NYU has lied about facts that it is taking 2.5 acres of public land, hidden how it plans to finance the project, never answered why it gets to build before the end of its 40-year moratorium (2021), put out misleading renderings that show large amounts of green space (that cannot be possible), spent the past 10+ years having the area fenced up (probably in order to make it look more closed off in order to get these plans approved), and released surveys that 70% of New Yorkers support this plan (when the survey asked if you support the creation of green space and development of a public school).

Jun. 28 2012 10:47 AM
Stop NYU from New York

NYU operates like a corporation but pays no real estate taxes, income taxes and uses federal subsidized loans and even grants to fund its well being. There are no cost controls, so it, like many universities these days, just keeps growing and growing. As long as these income streams remain and parents will keep forking the bill no matter the cost of tuition (it's already $40K+ tuition at NYU before living costs), NYU will keep on growing.

The difference from NYU from other top notch universities (outside of California) is that NYU does not have a large endowment. NYU's administration must be banking on that students will keep paying these high tuition rates (and probably much higher with this plan). If there is a push back, NYU has nowhere to fall but to sacrifice education by cut backs. NYU refuses to discuss this fact of this plan.

As far the people putting down professors subsidized apts, this is basically part of their salary. If NYU did not subsidize apartments, then NYU would have to pay these professors higher salaries. You want professors who are well regarded in their profession, you have to pay them either in monetary dollars or perks and benefits. Now, NYU will have top notch professors living in a 20-year construction zone. NYU has never released any study on whether these professors will stay and whether it can attract quality, well respected professors in the future (given that NYU's campus will look like Midtown/Downtown and it will also be construction zone).

With all of this, you can see how some people are upset with NYU. Wouldn't you be?

Jun. 28 2012 10:43 AM
Rhoma from Greenwich Village

Is NYU too big to fail? NYU's plan is not about space; it is about aggrandizement. It is also a land grab of public land, in that NYU seeks to destroy public land used for community gardens and playgrounds. It will also subject residents to increased density, noise, and other environmental hazards as well as increased density and stress on the prevailing infrastructure of the community.
Who is behind this plan? This is not a town-and-gown issue: it is the community and faculty (the Community Board voted unanimously against the plan) versus the administration and the trustee-real-estate-developer complex. And the media has not covered this very important story.
John Sexton, the president of NYU, is the emperor with no clothes on, aided and abetted by the permanent courtiers of the real-estate complex class. It is imperative for the sake of our community and the character and life of Greenwich Village -- and probably NYU itself, as these professors attest -- that the NYU 2031 plan be defeated.

Jun. 27 2012 12:38 PM


Jun. 27 2012 12:38 PM
ann from NYC

what are administrators' salaries?

Jun. 27 2012 12:37 PM
Er-nay from UWS


Jun. 27 2012 12:36 PM
Jon from Silver Towers!

It's interesting how the academics can have such a loose grasp on the motivations here.
I assume you're being coy but... ?

If you have numbers that show 100% of the tuition will go to debt service for this plan, don't you think something else is at play? I mean there is a business school here, right? ;-) Why would a university only add 13% (i think you said on air) of classroom space after 10 years of construction -- 87% of /some other kind/ of space? Why would a company renege on a deal to keep open spaces?

Real-estate is at 50 year low. The most development and landlord-friendly mayor is on the way out. It's time to double down on real estate if you're a for-profit land developer. That's all NYU is

BTW -- I live in the Silver Towers as a sub-leaser!
These folks have rent stabilized ENORMOUS flats practically /given/ to them by NYU. I sublet for about 5x what the professor whom I rent from pays and I'm getting a real deal.

I do agree that this development will destroy the village. No doubt.

Jun. 27 2012 12:34 PM


Jun. 27 2012 12:34 PM
Frank T from WV

How can this be a useful show without some proponents of the plan? If no proponents were willing to join the show then at least their position should have been researched and provided on the show. The interviewers questions seem to pander to the opponents.

I live in the neighborhood and never use the open space they are referring to. That section of campus has ugly, outdated high-rises and could use a refresh. The "charm" of the Village was long lost in that block. High rises are going up all over NYC and will forever.

Jun. 27 2012 12:34 PM

It's not just bankers.



Jun. 27 2012 12:33 PM

why should professors get free housing when student can’t even pay on campus housing

Jun. 27 2012 12:32 PM

Lee Bollinger at Columbia University makes $2M. Lee also sits on the board of the NY Fed residing over banking policy - the same banks that hold the $1 TRILLION in student loan debt.

Amy Gutmann at Penn makes $1.3M.

At $50k/yr - $1.3M = 26 YEARS of someone's education.


This is nauseating.

Jun. 27 2012 12:31 PM
Sonya Landau

NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan is actively working to fight NYU 2031.

Thursday, June 28th @ 5pm: Please join us in the Sasaki Garden for a MEMORIAL SERVICE, lead by Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church. It will be R.I.P. for the Garden and all our green spaces if the NYU plan goes forward. Come with your own stories and pictures, and bring your friends & family; kids very welcome. This place where trees of all kinds bloom, birds of many species sing, and children laugh and play, will soon be razed by NYU's bulldozers, and the ground sowed with rat poison, to make way for a gigantic office park...unless we stop it!

Friday, June 29th: The City Council holds its ONLY public hearing on the expansion plan.

Join the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation @ an 8:30 am press conference on the steps of City Hall, before the hearing begins. (If you go, try to be there @ 8:15am). Bring your energy, your voices, your signs. The hearing is inside City Hall and starts at 9:30 am. We hope to have a packed hearing. If you do go, be aware that hearing can last well into the night and that photo i.d. is required. Be prepared to stay for a quite a while. Written testimony is also accepted. Let's show them that we are united and will fight until we win.

TAKE ACTION! Want to volunteer in some way or want to get the word out? Have some news? Need more information? Email us.

Jun. 27 2012 12:29 PM

I'd be curious to know how many hours per week these professors spend teaching and for how many weeks a year they actually teach.

Jun. 27 2012 12:28 PM
gene from NYC

Why does NYU want more dorms than classrooms?

Because the primary attraction of NYU for many, many students is to live/go to school in fabled GREENWICH VILLAGE (even as their influx and NYU's anschluss destroy the very nature of the Village).

NOT academic excellence.

And Sexton, et. al. well know it.

Jun. 27 2012 12:23 PM
Kevin from Brooklyn

I'm a tenured professor at NYU and I'm not opposed to this plan. Every time this topic is addressed on this station there is never anyone who speaks to the other side of the issue. It makes for very tedious listening.

Jun. 27 2012 12:23 PM

The irony here is that NYU has already shown that it can be a world-class university without the largest endowment or the snazziest buildings.

NYU's law and business schools are arguably (emphasis on arguably) better than Columbia's The film program is certainly much better.

NYU's philosophy department is widely recognized as superior today to either Harvard's or Princeton's. Indeed, some faculty were drawn away from Princeton and Harvard.

The guests point out, however, that a great deal of this depends on student debt. If Harvard or Yale or Princeton so chose, they could actually reduce tuition. (They don't because the higher education market allows them not to.)

The NYU plan reflects the Bloomberg approach to New York generally — BUILD AND THEY WILL COME.

If NYU gets large enough, it gets too big to fail.

Jun. 27 2012 12:22 PM
Robert Plautz from New York City

I'm going to assume that your guest will comment on the wisdom of the plan in light of what appears to be a major movement and effort by very prestigious and elite universities to offer on-line courses. If this is the waive of the future, will NYU Expansion Plan be a white elephant?

Robert Plautz
New York City

Jun. 27 2012 12:19 PM
Nick from UWS

I can't believe these people, supposed professors, are sitting here feeling mystified about what this plan is about. Big education have become among the most vicious and venal real estate operators in this city.

Jun. 27 2012 12:19 PM

Academia is now subject to the same economic incentives that business and government are.

Managers, whether business or government or academic, acquire more prestige, authority, and power by acquiring larger budgets. Historically, the easiest way to do this was a land-grab, which in many ways is what NYU is trying to do.

Jun. 27 2012 12:18 PM
Opal from NYC

I wonder why I didn't hear this disucussion regarding the expansion of Columbia U.? Do you think maybe it's because Columbia's expansion is taking place in Harlem and has a racial component? It will be taking housing from so many people, middle class as well as the working class.

Jun. 27 2012 12:18 PM
Nick from UWS

What do you mean, "I have no idea what this about?" This is about MONEY. This is about REAL ESTATE. This is about LAND GRAB. Wake up and grow up professors.

Jun. 27 2012 12:16 PM
John A.

Can NYU "Have It All?" LOL (see morning segment)

Jun. 27 2012 12:16 PM

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