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Will NYU’s Sexton Plan Screw Students and Bring School Down?
By Joan Brunwasser (about the author)
My guest today is Mark Crispin Miller, author and professor of media studies at New York University. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Mark. Usually, you and I discuss politics and election-related issues. But today, you’re wearing your professor’s hat. What’s all the hubbub about on the NYU campus?
The quick answer is that NYU wants to cram four giant buildings onto two large residential blocks just south of its Greenwich Village campus–a move that would subject the neighborhood to at least 20 years of demolition and construction; wipe out some two acres of green space in an area that already has the second-lowest amount of such oasis in Manhattan; entail the outright seizure of publicly owned land; abrogate agreements whereby NYU was allowed to build on that land in the first place; and–not least–threaten both the solvency and academic standing of the university itself.
That’s the quick answer. The more accurate answer is that NYU does not support this needless and destructive plan–if NYU includes its faculty, who overwhelmingly oppose it. To date, 37 departments and divisions have passed resolutions calling on NYU’s president, John Sexton, to drop the plan and go back to the drawing board. They include all but five of the departments in the College of Arts & Sciences, departments in the Tisch School of the Arts and the Steinhardt School of Education, and the entire professoriates at the Gallatin School, the Silver School of Social Work–and the Stern Business School, whose faculty voted 52-3 against the plan. That lopsided vote is typical, as nearly all the votes have been unanimous or nearly so; and more votes will be coming in.