In late November 2011, the Executive Committee of the FSC was informed that the Administration was planning to roll out a program termed “NYU Traveler” across the whole University. This program would require all faculty traveling with the expectation of reimbursement from NYU to register their travel plans on line either individually or automatically if they choose to use one of Traveler’s two travel services, American Express or Egencia. The reason for this mandatory registration, according to the administration, was to enhance the safety and security of NYU employees and students.
Pilot programs, first at Stern and then at FAS, met with considerable criticism focusing on concerns about privacy and the time consuming nature of the requirement. As a result, the University’s administration has announced a significant modification to the NYU Traveler: the program is now voluntary for all but faculty and other University employees who accompany undergraduates on NYU-affiliated student trips.
We are confident that the FSC played a role in bringing about the revisions to NYU Traveler; however, we also know that the wave of faculty dissent was an instrumental catalyst for this policy change. Since the announced change, FSC has worked with the administration to ensure that future announcements – and the website describing NYU Traveler – properly reflect the new conditions.
At any given time, the FSC faces a raft of issues and topics that deserve its attention. NYU is not a slow-moving institution. It is clear from this incident that the effectiveness of the FSC depends in large part on strong faculty support.
As always, we ask for your assistance in our effort to improve the operation of FSC and make it a vital instrument for the representation of faculty in University governance. Please continue to use the comment / advice function on the FSC website or simply email your school senator. We will treat all such correspondence as confidential.