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GNU Initiatives

The Global Network University Initiatives Committee analyzes academic issues regarding branch campuses and the implementation of the Global Network University initiative.

 

Committee Chair, 2013-2014Awam Amkpa
 

Q & A: NYU Abu Dhabi

Questions from FSC Executive Committee, Answers from the Office of Vice Chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi: Alfred Bloom

  • Q: Are curriculum matters decided by the portal campuses on their own or in
    collaboration with the respective departments at NYU?
  • A: The curriculum of each major at NYUAD is coordinated with the corresponding
    department in New York. One of our goals is to facilitate student mobility so we have
    tailored the majors to assure that Abu Dhabi students have met the prerequisites for
    courses in their majors when they study in New York. Upper-level electives in the NYUAD
    majors tend to reflect faculty interests and the global orientation of the NYUAD
    curriculum, however even those AD inflections are developed in consultation with NY
    colleagues. Faculty hiring committees combine NY and AD faculty, and the hiring
    decisions of these joint committees involve curricular choices.
  • Q: Can the partner institutions/host governments object to certain courses or material
    being taught (in history courses for example or certain texts)?
  • A: No. NYUAbu Dhabi is protected by academic freedom.
  • Q: On the other side, can they insist on certain material being part of the
    curriculum?
  • A: The Commission on Academic Accreditation, a division of the UAE Ministry of Higher
    Education, has set an Islamic Studies requirement for all universities in the UAE. We
    have accommodated that requirement by asking our students to take at least one course
    on:
    • The history, society, literature or culture of the Islamic world; or
    • Muslims in the global diaspora; or
    • A full year of Arabic language study before graduation

The course may also count toward other requirements, such as the core, a major, or a
concentration. Courses that fulfill this requirement are available across the curriculum.
We think it is appropriate for students at NYUAD to learn about their host society and
have not encountered any concerns with this requirement.

  • Q: Provost McLaughlin mentioned to us the provisions in faculty contracts that
    protect them against visa problems or other site-related issues (viz., that they are given
    two years of salary in that case). Have any faculty members or students in your
    experience had such problems? If so, what was done?
  • A: The UAE requires every employee at educational institutions to complete a security
    clearance process and obtain a visa, whether faculty or administrator, living abroad or in
    the UAE. NYUAD requires prospective employees to complete these procedures before
    we offer an employment contract. If a candidate encounters a legal hurdle, we work
    closely with our government partner to appeal the decision.


Q & A: NYU Shanghai

Questions from FSC Executive Committee, Answers from the Office of Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai: Jeffrey Lehman

  • Q: Are curriculum matters decided by the portal campuses on their own or in collaboration with the respective departments at NYU?
  • A: New York departments and several curriculum committees drawn from NY (and in the case of foundations of science from Abu Dhabi) collaborated on planning the original NYU Shanghai curriculum. We now decide curriculum matters through our own own curriculum committee and discipline-specific subcommittees that work in consultation with New York and Abu Dhabi.
  • Q: Can the partner institutions/host governments object to certain courses or material being taught (in history courses for example or certain texts)?
  • A: No.
  • Q: On the other side, can they insist on certain material being part of the curriculum (e.g., communist party ideology or related material)?
  • A: No. In Spring 2014 we will offer two courses in our core curriculum's "Social Science Perspectives on China" sequence: one politics and one economics. In other semesters we may well offer other courses that fulfill the requirement of a China-focused social science course that students must take at some point during their four-year undergraduate career.
  • Q: A colleague also mentioned that he had been told that some of the hires in NYU-SH had been given primary appointments in ECNU. Is this correct?
  • A: No.
  • Q: Provost McLaughlin mentioned to us the provisions in faculty contracts that protect them against visa problems or other site-related issues (viz., that they are given two years of salary in that case). Have any faculty members or students in your experience had such problems? If so, what was done?
  • A: No faculty members or students have had such problems to date.
  • Q: Where does tenure happen? (At NYU in general, or at one of the portal campuses in particular? In the case of NYU-SH, can it be at ECNU?) Who decides? Is it just the portal campus faculty or are NYU-NY faculty also involved? In the case of NYU-SH, is ECNU part of the decision apparatus?
  • A: ECNU plays no role in tenure at NYU SH. When NYU SH has a large enough tenured faculty to conduct reviews all on its own, it will construct tenure committees from its own tenured faculty, and tenure cases will flow from there to the NYU Shanghai Provost, to the Provost of NYU, to the NYU Board of Trustees. While our faculty remains small, NYU SH will construct ad hoc tenure committees, drawing on senior faculty from New York, and the process will flow onward from there.

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