Committee Chair, 2011-2012: Carol Reiss
The Faculty Senators Council hosted two Faculty Forums this spring concerning NYU 2031 plans.
Session 1 was a faculty only event designed to collect concerns, questions, and comments from NYU faculty members regarding NYU 2031.
Session 2 included members of the administration involved in 2031 plans to address concerns.
Over the past few months, the FSC has collected many concerns from faculty regarding the NYU 2031 plan. At a February meeting with members of the administration involved in the plan, Senators presented the main issues that have been brought to the FSC’s attention, including effects on retention/recruitment, impact on academic mission, quality of work life, questions about the budget and concerns over the financial planning of the project.
At the meeting, Senior VP for University Relations & Public Affairs Lynne Brown and Vice President for Government Affairs & Community Engagement Alicia Hurley provided information on NYU’s space needs and plans for long-term growth, and discussed mitigation procedures, if the proposal is approved and construction begins. Some mitigation procedures are required by law, such as dust and noise reduction. Brown and Hurley are identifying faculty who live in housing based on their unit’s location (i.e. units with windows facing construction sites). They are working with individuals and small groups to discuss special mitigation procedures such as extra filters on air-conditioning, sound proof windows, etc. Senators also suggested benefits beyond standard mitigation procedures such as rent ceilings.
A short history of the NYU2031 Plan and the NYU Faculty Senator’s Council
Previously, when NYU identified a property or a need for acquisition of new space (academic, administrative or residential), the university proceeded on a piecemeal basis. The Community, including Community Board #2, which covers Greenwich Village, asked NYU to provide a vision for its future needs. The NYU 2031 Plan is a result of introspection, anticipated needs, and the CB#2 request.
NYU has made efforts over the last five years to engage Faculty, Staff, Administrators, Students and the unaffiliated Community in the development of the expansion of the campus by six million square feet over the course of the next two decades. This engagement has included conversations, six Open House exhibits (beginning June, 2007) of architectural renderings as posters and later three-dimensional models, web site development and portal for communication, formal presentations, the establishment in 2010 of a street-level gallery with dioramas and guided presentations. The Administration has reached out to residents of the buildings on the two Superblocks (Washington Square Village and Silver Towers).
About a third of the proposed expansion is designated for the Core Campus, that is adjoining Washington Square, with the balance at near (First avenue corridor) and more remote sites including downtown Brooklyn and possibly Governor’s Island.Some of the Core buildings have already been completed and range from the 12th Street home of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies to the Genomics building on Waverly Pl. and the law school expansion and refurbished Provincetown Playhouse on MacDougal Street.Half of the square footage in the planned construction on the Super Blocks between West 3rd Street and Houston, Mercer and LaGuardia is planned to be below ground.It should be noted that unlike other institutions and commercial developments in the city, the university did not ask for the State to use Eminent Domain to acquire neighboring land for the project.
From early 2006, the Administration has been engaged both in conversations and providing formal presentations with the Manhattan Borough President, local (city council, assembly, and NYS senate) and national (Congress) elected representatives, Community Board #2, local merchants, and neighborhood alliances. I.M. Pei, who designed Silver Towers, has been consulted about and approved the proposed landscaping for the southern block.City agencies including the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Building department, FDNY, the School Construction Authority, City Planning, Dept. Transportation, Parks and Recreation, have all been in conversation with NYU about relevant aspects of the projected development.
Faculty committees have been involved at several levels in this planning.In addition, the Faculty Senators Council has had a liaison to the FSC as well as provided Town Hall Forums in 2010 at the LaGuardia exhibit site.
The survey was undertaken between April 5 - 13, 2012 and distributed to 3,933 tenured, tenure track, and non-tenure track, full-time faculty. The FSC received 1,146 responses for an overall response rate of 29%.