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To: The University Community
From: John Sexton
Date: September 19, 2012
Re: Middle States Accreditation Self-Study

Every ten years, the University is subject to a review of its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. We are now at the start of that process. It will entail the development of a self-study report, work on which has begun and will continue into the next two academic years, and visits by an evaluation team in the fall of 2013 and in April 2014. This is an important event in the life of an institution: a time to examine its goals and programs, to obtain advice and validation from peers at other institutions, and to seek public reaffirmation by its regional accrediting agency.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of the Steering Committee which will guide our self-study process and also to announce that, as he did in 2004 for our last Middle States Self-Study, Norman Dorsen, Counselor to the President and Stokes Professor of Law, has agreed to chair this effort.

Although many institutions, particularly small colleges, engage in a comprehensive self-study, large institutions like NYU use a format which Middle States calls the selected topics approach. Both approaches rely primarily on faculty. Our self-study will focus on multi-school programs. Given the increasing interdisciplinarity of knowledge, it is essential to our overall academic enterprise to examine how we integrate our educational offerings and research activities. The work of the Steering Committee, and the working groups that will participate in the self-study, will be of key importance as we develop plans for the future of NYU and shape its programs to meet challenges to come.

The members of the Steering Committee are:

Norman Dorsen, Professor of Law, School of Law, Self-Study Chair
Barnett W. Hamberger, Assistant Provost, Self-Study Coordinator
Nina Cornyetz, Associate Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Martin Daughtry, Assistant Professor of Music, Faculty of Arts & Science
Randall Deike, Vice President of Enrollment Management
André A. Fenton, Professor of Neuroscience, Faculty of Arts & Science
Tracey Gardner, Chief of Staff, Wagner School of Public Service
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, Wagner School of Public Service
Lisa Gitelman, Associate Professor of Media and English, Steinhardt School
Heather Herrera, Director of Academic Affairs, Steinhardt School
Anthony Jiga, Vice President, Budget and Planning
Yann LeCun, Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Jacques Lezra, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature, Faculty of Arts & Science
Mary E. Northridge, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, College of Dentistry
James Pace, Clinical Associate Professor, Associate Dean, College of Nursing
Cybele Raver, Vice Provost for Academic, Faculty and Research Affairs
Carol Shoshkes Reiss, Professor of Biology, Faculty of Arts & Science
Elizabeth Rohlfing, Assistant Dean of Planning, School of Law
Marcia Thomas, Executive Director, Public Health Initiative

Working groups have been established in the following areas, which will form the focus of our study: cities and the environment, data sciences and statistics, the humanities, and public health. Each working group is chaired by a member of the Steering Committee and includes additional members of the University community. Their names can be found on the self-study website mentioned below.
There will be opportunities for additional members of the University community to contribute to the self-study. In advance, I express my appreciation for your cooperation with the Steering Committee and the working groups as they proceed with their tasks. To help keep the University community informed of the Middle States self-study, a website has been established. Please visit for information on the self-study.

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