Testimony of Paul Horn
Senior Vice Provost for Research
Before the New York City Council
For the Public Hearing on the New York University Core Project
June 29, 2012
Speaker Quinn, Chair Comrie, Sub-Committee Chair Weprin, Council member Chin and fellow Council Members,
Thank for affording me the time to speak in favor of the NYU 2031 Core Project. My name is Paul Horn and I am the Senior Vice Provost for Research at NYU.
New York University has transformed itself from a very good commuter school to an excellent research university over the last 25 years and in doing so the needs of the students and faculty have shifted. Currently NYU has a fraction of the space it needs for science and research. While it is true we are planning for Applied Sciences in Brooklyn and moving our Nursing program to be closer to the Medical corridor along 1st Avenue in Manhattan; these shifts are based on proximity.
I know you have heard a lot about proximate education today from my colleagues, and it is a central driver behind the core project. I am here to tell you that it is integral to a research university specifically when it comes to the recruitment of faculty and the ability to attain federal grant funding to continue and grow our cutting edge scientific research.
The space constraints are particularly acute in the physical and life sciences, but are not limited to those fields and are present at almost every school and department at the University. We have a very difficult time recruiting faculty, and space constraints affect our ability to retain faculty as well. Adequate space to conduct research is a must: lab space, office space, and space to collaborate with other faculty across disciplines. In fact there are several departments today that simply don’t have the space needed to bring in new faculty.
In the last 35 years the University has built only one new building of 71,000 GSF for the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. New Chemistry space was achieved by dislocating 40,000 GSF of classroom space. We have hired 100 new science Faculty in the last 7 years and expect to hire 50 more, but these efforts will be severely hampered without more laboratory space.
As you know, students trained in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are paramount to the economic well being of the United States and to the City, and a growing number of students are interested in STEM careers. Without the ability to grow the Core facilities, we will need to limit the enrollment in these fields due to inadequate teaching lab space that is part of the required curriculum. The Superblocks provide the opportunity to expand Science in existing buildings north of the proposed development area, particularly, by relocating classroom space to the Superblocks. In the near and long-term, the promise of space on the Superblocks for faculty offices and departmental space provides the Schools with the ability to manage faculty recruitment and align it with potential space needs of the future.
Thank you for your time and I once again urge you to support the NYU core project plan.