Testimony of Dennis Di Lorenzo
Vice Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies
New York University
Before the New York City Planning Commission
For the Public Hearing on the New York University Core Project
April 25, 2012
It is with great pleasure that I address you today regarding NYU 2031, the crucial and innovative capital plan of New York University. As Co-Interim Dean of the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), I fully support NYU 2031 as a necessary trajectory for both NYU and New York City.
NYU 2031 will enable the university to continue its mission of being a highly competitive research and teaching university whose students are the future (and current) workforce of the professional and cultural industries that make New York City one of the greatest intellectual and professional capitals of the world.
NYU-SCPS has a long and rich history in serving the many industries that are integral to the landscape of New York and, by extension, the world. From Real Estate to Arts Appraisal, NYU-SCPS is responsible for training and retraining the workforce that sustains the professions that make New York a thriving, competitive, professional, artistic, and competitive city.
Educating a workforce whose success requires highly advanced skill sets is challenging. In our portfolio of non-credit continuing education courses alone, we educate approximately 28,500 students annually who take approximately 4,900 course sections. When combined with the courses that serve students in the School's 14 graduate and two undergraduate programs, the physical infrastructure requirements are significant.
Currently, NYU-SCPS occupies space at three major locations: 7 East 12th Street, which is an NYU-owned facility and II West '12nd Street and IS Barclay Street (The Woolworth Building), both leased spaces. The SCPS Building at 7 East 12th Street is a newly renovated location and opened officially in September 20 II. The SCPS Building project represents NYU's commitment to creating greater efficiencies within its current footprint to maximize use of space to meet its diverse needs. Prior to NYU-SCPS occupying 7 East 12th Street, NYU-SCPS operated out of 10 different Washington Square-adjacent Village locations. In the carll' planning stages of an NYU-SCPS consolidation, 7 East 12th Street was identified because it could be used to create classrooms as well as academic support space; originally it housed only NYU administrative units but these units were easily relocated to buildings that were not zoned for classroom else.
While the opening of the SCPS building has been transformational for all our constituencies, especially students and faculty, it still has not satisfied the many requirements of our robust program oflerings. In order to meet these demands, NYU-SCPS must still rent additional classroom space at Norman Thomas High School and various locations across the City. While NYU-SCPS is appreciative of the partnership it has with the New York City Board of Education, the classrooms made available are generally not conducive to the pedagogical and technological demands of a 2 J st-century, industry-based curriculum.
The faculty are faced with many challenges while teaching in these spaces. Though they are excellent at overcoming many of these issues to ensure the best quality education, using these spaces is not a sustainable practice. Additionally, as the School is already challenged in the amount of physical infrastructure available for programming, it becomes difficult to imagine meeting the ever-escalating demands for instruction as the industries we serve grow and evolve. It is imperative that NYU's classroom inventory keep pace with future needs if we are to continue to meet the needs of industry and the City.
It is important to note that NYU-SCPS appoints approximately 2,500 adjunct faculty annually. These individuals, who are a cornerstone of the School's programming, are industry practitioners who are dedicated to advancing the fields of study in which they are engaged. It is an ongoing challenge for NYU-SCPS to offer these faculty support spaces to meet with their students, plan curriculum, or review student work. vVhile we arc committed to supporting their needs, the ratio of adjunct faculty to available faculty-support, square-footage is quite low: NYUSCI'S has only 60 communal workstations across the School available to adjunct professors.
In conclusion, while NYU-SCPS takes pride in its core social and educational mission of serving the diverse populations of New York City with dynamic programming, the School is dependent upon the implementation of NYU 2031; if not implemented, NYU-SCPS will eventually be forced to reduce its offerings significantly. This would surely have a detrimental impact on the many New Yorkers who count on and take advantage ofNYU-SCPS programs, as well as on the laculty who teach them. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my support for the NYU 2031 plan and for being able to share my views.
Dennis Di Lorenzo