Good Afternoon Chair Burden and Planning Commissioners,
My name is Martin J. Gruber, I am Professor Emeritus and Scholar in Residence at the Stern School of Business at New York University. I’ve been asked by Peter Henry, the Dean of the Business Schools, to discuss with you the importance of the Washington Square location to the Business Schools at NYU.
I joined the faculty at the Graduate School of Business at NYU in 1965. At that time, while the undergraduate business school was located at Washington Square, the Graduate Business School was located at 90 Trinity Place. The Graduate School did not have a full time program, it was only a night school, with almost all of the classes taught by part time faculty.
A full time program was started a few years later. In 1992, the Graduate School was moved to Washington Square in a building adjacent to the undergraduate school. At that time, the School was not highly rated. Since the move, the school has gained in prestige due to an increase in the quality of the faculty and the students we educate. We have gone from a school that was not ranked in the top 25 in the country to a school, depending on the rankings you examine, is ranked from #1 to #13 in the world.
The location in Washington Square has been instrumental in allowing us to attract the best faculty and the best students. We now have three Nobel Prize winners at the School (Robert Engle, Thomas Sargent, and A. Michal Spence).
Physically being part of a great university has allowed us to advance to our present level. Business education is, to a large extent, an application of fundamental disciplines. Many of our PhD students take their mathematics courses at the Courant Institute, located in Washington Square; their economics courses, at the liberal arts economics department located in Washington Square; and their behavioral science courses at various schools, such as Sociology, located around Washington Square.
Our faculty regularly attends and gives seminars at other schools at NYU. Our students at every level, take courses at other schools located in Washington Square. We offer joint degrees with the Law School, the Tisch School of Performing Arts, and the Courant Institute of Mathematics.
In short, being located at Washington Square, allows us to attract the best faculty and the most interesting students. Many of these students come from New York as well as other places from around the world, and choose to work in New York after graduation. They enrich the city, they contribute to the economic well being of the city, and they increase its visibility.
I believe that if the Business School was not located in the heart of the main campus of New York University, the faculty and the students would not continue to maintain the high quality we have achieved over these years.