Testimony of Perry Halkitis
Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University
Before the New York City Planning Commission
For the Public Hearing on The New York University Core Project
My name is Perry Halkitis. I am Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies at The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University and also a resident of Washington Square Village.
I am here to speak on behalf of NYU2031.
Over the last 20 years, NYU has grown in stature as major research university. This has been in part accomplished by recruiting stellar research active faculty who have secured funding from the major federal entities including the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
However research active faculty, ranging from wet lab based scientists to social scientists require space to do their work and to build their research enterprise. The space limitations evident at the Washington Square campus, however, create enormous challenges as we seek to continue to recruit and retain research active faculty who are critical in the training of the next generation of scientists in the United States.
In my role as Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies, I am confronted on an ongoing basis by space requests of existing faculty who have secured external funding and by individuals whom we are attempting to recruit. In any given semester, I spend numerous hours working with my colleagues on the dean’s team to attempt to locate space for these needs. This is not an easy task due to the space limitations available at Washington Square. In the summer of every academic year we also spend numerous hours reconfiguring offices which are simply too low in supply to accommodate new faculty members.
The struggles we and all of NYU faces with regard to space are very real and very tangible. As a result of our current limitation, we have lost very promising young scholars whom we were attempting to recruit simply and solely because we could not provide concrete evidence for potential lab spaces.
This situation necessitates an expansion of the space at Washington Square so that we can continue to grow as a leading research institution. The location of such space at Washington Square so that research labs and facilities are proximal to where undergraduate live and learn so to assure that we engage this next generation in the appropriate training that they require and deserve and so to assure that as a university we continue to effectively engage in the generation of scientific knowledge.
For these reasons, I strongly recommend that the City Planning Commission approve the NYU 2031 plan.