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Letter from the President

I have the great privilege of greeting you as president and professor of New York University. In both capacities, I salute you for intellectual endeavor of the highest order—in the classroom, laboratory and beyond—mentoring and advising graduate and undergraduate students. In all this and more, you internalize our collective interest as part of your own interests and thereby embrace the notion of a common enterprise university. For the inescapable challenge of stating, debating, and renewing the purpose of such a university demands that all faculty act as true partners, each contributing to the university's self definition as it emerges over time.

At the core of every great institution of learning is its faculty. And you join us at an exciting time in the University’s long and distinguished history. We are at a threshold moment, for we have chosen to transform our institution from one of the leading research universities in the world into an institution that will establish a new level of educational excellence. You are at the core of that effort, and we will not compromise in our ability to secure the best possible talent to join you as we build an institution of unique stature.

John Sexton

Photo: President John Sexton

President John Sexton

Ethical Commitment

New York University has a strong institutional commitment to lawful and ethical behavior, and a fine reputation, which its faculty members have earned over the years. This is one of the
University’s most valuable assets. In an increasingly complex world, the University can maintain its leadership in education and research only if it continues to merit the trust of its entire constituency.

All New York University faculty and employees are expected to carry out their institutional
responsibilities in accordance with applicable legal and ethical principles. If any questions arise about how the University’s principles, standards, or policies apply, they should be brought to the attention of the appropriate dean or University administrator.

Please refer also to the “NYU Code of Ethical Conduct".


(Approved by the University Board of Trustees, March 2014)


Purpose of the Faculty Handbook

The Faculty Handbook is a guide to the Faculty and is designed to present general information about New York University, and some of the more important University policies and practices as they apply to the Faculty of the University. It also is meant to inform and serve other members of the University Community. The Handbook is maintained by the Office of the Provost. It has been compiled from a number of sources. Significant portions of the Handbook have been adopted by, or reflect actions of, the University’s Board of Trustees, including, among others: the excerpted portions of the University’s Charter and Bylaws; matters involving the Faculty such as with respect to academic freedom and tenure, appointment of Faculty, Faculty grievance procedures, and organization of the Faculty; the establishment of University Councils and Commissions; and key policies, including the NYU Code of Ethical Conduct, Policy on Academic Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment, and Statement of Policy on Intellectual Property. Certain portions of the Handbook provide an overview of the University and its administrative offices, libraries, and student affairs. The Handbook also provides hyperlinks to Selected University Policies, which represent a broad array of policies, including policies that principally affect Faculty and policies that may be of interest to Faculty but that apply broadly throughout the University community.

The policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook as in effect from time to time form part of the essential employment understandings between a member of the Faculty and the University. Policies beyond those referenced in the Handbook are available here. In addition, Schools and units have their own internal rules, procedures, and policies, such as School statements on Faculty appointment policies and procedures, particularly those concerning promotion and tenure criteria and review procedures, which may supplement -- ­but do not supersede or replace -- policies outlined in this Faculty Handbook unless an exception has been granted by the University Board of Trustees or President.

Amending the Faculty Handbook

Whenever the University Senate, a University Council, a Dean, or Faculty of a School (which includes a College or equivalent institute for purposes of this Handbook) seeks to propose changes to the Faculty Handbook, the body or person should first contact the Office of the Provost. The Provost (or his or her designee) will ascertain, based on the nature of the proposed change, whether the matter may be handled solely within the Office of the Provost, or whether the matter falls within the purview of the Office of the President of the University (which includes for this purpose all departments reporting directly or indirectly to the President other than those that report up through the Office of the Provost) and/or the University Board of Trustees. In the event that the matter is within the purview of the Office of the President, the Provost (or his or her designee) will submit a recommendation to the President (or his or her designee) with respect to the proposed change. If the matter is within the purview of the University Board of Trustees, the Provost (or his or her designee) will submit a recommendation to the President as to whether the President should present the matter to the Board for its consideration. Nothing in this Handbook constrains the University Board of Trustees from making changes to this Handbook with respect to any matter, and in the manner, it finds appropriate in carrying out its duties; and administration will notify the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senators Council if the University Board of Trustees makes any change to the Faculty Handbook.

To clarify the history of the Faculty Handbook or a policy included in the Faculty Handbook, the Provost’s Office will maintain an online resource available to the Senate, the University Councils, the Deans, and Faculty of the Schools with the following information: whether the provision or policy ultimately was promulgated by the University Board of Trustees, the Office of the President, or the Office of the Provost; when a Senate or a Council comprising the Senate had the opportunity to review and comment on the provision or policy; and the effective date of the provision or policy.

The administration of the University consults with the Faculty Senators Council with respect to additions and changes that it seeks to make to the Faculty Handbook, including changes to policies provided only by hyperlinks, before inclusion in the Faculty Handbook other than in exceptional circumstances¹. Consistent with the five principles of shared governance, this includes the administration providing a reasonable length of time for consultation and input by the Faculty Senators Council; and, where the administration does not agree with written advice it receives from the Faculty Senators Council, the administration providing in writing, and in a timely manner, its reasoned justification for not accepting the advice. If an addition or change to the Faculty Handbook is made before the Faculty Senators Council reviews the addition or change, the addition or change is considered effective; however, the administration will provide an explanation to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senators Council, and the table of contents and text will indicate that the matter is still being reviewed by the Faculty Senators Council.

¹ The Faculty Handbook includes a substantial amount of descriptive material (e.g., the history of the University, excerpted portions of the University Charter and Bylaws, information about the University’s officers, information about the University Senate and its Councils and Commission, information about the Libraries and the University Press, information about administrative departments of the University such as University Relations and Public Affairs, the Office for University Development and Alumni Relations, and the Office of General Counsel, information about benefits, selected University resources available to faculty, and information about student affairs). It also includes hyperlinked policies. There will be changes from time to time to these materials that have little or no effect on faculty with respect to educational and administrative policy and often are quite minor. In such cases, changes may be made to these materials without prior consultation with the Faculty Senators Council. The administration will promptly notify the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senators Council of any such changes; and if, after receiving such notification, the Faculty Senators Council believes that it should have an opportunity to review and comment on the changes, it should so notify the Office of the Provost and also may ask that the table of contents and text indicate that the matter is still being reviewed by the Faculty Senators Council. The addition or change is considered effective unless subsequently changed.

Faculty Handbook Table of Contents


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