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“A great research university produces, preserves, and transmits new ideas, insights, and knowledge. Its basic research activities promote and nurture scientific progress, develop artistic and creative expression, and sustain an informed democratic society and its political life.” – NYU Framework 2031

The Research Enterprise

The modern research university has a dual mission: to educate its students, and to discover new knowledge through scholarship.  These two missions enhance and inform one another: students at a research university in many instances are taught by the discoverers of the information...

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... being discussed in the course, and the classroom’s free exchange of ideas can help sharpen research. 

The quality of the research enterprise is what truly distinguishes a great university, permitting it to draw in the most talented scholars and the top students.  NYU’s faculty are at the forefront of their scholarly disciplines, and their research helps shape the understanding of an enormous range of academic fields: from the mathematical sciences to economics, from philosophy to neural science, from art history to sociology. In recognition of the quality of this research, NYU received approximately $200 million in government funds in 2008.

NYU’s also makes it own major commitments to the research enterprise.  Through the Partners Initiative, first announced in 2004, the University is increasing tenured and tenure-track positions in the arts and sciences by 20% -- 125 additional faculty positions.  And this growth has been accompanied significant investment in new facilities to support faculty scholarship in genomics research and in soft condensed matter physics, as well as through major renovations of laboratories in the Silver Center, to cite just a few examples. In addition, the Provost’s Office oversees research grants program to allow faculty to compete for additional funding to pursue research.

The Role of Libraries at a Research University

In an institution which values research, few resources are as valuable as a library.  The Libraries of New York University are an outstanding resource, holding collections totaling more than 4 million volumes, almost 5 million microforms, 500,000 government documents, 80,000 sound and video recordings, and a wide range of electronic resources. The collections grow by more than 140,000 volumes annually, and the libraries are visited by more than 6,500 users per day and circulates almost 1 million books each year. 

In recent years, the libraries have made considerable investment in digital and electronic resources to support scholarship and teaching and learning.  The flagship facility is the striking, 12-story Elmer Holmes Bobst Library; designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster, it serves as a center for scholarship and a hub of the University community's intellectual life.

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