Summary of December 2021 Board of Trustees Meeting
The Board approved the establishment of the Susan and Morris Mark Professorship in Medicine in the Grossman School of Medicine and the Marilyn Moffat Associate Professorship in Physical Therapy in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Trustee Related Matters
The Board passed a resolution marking the passing of Life Trustee Joel Smilow. In order to honor members of the NYU community who died during the last academic year respectfully and appropriately, the Board resolved that the names of those recognized in the University’s In Memoriam listing would be appended to the minutes of the meeting. In order to likewise honor long-serving members of the University community, the Board resolved that the names of those who received 25-year Service Citations would be appended to the minutes. Upon the recommendation of the University President, the Board appointed Deputy General Counsels Thomas Kozak and Mathew Varughese as associate secretaries of the University. The Board also approved amendments to the Alumni Affairs and University Life Committee charter.
Select Committee Reports
- The Audit and Compliance Committee reported on the unmodified audit opinions from PricewaterhouseCoopers, notably the FY21 consolidated financial statements for the University and NYU Langone Health (“NYULH”). The audit opinions indicated that NYU and NYULH are in good financial health, and that the management of both NYU and NYULH had done an outstanding job during the pandemic. On recommendation of the Committee, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to accept the University financial statements and annual report of directors.
- On the recommendation of the Finance Committee and the Facilities and Real Estate Committee, the Board approved the sale of a currently vacant condominium unit owned by the School of Law Foundation. The Board also approved the purchase of a building and the consummation of two capital leases for the Grossman School of Medicine as part of GSOM’s strategy to expand its ambulatory care network.
- The Academic Affairs Committee reported on its joint meeting with the Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee, which included discussions on various innovations, improvements and challenges identified over the Fall 2021 semester, including those related to the pandemic, remote learning, and the hybrid class model. The Committee additionally reported on having been briefed about the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation process, which would start with a self-study. On recommendation of the Committee and the Senate Academic Affairs Committee, the Board approved one candidate to be put on the list for consideration of an honorary degree.
- The Alumni Affairs and University Life Committee reported new initiatives being undertaken by the Athletics Department, including a new student-run sports film festival and a number of affinity athlete groups that are designed to discuss shared experiences and allow students to be better supported. The Committee also discussed mental health and wellness services available to NYU students. The Committee additionally reported on the NYU Alumni and Parents Weekend virtual event, which received significant positive feedback from participants.
- The Development Committee reported on NYU and NYULH’s year-to-date FY22 fundraising numbers. The Committee additionally reported on NYU’s communication goals, including a shift away from traditional means of communicating (i.e. press releases) to social media and other platforms. The Committee also reported on two new working groups: the Parent Engagement Working Group and the Planned Giving Working Group, which are expected to help increase giving to the University.
- The Facilities and Real Estate Committee provided status updates on the University’s major capital projects, including the purchase and sale of several properties.
- The Global Initiatives Committee reported on the importance of NYU’s global network and study away programs and discussed some new initiatives underway.
- The Investment Committee reported on the performance of the University’s endowment through October 31, 2021 and advised that the Committee authorized two new investments.
President Hamilton provided updates on the University’s current operations and recent achievements, focusing on COVID-19 and affordability.
President Hamilton reported very high compliance of faculty, staff, and students with respect to vaccinations. He additionally reported that in light of the Omicron variant, COVID-19 restrictions on campus would continue to be in place for the time being.
President Hamilton also reported on the success of the University’s affordability initiatives, notably that the University met 100% of demonstrated financial need for incoming first-year undergraduates in Fall 2021. President Hamilton also acknowledged that the issue of affordability is significantly more complex at the graduate level, especially given the range of graduate degrees and programs (doctoral, masters, professional). He noted that the University will continue to focus on the issue of affordability for graduate programs.