Summary of February 2020 Board of Trustees Meeting
The Board approved the appointment of Al Bloom as NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Chancellor Emeritus. On the recommendation of the Board Academic Affairs Committee, and previously approved by the Senate Academic Affairs Committee, the Board approved a candidate for consideration for an Honorary Degree at a future University Commencement. The Board approved the establishment of the Henry H. Arnhold Professorship and the renaming of the Corzine Family Foundation Professorship to the Elaine Langone Professorship, both at the Grossman School of Medicine. On the recommendation of the President and the Provost, the Board approved renaming the Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology in the College of Dentistry as the Department of Molecular Pathobiology.
The Board passed a resolution marking the passing of Life Trustee Donald Marron. The Board approved amendments to the Facilities and Real Estate Committee Charter and an appointment to the Academic Affairs Committee. On the recommendation of the Committee on Trustees, the Board approved the appointment of a new Trustee, Stephanie Rein, to the NYU Langone Health Board.
Other Action Items
The Board approved the annual accounts of NYU Madrid for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2019.
Select Committee Reports
- The Audit and Compliance Committee reported that it received presentations on the University’s response to the coronavirus, the status of litigation matters, and recently completed internal audits. The Committee also evaluated the University’s external auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and recommended retaining the firm for the coming year, which the Board approved.
- The Development Committee gave an update on fundraising, particularly highlighting the successful digital fundraising event known as NYU One Day.
- The Facilities and Real Estate Committee reported that it had discussed the University’s faculty housing portfolio. The Committee, along with the Finance Committee, also recommended the sale of a property owned by NYU that was previously utilized by the Grossman School of Medicine but is currently vacant, and the Board authorized the sale.
- The Finance Committee received an update on the University’s FY20 forecast, the University’s lease portfolio, and capital investments made to reduce the University’s carbon footprint. The Committee also reported that the University recently completed a bond refinancing, which resulted in savings.
- The Investment Committee reported that it approved three new investments and that the endowment continues to outperform the benchmarks. The Committee also discussed the impact of the coronavirus on the endowment.
- The Committee on Online Education and Technology discussed the University’s response in Shanghai and Florence to the coronavirus, including efforts to adapt courses to a remote environment.
President’s Report and Campus Visits
President Hamilton provided an update on the University’s response to the coronavirus, including the decision to suspend in-person classes in Shanghai and to relocate students who were studying at the global academic center in Florence. President Hamilton then prepared the Trustees for an afternoon of visits to most of the schools across the campus in New York. The Trustees formed small groups and embarked on their visits.
They reconvened in the afternoon to share their experiences and reactions. The Trustees reported on their thoughtful conversations with faculty and students, noting that they were impressed with the breadth of departments and offerings, the exciting collaborations across departments and schools, the productive partnerships with industry, and the strong school culture and enthusiasm reported by many of the students. The Trustees also remarked that they learned about the many ways schools strive to enhance the student experience, such as through faculty interaction outside of the classroom and the creation of student cohorts to help students connect.