Summary of June 2022 Board of Trustees Meeting
On the recommendation of the President, the Board approved the appointment of Georgina Dopico, currently Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the Humanities, as Interim Provost following Katherine Fleming’s departure. The Board also passed a resolution recognizing Dr. Fleming for her distinguished six-year tenure as provost and her 24-year service to NYU.
On the recommendation of the President and Provost, the Board approved the appointment of Troy McKenzie as Dean of the School of Law, effective retroactive to June 1, 2022, C. Debra M. Furr-Holden as Dean of the School of Global Public Health, effective July 1, 2022, and Victoria Rosner as Dean of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, effective July 15, 2022.
The Board also passed a resolution formally establishing the Cecelia Goetz Professorship in Law in the School of Law, effective retroactive to September 1, 2006, and establishing a second Paulette Goddard Professorship in Social Work in the Silver School of Social Work. The Board permitted the suspension of Bylaw 81(c) to allow a faculty member to enroll in a PhD program at NYU. The Board was also briefed on how NYU Shanghai was managing, given the challenges of the pandemic.
Trustee Related Matters
Chair William Berkley, along with several other Trustees, expressed the Board’s appreciation and recognition of the service of five outgoing Trustees: Young Alumni Trustees Adam Taki and Sascia Yuan and Trustees Joseph Landy, John Paulson, and Catherine Reynolds. The Board approved resolutions to formally recognize each of these Trustees’ service to the Board. Chair Berkley also notified the Board that Life Trustee Michael Steinhardt would be stepping off the Board. In addition, the Board passed a resolution marking the passing of Life Trustee Thomas S. Murphy.
On the recommendation of the Committee on Trustees, the Board re-elected Phyllis Putter Barasch, Stuyvie Comfort, Fiona Druckenmiller, Gale Drukier, Laurence D. Fink, Jeffrey Gould, Kelly Kennedy Mack, Chandrika Tandon, and Charles Zegar as Trustees; elected Howard Meyers as a Life Trustee; and re-elected Betty Weinberg Ellerin as a Trustee Associate. On the recommendation of the Committee on Trustees, the Board elected Phyllis Putter Barasch, Evan R. Chesler, Laurence D. Fink, Chandrika Tandon, Anthony Welters, and Leonard A. Wilf as Vice Chairs of the Board and Kenneth G. Langone, Constance Silver, Larry A. Silverstein, and Shelby White as Honorary Vice Chairs of the Board, each for a term of one year. On the recommendation of the Chair of the Board after consultation with the Committee on Trustees, the Board approved the Board committee memberships and chair and vice chair assignments.
Other Action Items
The Board approved proposed amendments to the University’s Bylaws, as well as amendments to the Bylaws of NYU Langone Health System and NYU Langone Hospitals.
Finance Committee Report and University Budget Presentation
The Finance Committee reported that it had received a stress test update and an update on the key financial metrics as of June 2022, noting that nearly all key metrics are improved compared to the June 2021 Financial Plan. The Committee reported that it had also received updates on year-to-date financials for NYU Langone Health, including operating margins and upgraded credit ratings, as well as the operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 2023 and the long range financial plan.
Stephanie Pianka, Senior Vice President for Finance and Budget and Chief Financial Officer, presented the University’s proposed fiscal year 2023 capital and operating budgets, including key budget assumptions and institutional priorities. On the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Board approved the operating and capital budgets for the University for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2023; approved the endowment spending policy for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2023; and authorized the University to obtain a line of credit to replace an existing line of credit that had recently expired. On the recommendation of the Facilities and Real Estate Committee and the Finance Committee, the Board also authorized the NYU School of Law Foundation to reduce the previously authorized sales price of a condominium unit.
Select Committee Reports
- The Academic Affairs Committee reported that it received a presentation by Katherine Fleming on her six years as NYU’s Provost and the challenges of the pandemic. The Committee also reported that MJ Knoll Finn, Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, presented on the vital work at NYU around providing support to students to help them graduate on time, and Linda Mills, Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life, presented an overview of the academic programs at the University’s global sites.
- The Alumni Affairs and University Life Committee reported that it received updates regarding the NYU Alumni Global Days of Service, new marketing efforts directed towards the alumni community, and the election of a new NYU Alumni Association Board President. Linda Mills and Shelby White, NYU Life Trustee and Founding Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, delivered a presentation to the Board on antisemitism, which they had also presented at the Committee meeting. They discussed the University’s current framework for addressing and preventing antisemitism, including the development of a comprehensive “Blueprint,” which NYU has disseminated to over 100 universities to help raise awareness and promote dismantling antisemitism across the country. They also explored ways in which members of the Board can help the fight against antisemitism.
- The Audit and Compliance Committee reported that the University’s General Counsel provided the annual report on conflicts of interest to the Committee, and the Committee reviewed the University draft IRS Form 990 for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2021, a copy of which was also provided to the Board. In addition, the Committee had reviewed the six policies under its purview and determined that no changes were necessary at this time. The Committee advised that they had received a status report from the Office of Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management and a quarterly report on cybersecurity and the competitive market for IT professionals. The Committee also received presentations on campus safety, changes to New York City and New York State government, and a lawsuit filed by NYU against New York City regarding a rezoning provision which prohibits college and university uses within newly rezoned areas in the SoHo/NoHo neighborhoods. The Committee also noted a report from the University’s external auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, giving the University a clean audit for one of its pension plans.
- The Facilities and Real Estate Committee reported that it had approved an amendment to a current building lease and reviewed and recommended to the Finance Committee a reduction in sales price of a currently vacant condominium unit owned by the School of Law Foundation. The Committee also reported that it received updates on the University’s major construction projects; notably, 181 Mercer is nearing completion and was recently toured by several Committee members. The Committee advised that it had also reviewed a summary of a report from Gordian, an independent consultant, who provided an estimate of the next ten years’ capital replacement needs. Linda Mills had also presented to the Committee on the NYU London academic center.
- The Global Initiatives Committee reported that it had received a presentation on the early stages of a partnership with KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), a STEM school in South Korea, noting that the possibility of a partnership between KAIST and NYU is still being explored at this time. The Committee also received a presentation on the NYU London academic center, noting that London has been NYU’s most popular study away site.
- The Investment Committee reported that it assessed the University’s endowment and overall market performance, noting that it reviewed each asset class in the endowment and determined that the endowment is invested in fundamentally strong, high quality companies.
President Andrew Hamilton opened his remarks to the Board by discussing the University’s academic excellence, sharing various increases in rankings at both the University and school level and noting that the University is ranked higher than ever before. President Hamilton additionally reported on various grants and awards received by University faculty and awards and honors received by students in the 2021-22 academic year. Notably, the University exceeded $1 billion in research expenditures for the year. President Hamilton also reported on a strong and diverse incoming class for the Fall 2022 semester, with over 105,000 applications received.
President Hamilton provided updates on global campuses, including NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, noting NYU Abu Dhabi’s rank of 8 out of 524 institutions in the scientific journal, Nature. President Hamilton additionally reported that NYU Abu Dhabi is increasing the number of master’s degrees offered. With respect to NYU Shanghai, President Hamilton discussed the challenges of the COVID-19-related lockdown in Shanghai, which had recently been lifted. He added that NYU Shanghai’s ten-year anniversary is October 26, 2022, and the anniversary as well as the new campus, which is currently under construction, will be celebrated in the spring of 2023.
President Hamilton next discussed the upcoming leadership transitions at the University, including five new incoming deans, as well as the departure of Provost Katherine Fleming and incoming Interim Provost Georgina Dopico.
President Hamilton concluded his remarks with a note on commencement ceremonies for New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. He noted that the All-University Commencement in New York was NYU’s first in-person graduation ceremony since 2019, and he highlighted speeches from Honorary Degree recipients Taylor Swift and Dr. Judith Heumann.