Summary of March 2022 Board of Trustees Meeting
On the recommendation of the President and Provost, the Board approved the appointment of Michael Lindsey as Dean of the Silver School of Social Work, effective July 1, 2022, and Wendy Suzuki as Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science, effective September 1, 2022. The Board also approved the establishment of the Dr. Constantine Georgiou Professorship in Children’s Literature and Literacy in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Upon the recommendation of the Provost and the Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts, the Board approved the establishment of the following at the Tisch School of the Arts: the Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts; the Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center; the Martin Scorsese Professorship in Cinema Studies; and the renaming of the Department of Cinema Studies to the Martin Scorsese Department of Cinema Studies.
Trustee Related Matters
The Board passed a resolution marking the passing of Life Trustee Diane Belfer. In addition, the Board confirmed the fiscal year 2023 Board of Trustees meeting schedule.
Other Action Items
The Board approved the annual accounts of NYU Madrid for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2021. In addition, the Board approved a Policy on the Removal of Naming.
Select Committee Reports
- The Audit and Compliance Committee reported on the mid-year reports it received from the Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance and Risk Management departments. The Committee also reported on updates it received from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), including that PwC reviewed NYU’s records and will issue a clean audit. The Committee also reviewed PwC’s performance and recommended retaining PwC for the fiscal year 2022 audit, and the Board confirmed the appointment.
- The Development Committee reported on the University’s fiscal year 2022 year-to-date fundraising numbers, noting that the amount raised to-date is down following a particularly successful fiscal 2021 fundraising year. The Committee also provided updates on two new working groups: the Parent Engagement Working Group and the Planned Giving Working Group. The Committee reported that it also received a presentation from Eileen-Sullivan-Marx, Dean of the Rory Meyers College of Nursing, about the school’s impressive trajectory and that the Committee will be considering ways to increase the visibility of the school to attract additional financial support.
- The Facilities and Real Estate Committee reported that it had reviewed and recommended to the Finance Committee two capital leases, one for the Grossman School of Medicine and one for the Tisch School of the Arts’ Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center in Brooklyn. The Committee also reported on updates it had received on capital projects in progress for the University, including the 181 Mercer Street project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, as well as forthcoming projects that will be resumed after having been paused during the pandemic.
- The Finance Committee reported that it had reviewed and recommended to the Board for approval the two capital leases referred to it by the Facilities and Real Estate Committee, which were ultimately approved by the Board. The Committee also reported that the University’s financial results through November 2021 indicated that the University is performing well financially, noting that the biggest financial risk to the University is persistent long-term inflation.
- The Investment Committee reported that it had reviewed the NYU endowment performance through December 31, 2021, noting a significant positive return for calendar year 2021. The Committee also reported on its discussions about ways to further increase the endowment’s return and the endowment’s exposure in light of current international events, noting that the University’s exposure in these areas is low.
- The Committee on Online Education and Technology reported that it had received a presentation from Angie Kamath, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, which described online education efforts at the school. The Committee was also introduced to the University’s new Vice President for Information Technology and Global University Chief Information Officer, Donald Welch.
President Andrew Hamilton opened his remarks to the Board by discussing the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine and the University’s response, noting that he had recently made statements offering support to NYU community members impacted by the conflict. He reported that the University had also reached out to its forty Ukrainian students directly to offer support, resources, and emergency distress funds. In addition, he reported that the University is closely monitoring any impact the fighting may have on the University’s sites in Prague and Berlin, and that planning was underway for NYU Prague to host a cohort of visiting Ukrainian students for the 2022-23 academic year.
President Hamilton provided an update on the University’s management of the pandemic, focusing on the arrival of the Omicron variant in December 2021. He noted that the University’s quick reaction to move classes and exams online likely helped prevent the uptick in case counts that peer institutions experienced. He advised that in-person classes resumed at the start of the Spring 2022 semester and that in the previous few weeks, case counts on campus were in the mid to low double digits and there was a low positivity rate of 1-2%. President Hamilton additionally noted that in light of this, the University planned to move forward with in-person graduation ceremonies for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduating classes.
President Hamilton also reported on the University’s economic performance and overall health, noting that NYU and NYU Langone Health were performing well.
Virtual School Visits
The Trustees formed small groups to visit via videoconference the College of Dentistry, Faculty of Arts and Science, Grossman School of Medicine, Long Island School of Medicine, Rory Meyers College of Nursing, School of Law, School of Professional Studies, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Stern School of Business, Tisch School of the Arts, and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. The Trustees then reconvened to share their experiences and reactions to their visits. The Trustees reported on their powerful and thoughtful conversations with the deans, faculty, and students at all the schools they had visited, noting that they were impressed with the breadth of departments and offerings, the exciting collaborations across departments and schools, productive partnerships with industry, and the strong school culture and enthusiasm reported by many of the students. The Trustees also said they learned about the many ways schools strive to enhance the student experience, the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary work taking place at the schools, the experiential learning in both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and the enormous amount of innovation at the schools.