Summary of September 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting
Following meetings of the various Board committees on September 24th, the NYU Board of Trustees met as a whole on September 25th, 2019. Below is a summary of that meeting.
Academic Related Matters
In accordance with the University bylaws, the Board provided authorization – as it does each year – for the President and Chancellor to confer degrees upon those who have fulfilled the appropriate course requirements. The Board approved the appointment of Susan Greenbaum as Dean of the School of Professional Studies. The Board approved the establishment of a new chaired professorship at the School of Medicine, and that several existing chaired professorships at the School of Medicine be renamed. The Board designated Assistant Vice President Peter Christensen to fill the HIPAA Privacy Officer.
Trustee Related Matters
The Board passed a resolution marking the passing of alumnus and Life Trustee Charles Klein. In addition, the Board approved committee assignments and committee chair and vice chair assignments; approved the re-election of three members of the Institute of Fine Arts board; approved the election of nine members and the re-election of eight members to the School of Law Foundation board; and approved the election of 19 new or continuing members of the NYU Langone Health System board.
Select Committee Reports
- The Finance Committee received the FY2020 operating and capital budgets of NYU Langone Health, and presented resolutions - which were approved by the Board - authorizing NYU Langone Hospitals to borrow funds for capital projects and for refinancing, to lease space in Garden City, and approving the revised capital budget for the School of Medicine.
- The Academic Affairs Committee reported on the University’s global academic continuity planning, on NYU’s research and technology transfer enterprises, and on potential honorary degree candidates.
- The Alumni Affairs and University Life Committee reported on campus climate, student organization training, and communications issues. In addition, the Committee reported on its visit to the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, the Leslie eLab, and the NYU Production Lab.
- The Audit and Compliance Committee received the annual report by the Office of Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management on institutional risks. Additionally, the Committee received a report on NYU’s insurance coverage and on trade sanctions and export controls compliance.
- The Development Committee reported that NYU raised $541 million in the previous fiscal year. The Committee also reported 100% participation in giving by Board members. And in a discussion of the 181 Mercer project, it was reported that fundraising was almost halfway complete towards the $300 million goal for the building.
- The Facilities and Real Estate Committee reported that it had received updates on several major projects – including 181 Mercer St., 404 Lafayette/708 Broadway, 370 Jay St., and the Meyer Complex. The Committee also reported that it had received an update on efforts to lease vacant retail spaces owned by the University.
- The Investment Committee reported that the University endowment’s performance had exceeded the University’s benchmarks, that the effort to streamline managers continued, and that – in line with staff recommendations - the University would maintain the current asset allocation. The Committee also expressed gratitude for Trustee Joel Ehrenkranz’s many years of leadership on the Committee.
- The Committee on Online Education and Technology reported that it had received a presentation about NYU’s online programs – which now encompass 37 current degree programs – including a new online masters program at Steinhardt – and had discussed the pros and cons of online programs developed in-house vs. those developed with outside providers, among other related topics.
Report of the Chair
After welcoming the Trustees, Mr. Berkley commended the University’s academic successes under President Hamilton. He also noted the importance of offering financial aid to students, and discussed the need to significantly expand the number of full-ride scholarships for talented students with high financial need.
Report of the President
President Hamilton reported that in the coming year the university would continue to maintain its emphasis on academic excellence, global activities, diversity, sustainability, and affordability.
The news that President Hamilton shared with respect to rankings was generally positive, including a drop for NYU in the ranking of most expensive universities – from #4 when he arrived to #39 currently. He also discussed attending the opening ceremonies for the new NYU medical school in Long Island and greeting the incoming freshman at all three of NYU’s campuses: New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. He reported on efforts to enhance civic dialogue, engagement, and mutual respect within our community.
President Hamilton also cited 370 Jay St. in downtown Brooklyn, now fully occupied, as an example of the kind of cross-school, cross-disciplinary initiatives that NYU has been emphasizing – a setting that is primed to be a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation across many fields. These efforts will be aided by NYU’s advancements in the AI field.
President Hamilton noted the change in leadership at NYU Abu Dhabi and the kick-off of construction on a new campus for NYU Shanghai. He also noted that the University is exploring how best to connect the six existing European sites.
With regard to administrative operations, he cited undertakings to improve efficiencies and achieve savings, and – against the backdrop of rising global tensions – the University’s emergency planning, crisis management, and continuity planning efforts.
And President Hamilton called on Jeffrey Lehman, the Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai, to provide an update for the Trustees on NYU Shanghai-related developments.