To: The NYU Community
From: NYU President John Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin
RE: The Creation of NYU Shanghai
Date: March 27, 2011

It is with deep pride and pleasure that we today announce to the NYU community that we have reached agreement with our partners in China -- the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Pudong Special District, East China Normal University (a leader among Chinese universities in its globalization efforts with a large exchange student population and extensive research collaborations with foreign universities) -- to create NYU Shanghai, a comprehensive, liberal arts campus in China's financial and commercial capital, Shanghai. Like NYU's New York campus and NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai will be a degree-granting portal campus within NYU's global network.The creation of NYU Shanghai is a major achievement: it is the first such university to receive the approval and support of the Ministry of Education along with the Shanghai Municipal government, and the first to be established in a major Chinese city.

NYU's evolution from being "in and of the city" to being "in and of the world" is proceeding with enormous success, and the creation of NYU Shanghai is another major step in shaping NYU as a global network university that permits students and faculty to circulate smoothly in pursuit of their scholarship. Coming as it does on the heels of being awarded the Sen. Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, this development is another demonstration of NYU's leadership in this area.

And for our partners in China, the creation of NYU Shanghai is a major step in the country's higher education reform, expressing a commitment to incorporate internationally accepted standards of university design and administration into China's efforts to expand access to higher education pursuant to its National Long-term Educational Reform and Development Program.

Each of our portal campuses will have its own unique personality, but they will share common, fundamental characteristics.

For one, they will all be characterized by academic excellence. NYU Shanghai's first class of undergraduate students will enter in September 2013; the admissions process will be highly selective (in another first, its admissions process will be the first to consider a broader set of admissions criteria than the GaoKao national higher education entrance examination). The undergraduate curriculum will provide a comprehensive liberal arts education, requiring all students to become firmly grounded in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences before pursuing in-depth study in a major discipline. Classes will be conducted in English and in accordance with the principles of academic freedom. Curricular development will be led by NYU and its faculty; pedagogical features are expected to include small student-faculty ratios, research experiences, and debate-based discussions. Students will be encouraged to engage in critical analysis and open inquiry. Shanghai and Pudong have also made a commitment to NYU that will allow NYU Shanghai to provide world-class educational and research opportunities.

As a comprehensive research university, NYU Shanghai will support world-class academic research, as well as graduate and professional education. It is expected that NYU Shanghai will quickly distinguish itself in disciplines where NYU is recognized for its intellectual leadership: economics and social sciences, mathematics, art history, history and literature, the cinematic and performing arts, biology, and business and finance, among many others.

Another characteristic is that all the campuses will be full participants in the global network. Just as NYU's areas of scholarly excellence will be greatly improved by the intellectually vibrant atmosphere of Shanghai, so, too, will the experience of the community of scholars, teachers, and learners at NYU Shanghai be enhanced by those who come there from other parts of the network, and by their own academic opportunities -- students enrolled at NYU Shanghai will be able to study at other network sites.

Another characteristic is that all the campuses should offer a full collegiate experience. At maturity, NYU Shanghai could be home to as many as 3,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Classroom, laboratory, dormitory, and campus life space will all be provided in the heart of Pudong, not far from the site of last year's Shanghai World Expo. It will have a range of student services similar to those at its Washington Square campus: athletic programs; student clubs and co-curricular activities; career counseling; student residential programming; and the kind of health, wellness, and counseling programs for which NYU has been nationally recognized.

And the portal campuses should be administratively structured in a consistent manner. NYU Shanghai will be fully self-sustaining through a combination of government support, tuition, and charitable contributions.

We are glad to announce that development of the new campus will be overseen by enormously talented and highly respected members of the NYU community. Academic developments for NYU Shanghai will be overseen by Richard Foley, NYU's Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning -- who will report directly to the president of the University -- in conjunction with David McLaughlin, NYU's Provost, and Ulrich Baer, NYU's Vice Provost for Globalization and Multicultural Affairs. Administrative and operational developments will be overseen by R. May Lee, NYU's Associate Vice Chancellor for Asia.

NYU Shanghai will be a great university born out of a great partnership. We ask you to join us in welcoming and offering congratulations to our partners and in thanking all those in our own community who have worked so diligently over the last few months to make NYU Shanghai a reality. This is a wonderful day for NYU.