TO: FAS Faculty
FROM: John Sexton
RE: Last Week's Vote
DATE: December 18, 2012

Before we leave for the winter recess, I wanted to write you about last week’s decision to schedule a vote for March on whether the FAS faculty has confidence in me. It underscores that we as a University are in a time of serious reflection; I want you to know that I take the vote, and the need to address constructively the concerns of faculty, very seriously.

As president of NYU for these past 11 years, I have had no ambition or mission other than advancing NYU’s well-being, sustaining the trajectory established by my predecessors, and leaving a better university for my successors. Yet, it has become clear that my efforts have not been experienced in this way by some members of the FAS faculty.

There is much, I think, on which we would all agree. We share, I believe, an unequivocal belief in the importance of NYU’s research and teaching missions. We would all acknowledge that NYU has come a long way in a short time. And we all hope and shall strive to see it continue to advance and succeed, even as higher learning's challenges become greater.

In that context, faculty voice is indispensable to a university's healthy functioning. We have taken some steps to provide for improved faculty input and critique; I know more must be done, and during the winter recess I will be reflecting on how I can help to achieve that. I look forward to returning in January to work with all of you to continue to make NYU better.

I hope you have a restful break, and I wish you and your families a happy holiday.