I have spent the majority of my professional life at NYU. In those three decades, I have been animated by a single purpose – to serve my institution well, and to try to improve it. Through a collective effort involving trustees, alumni, University leadership, and faculty, we have during the past 30 years transformed NYU from a decent regional university into an international research university that stands among the top institutions in the world. This stands as a great collective accomplishment.

Now we are in a time of tremendous pressure on higher education, and my goal is to sustain that academic momentum while adapting NYU to a dramatically changing environment. Over the past several months, there has been vigorous debate about NYU’s direction, resulting in both expressions of support – from the Medical School, from the Nursing School, from the Dental School, from the Deans of all the schools, as well today’s email to the NYU community from the Trustees – and now this expression of dissatisfaction from FAS.

In the university setting, we believe in debate and criticism; it helps us improve. That will be particularly important in the months and years ahead, because we are at a moment that compels meaningful change in higher education.

It is also the case that faculty must be at the center of the academic endeavor and involved in the decision-making. We have taken some important steps in that direction and, particularly with this vote in mind, that effort will continue. I look forward to working with the faculty to maintain NYU’s academic trajectory and prepare for the challenges ahead.