To: The NYU Community
Date: Friday, September 7, 2018
From: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Dear members of the NYU community,

To those new to our campus and to those returning; to students, faculty, administrators, and staff; to those in Manhattan and Brooklyn, in Abu Dhabi, in Shanghai, and throughout the global network - welcome, all. We are glad to welcome you to the start of academic year 2018-19.

NYU is a demanding university – intellectually rigorous, urban in location, bold in spirit, global in outlook. Like New York and the other cities our University calls home, NYU asks that your engagement be active, not passive. And your presence here means you sought out and have accepted that challenge.

NYU is an ambitious university—indeed, it is renowned for its academic momentum. Our freshman class is a case in point – from a pool of over 75,000 applicants, we have drawn the most selective, most academically qualified, and most diverse class in our history. Its members join a university:

  • with four schools in US News' top 10 rankings;
  • whose R&D spending has increased at a rate greater than any of the other top 40 universities from 2010 to 2016;
  • whose graduates last year included two Rhodes scholars, one Truman Scholar, one Schwartzman Scholar, and 22 Fulbright Scholars;
  • whose faculty now includes nearly 40 members of the National Academy of Sciences;
  • whose restraint on tuition increases over the past two years has moved us more than 20 places lower on the college tuition list;
  • that is the #1 school for artistic presence on Broadway.

NYU is an engaged university – a private university in the public service:

  • whose five business incubators – including a new incubator to support military veterans – created more than 3,000 jobs in New York State;
  • that provides free or low-cost dental services to 50,000 lower-income New Yorkers annually;
  • whose students undertake a staggering 1.7 million hours of community engagement annually;
  • with the largest America Reads/America Counts program in the nation, providing some 87,000 hours of service in NYC public schools every year.

This coming year will be no less ambitious, engaged, or exacting. I am pleased to announce that we exceeded our $1 billion goal to raise funds for financial aid, and this year we have awarded the most generous scholarship grants in our history.  In that vein, beginning this year we will award all DACA students institutional scholarship aid on an equal footing as US citizens, and will become the first university in the country to offer tuition-free medical education. In addition, beginning this fall, all student workers will be paid a minimum wage of $15/hour.

We continue to make strides on sustainability. Notably, our new facility at 370 Jay St. in Brooklyn has just been named a LEED Platinum facility – NYU's third building so designated in the last six years.  Thanks to the renovation we did, we project it will use approximately 50% less energy for heating and cooling than it did in its previous incarnation as the MTA's headquarters some 20 years ago.  And this year we will also undertake our first major installation of solar panels: a photovoltaic array on the roof of Bobst Library.  

Our wonderful and transformative Prison Education Program will expand this year, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

And we will soon announce a plan to take our next step forward in the sciences: new scientific initiatives, new science faculty, and the creation of new research laboratories.

Lastly – 2018 is an election year. I strongly encourage all eligible members of the NYU community to register and vote. There is still time to register, whether you are a New York resident or from any other state. If you are not registered already, I urge you to do so. And while I press you to make your voice heard at the ballot box, let me also appeal to you, as you participate in the political dialogue, to treat one another with respect and civility. 

Here's to a great year for us all. Good luck with everything.


Andrew Hamilton