From the Provost
Date: March 23, 2022
To: NYU Faculty
From: Provost Katherine Fleming
I hope you’re beginning to feel a somewhat lessened sense of pandemic-related dread and disorientation. I certainly am. While it’s far too soon to declare the pandemic finished, we all deserve some relief from the hardships it has presented. I remain grateful to you for helping our institution endure them.
After nearly two years of curtailed travel, spring Study Away participation is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. In July 2022, our program in Sydney will reopen in a new site: it’s relocating to the University of Sydney (USYD) campus, a move that will provide students with expanded course options and a broader set of opportunities.
NYU Sydney is moving to the University of Sydney campus.
Academic Space Moves
Many of you will have seen the recent communication about new homes for the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the FAS Department of Sociology, and the CAS Dean’s Office. Space for new laboratories in the Silver Center will be freed up by the move of the CAS administration, coupled with the relocation of the Biology and Chemistry departmental administrative offices to the Waverly building and the opening of new classrooms in 181 Mercer in spring 2023.
Moves can be a mix of exciting and frustrating. I hope that on balance these ones are more the former than the latter. I’m confident that the final outcome will be good for all units involved.
Hiring & Retention
Over the past year, the NYU Cluster Hiring Initiative has worked diligently to expand the applicant pool for new hires — now averaging roughly 80 applicants per search — and broaden our outreach to more underrepresented groups. The Center for Faculty Advancement has also recently launched the new Early Career Faculty Institute (ECFI) — with a cohort of 44 faculty from 10 Schools & Divisions across the university — to provide mentorship to tenure-eligible faculty in their first three years of appointment.
At the recent Retiring Faculty Celebration, we launched the Society of Retired Faculty to help retirees cultivate and sustain better connections to one another and to NYU.
NYU received a record 105,000 applications for undergraduate admission. For the undergraduate class that entered in fall 2021, the University met demonstrated need for the first time; we expect to continue that practice with successive classes.
One COVID-related benefit — a 78% decrease in printing — has saved over 170,000 reams of paper (the equivalent of nearly 600, 60-foot pine trees!) as well as 4,890 toner cartridges (going from 6,690 to 1,759). It also saved the University over a million dollars.
NYU’s stated goal is to become carbon neutral by the year 2040. This spring, NYU 2040 Week will look ahead, and through exhibitions, direct action, and campus-wide dialogue in and out of the classroom, NYUers will be challenged to live as if it’s already 2040. If you have ideas or want to get involved, please reach out to the Office of Sustainability.
Faculty and Research News
The challenges of the last year haven’t slowed down our faculty, who’ve earned more mega-grants than ever and two dozen of whom were in the top 1% of most-cited researchers in their fields. Four of these are genomics-related researchers from one academic department — Biology: Richard Bonneau, Gloria Coruzzi, Neville Sanjana and Rahul Satija.
As the Oscars draw near, I’m also proud to see two of our faculty members in the running for golden statuettes: Tisch Graduate Film professor Tod Maitland, who was nominated for Best Sound for his work on the film West Side Story, and Tisch Clive Davis Institute adjunct instructor Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for Summer Of Soul.
We recently named two of our outstanding colleagues to deanships: Michael Lindsey was named dean of the Silver School of Social Work, and Wendy Suzuki was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Science.
On the research side, our last academic year was a record one, both in terms of the number of awards we received (1,191) and total amount of funding ($263 million). We’re also among the leading institutions in turning research into new technologies and intellectual property: NYU is ranked 11th in the nation for tech transfer, and 30th for number of US patents, and we’re 37th for patents in the world.
Just as one global crisis appears to be waning, we’re confronted with a new horror: the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The bravery of the Ukrainian response is astonishing, but so are the dimensions of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. What can we do as an institution? With 57 Ukrainian students currently enrolled at NYU’s campuses around the world, I’m pleased to see the Biden Administration grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which will provide support for these students and enable them to stay in the United States for the duration of the conflict. We’ve also been in touch with all of our Ukrainian and Russian students to ensure they’re aware of various support mechanisms we have in place within the University, including immigration assistance and emergency financial assistance. Many of our faculty and graduate students have expertise in the region; I’m very grateful to them for the array of programming they've been organizing. Longer-term, we are working to identify scholars affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine for potential placements at NYU, either in New York or at one of its sites around the world.
As we look forward to longer days and milder weather, I hope we can also expect a return to activities we used to take for granted. At the same time, I hope that we will remember the myriad threats with which others are living and that we will remain committed, institutionally and individually, to helping address them.