John Sexton Installed as President; David McLaughlin as Provost At a ceremony which included New York University trustees, university presidents from the US and abroad, hundreds of faculty members, student leaders, and alumni, John Sexton, J.D., Ph.D., a member of the NYU faculty since 1981 and dean of the Law School since 1988, was formally installed as the 15th president of the University since its founding in 1831. New York University is the largest and among the most prestigious private universities in the U.S.

David McLaughlin, Ph.D., a noted mathematician and former director of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, was installed as the University’s provost – its Chief Academic Officer – during the ceremonies.

Dr. Sexton’s installation address – on the environment of change in higher education and the nature of a “leadership university” for the 21st century – was used as the basis for a wide-ranging academic plenary session that followed the installation ceremony. The session — which included Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, and NYU faculty members and students – focused on how universities will need to reshape themselves in coming years to achieve excellence.

The text of the address is available at

At the installation ceremony, the University also named five faculty members to Silver Professorships. These endowed professorships, to which several faculty members in the University’s Faculty of Arts and Science are to be named each year, are the product of a $150 million gift received last year from the late Julius Silver, an alumnus and trustee.

This year’s recipients are:

Prof. Kit Fine, philosophy and mathematics

Prof. Mary Louise Pratt, Spanish and Portugese

Prof. Debraj Ray, economics

Prof. Fang Hua Lin, mathematics

Prof. Henry P. McKean, mathematics

The formal installation ceremony was part of a week-long set of events marking the formal launch of a new NYU leadership team. Other events included a get-together for students, a reception for administrators, a dinner for newly inducted trustees, a set of academic panels exploring subjects as diverse as religion and neural science, and a day-long conference with some 20 university leaders from throughout the world whose institutions are members of the League of World Universities.

Dr. Sexton, the Benjamin Butler Professor of Law, was named NYU’s president-designate in May 2001. Before coming to NYU, he served as Law Clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (1980-1981), United States Supreme Court; The Honorable David L. Bazelon (1979-1989), United States Court of Appeals (DC); and The Honorable Harold Leventhal, United States Court of Appeals (DC). Dr. Sexton received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Fordham University; he received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Dr. McLaughlin, a professor of mathematics and neural science at NYU and an adjunct professor of biomathematics at the Mt. Sinai Medical School, was named provost last spring. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was director of NYU’s renowned Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences from 1994 to 2002; prior to that, he was director of the program in applied and computation mathematics at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University.

New York University is located in the heart of Greenwich Village; it has more international students than any other US college or university, and it has some 300,000 alumni and alumnae. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and dramatic arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

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