Category Archives: Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (FASP)

Support for VNC

AAUP Statement on FAS Vote of No Confidence

A Vote of No Confidence (VNC) in a college president is a serious step for faculty to undertake. It is an active expression of the faculty’s role in shared governance, and, although it is not a last resort, this right is usually exercised as a response to a systematic pattern of troubling conduct on the part of an administration. We have reached that point at NYU, after a decade of unilateral decision-making on the part of the president and his senior staff. This conduct is not unique to the NYU administration. The traditions of shared governance are being shredded at universities around the country. Consequently, the number of VNCs is on the rise. In New York alone, there have been recent VNCs at the New School, Pace, and CUNY-Staten Island.

NYU has always had a “top-down” culture, but under the helm of President Sexton, the rate of institutional change has been dizzying, and it has been accompanied by a rapid concentration of power upwards. Most faculty, and their departmental officers, now feel that they are in the passive position of simply responding to instructions from above. Faculty-driven initiatives are no longer taken very seriously. By contrast, the 12th floor of Bobst has assumed sole responsibility for launching initiatives that have changed the face of the university. Faculty are then invited to cooperate with, or accommodate to, them. Efforts on the part of FSC senators at reviving the attenuated practices of faculty governance have met with stiff resistance from the administration. A recent concession to adopt a resolution on shared governance proposed by the FSC 17 months ago is an encouraging sign. However, it remains to be seen whether the administration, given its longstanding indifference, is serious about honoring the principles set forth in the resolution.

Our members and our colleagues are advocates of international education, but the shape and scope of the GNU, and the way in which it is being unilaterally developed, bears little resemblance to our principles as educators. The administration has repeatedly overridden the democratic right of our graduate students to form a union, and has spent millions of tuition dollars in an effort to break that union. Most recently, administrators behind the NYU2031 expansion have been unresponsive to faculty and Greenwich Village residents who either oppose the nature of the site plan, question the need for the expansion, or are concerned about the fiscal overreach it will entail. To date, 38 departments have taken the unprecedented step of voting to oppose the 2031 plan.

For these, and other reasons too numerous to detail in this brief statement, we, as officers of the NYU-AAUP chapter, support the democratic right of faculty to take this step, and we encourage all FAS faculty to vote in the affirmative on the 13th in order to allow the VNC to proceed. We condemn as anti-democratic any efforts to block this initiative on minor procedural grounds. The faculty voice should be heard.

Andrew Ross, president

Molly Nolan, vice-president

Marie Monaco, secretary

Anna McCarthy, treasurer

Rebecca Karl, at-large executive member

Rana Jaleel, student member

Petition to the Trustees

Petition to the Trustees of New York University

In his e-mail to the University Community, NYU Board of Trustees Chair Martin Lipton announced that John Sexton’s term as NYU’s president would be extended until at least 2016. Although Lipton’s message was directed to the University Community, Lipton and the Board failed to consult that community, its faculty, students, and staff in making this decision.  We can think of few decisions more important to the life of the university than who ought to serve as its president and how long a term the president ought to serve. Opinions may differ over the performance of the current president of NYU, but the faculty is united in believing that it must be consulted on the appointment and re-appointment of NYU’s president as well as on the length of the president’s term.

The process problems exhibited in Lipton’s letter represent an unfortunate repetition of the problems when John Sexton was appointed to NYU’s presidency seven years ago. That appointment was made with no faculty consultation and without a national search. NYU’s Board of Trustees has the final responsibility for making the presidential appointment, but the decision-making process should involve full consultation with faculty and students about the performance of the incumbent. The fact that neither the Board nor the President saw the need for any such consultation raises questions about the commitment of both to joint faculty-administration governance of the university .

We the undersigned faculty call upon NYU’s Board of Trustees to negate the Lipton letter and set up a process to decide on the president’s re-appointment in which faculty are consulted both on who NYU’s president ought to be and the length of the presidential term. We also urge that students and staff be included in this process so that the entire university community can participate. Such an inclusive process would accord NYU’s president greater legitimacy as a university leader since it would make the president the choice of its large community rather than merely the NYU Trustees

1 Nicholas Mirzoeff Professor, Media, Culture, &

Communication Steinhardt

2 Andrew Ross Professor, Social and Cultural

Analysis FAS

3 Robert Cohen Professor & Chair, Teaching &

Learning Steinhardt

4 Marita Sturken Professor & Chair, Media,

Culture, & Communication Steinhardt

5 Nancy F Regalado Professor, French


6 Haruko Momma Associate Professor, English


7 Dana Polan Professor, Cinema Studies


8 Randy Martin Professor & Chair, Art and

Public Policy, TSOA

9 Nikhil Singh Associate

Professor, Social & Cultural Analysis FAS

10 Christine Harrington Professor, Politics,


11 Suzanne G Cusick Professor, Music


12 John Victor Singler Professor , Linguistics


13 Stephen Duncombe Associate Professor


14 James Uleman Professor, Psychology


15 Robert McChesney Professor Emeritus, History


16 Patricia Crain Associate Professor, English


17 Rebecca Karl Associate Professor, East Asian

Studies FAS

18 Barbara Browning Associate Professor , Performance

Studies TSOA

19 Diana Turk Associate Professor,

Social Studies Steinhardt

20 Jeff Goodwin Professor , Sociology


21 Sylvia Molloy Professor, Spanish and

Portuguese FAS

22 Julian Everett Allgood Serials Librarian

University Division of Libraries

23 Brett Gary Associate Professor, Media

Culture & Communication Steinhardt

24 Carolyn Dinshaw Professor, English &


25 Martin Harries Professor , English


26 Lala Straussner Professor,

Silver School of Social Work

27 Ann Pellegrini Associate Professor


28 Mary Nolan Professor, History


29 Judith Stacey Professor, Sociology


30 Lisa Duggan Professor, Gender & Sexuality

Studies, SCA FAS

31 Anna McCarthy Associate Professor, Cinema

Studies TSOA

32 Mark Crispin Miller Professor, Media, Culture,

& Communication Steinhardt

33 Bertell Ollman Professor, Politics


34 Rodolfo Aiello Sr. language lecturer


35 Susie Linfield Associate Professor,

Journalism FAS

36 Moss Roberts Professor, East Asian Studies


37 Sally Guttmacher Professor, Nutrition, Food Studies

& Public Health Steinhardt

38 John Maynard Professor, English


39 Marilyn Young Professor, History


40 Tavia Nyong’ o Associate Professor, Performance

Studies TSOA

41 Herrick Chapman Associate Professor, History


42 Ada Ferrer Associate Professor, History


43 Martha Hodes Professor, History


44 Angela Zito, Associate Professor,

Anthropology & Relig. Studies FAS

45 Richard Sieburth Professor, French & Comparative

Literature FAS

46 Miriam Frank Master Teacher, Liberal Studies


47 Greg Grandin, Professor, History


48 Thomas Abercrombie Associate Professor, Anthropology


49 Phillip Brian Harper Professor, Social & Cultural

Analysis, Chair, English FAS

50 Martin Simon, Professor, Math Education,

Teaching & Learning Stieinhardt

51 Marta Peixoto, Associate Professor, Spanish and

Portugese FAS

52 Guenther Stotzky, Professor Emeritus, Biology


53 Linda Gordon, Professor, History


54 Neil Brenner, Professor, Sociology &

Metropolitan Studies FAS

55 William Serrin, Associate Professor, Journalism


56 Jo Ellen Fisherkeller Associate Professor, Media ,

Culture, & Communication Steinhardt

57 Emily Martin, Professor, Anthropology


58 Manu Goswami Associate Professor, History


59 Jeffrery L. Spear Associate Professor, English


60 Robert Hinton Associate Professor, Africana

Studies, SCA FAS

61 Faye Ginsburg Professor, Anthropology


62 Daniel Walkowitz, Professor, History & SCA


63 Zachary Lockman, Professor, Middle Eastern &

Islamic Studies FAS

64 Assia Djebar, Silver Professor, French &

Francophone Studies FAS

65 Ernest Gilman, Professor, English


66 Mary Lousie Pratt, Professor, SCA, Spanish &

Portugese FAS

67 Dennis Donoghue, University Professor, English


68 Patrick H. Deer Associate Professor, English


69 Lisa Gitelman Associate Professor, Culture &

Communications Steinhardt

70 Karen Shimakawa Associate Professor, Performance

Studies TSOA

71 Kristin Ross Professor, Comparative

Literature FAS

72 John Archer Professor, English


73 Jennifer Morgan Professor, History &SCA


74 Allen Mincer Professor, Physics


75 Diana Taylor Professor, Performance

Studies TSOA

76 Mark Alter Professor, Teaching &

Learning Steinhardt

77 Barbara Weinstein, Professor, History


78 Eugene Nicole, Professor, French,


79 Amy Bentley Associate Professor

Nutrition, Food Studies, Public Health Steinhardt

80 Andrew Lee Associate Curator


81 Lawrence Wu Professor, Sociology


82 Marion Nestle, Goddard Professor, Nutrition,

Food Studies, & Public Health Steinhardt

83 Juan Corradi, Professor, Sociology

Letter to Provost McLaughlin

Letter to Provost McLaughlin
November 17, 2013

 To: Provost McLaughlin

From: Members of FASP

In recent months, you have expressed highly critical opinions about the reports of FASP, and have circulated commentary by John Beckman that is even more disparaging. The faculty members in question have been accused of “incivility,” “factual misrepresentations,” and “false claims.”

We are disappointed to see NYU’s chief academic officer construct, or endorse, these charges against his own faculty. Faculty opinion is a matter of academic freedom, not a test of civility or institutional loyalty. More to the point, we take issue with the often voiced allegation that FASP’s research is “verifiably untrue.” Mr. Beckman’s language is more colorful yet–he has accused us of “gleeful malice,” “vitriol,” and of “Swift-boating.”

Leaving aside Mr. Beckman’s ad hominem rhetoric, we believe it is important to set the record straight, and that the university community deserves to hear a debate about the disputed facts. The issues in question go to the core of NYU’s identity, and so they should not be treated lightly.

A public dialogue is the best forum to address them, and so we are asking you, along with one or more administrators, to participate in such an event. Doing so will be a genuine service to faculty and students alike. Please let us know if you will accept the invitation.

(On Behalf of NYU-FASP)

Anna McCarthy, TSOA

Stephen Duncombe, Gallatin

Christine Harrington, FAS

Rebecca Karl, FAS

Mark Crispin Miller, Steinhardt

Marie Monaco, SOM

Andrew Ross, FAS