New York University said on Wednesday that it would no longer lend money to top employees to buy vacation homes and would grant faculty members more participation in school decisions, part of a slate of changes designed to lower tensions between the university’s leaders and its rank-and-file professors. The university also announced that its president, John Sexton, who has been the subject of five no-confidence votes by the faculty this year, would step down once his term ends in 2016.
The changes, which emerged from a series of meetings that a group of trustees held with faculty and staff members, administrators and students, are the first concessions by the trustees since the faculty rebellion began in March with a no-confidence vote in the College of Arts and Science, N.Y.U.’s largest school. …
In addition to a distaste for the recent vitriol, some of which has been directed at him personally, Mr. Lipton also has a practical reason to seek harmony: faculty morale can sometimes influence a university’s credit rating, and a drop in rating would make it more expensive for N.Y.U. to borrow for its planned 2 million-square-foot expansion in Greenwich Village. Though N.Y.U.’s credit rating has not suffered, he said, “I think if faculty unrest were to continue unabated it could have an effect.”
Wow. Here at UO, the faculty is fighting with President Gottfredson over a modest proposal from the faculty union for merit and external equity raises that had originally been scheduled for implementation in 2011. A motion for a vote of no-confidence in Gottfredson over governance issues was introduced in the university Senate in late spring, but was not brought to the floor.
And Kitzhaber’s recommendations for appointments to the new UO Board of Trustees should be public Monday. The board’s main powers? Issuing bonds, and hiring and firing the UO president.
It will be an interesting fall quarter – maybe we’ll even make it into the NYT for something other than being “The University of Nike”.