The NYU AAUP Chapter is deeply troubled by the recent announcement of NYU administrators that a decision to re-start NYU in Fall 2020 has been reached. We are concerned about the health and safety of all faculty, staff, and students. We see the administration’s decision as being driven primarily by financial priorities that are not reflective of the concerns of many faculty, students, unions and staff, least of all the most vulnerable members. The opaqueness of the decision-making, the fact that faculty and graduate student instructors only learned of the larger plan by reading the letter sent to students, and the apparent lack of meaningful consultation and discussion with the elected Faculty Senate and other faculty, union, and student organizations represents an undercutting of shared governance and the faculty’s right to exercise control over academic affairs. The “Go-Local” flexible opening, in particular, does not adequately address or take into consideration these and other concerns.
In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, we at the AAUP have been calling for the urgent need for greater democratic governance and the prioritization of the equitable treatment of the rights of students and employees across the University. During our Town Hall meeting held on March 15th, attended by 100 faculty and graduate students, we heard from representatives of the Faculty Senate, the graduate students’ union, and the adjunct faculty union, among others. Our colleagues raised collective concerns about the administration’s misguided priorities in making recent extensive budget cuts and its persistent lack of transparency and substantive consultation with the workers (faculty and students) who will be expected to provide the “flexible” content across NYU’s global network this fall semester and beyond.
We call upon faculty, students, unions and staff to express their concerns to the administration and the wider NYU community, as has GSOC in this recent statement. Equally, we call upon faculty, students, unions and staff to work together in holding the university to account to its educational mission, since we are the community that has sustained and advanced its mission.
NYU AAUP Executive Committee