Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 05:28 am est

University expansion may not equate to improvement

Posted on March 13, 2013 | by WSN Editorial Board

With NYU President John Sexton’s 2031 plans now in question, NYU should focus its fundraising on increasing financial aid instead of expanding its campus. Global expansion is an interesting idea in theory. But in recent years, NYU has focused most of its fundraising and resources on creating a global university while neglecting other crucial aspects of NYU.

Sexton has advocated a number of policies that have turned NYU into a primarily for-profit corporation. NYU under Sexton has made a choice to pursue revenue instead of focusing on the quality of its education and financial aid for students. In recent years NYU has followed the mentality that it needs to expand its student body and real estate in order to remain a top-tier university.

However, does a powerful brand name imply a high quality education? Certainly NYU is establishing a radical new paradigm, something it calls the Global Network University. We now have a global site on every single continent except Antarctica. But the relationship between the brand name and the quality of education can be misleading.

Presumably, the goal of the GNU plan is to develop connections we provide our professors to economically developing nations like the United Arab Emirates and China, and in turn, their governments furnish lavish campuses for our students. Perhaps in 30 years, this will be a great help — China and the UAE will have highly developed academic systems and NYU will be present to take advantage. Or perhaps studying abroad will become much easier for NYU students. Maybe they will all speak two languages and have spent a year abroad somewhere halfway across the globe. This is a textbook economic investment.

But if NYU, which is listed as a nonprofit, narrows its focus and functions more like a for-profit business, is it not at least possible that this will result in a decrease in the quality of its education? After all, such developments take up a good deal of our resources in the short run. Today, our great professors are hopping back and forth between New York and Abu Dhabi, teaching classes over Skype and spreading themselves thin over the globe. Shouldn’t they be spending more time here with us at our main campus?

A version of this article was published in the Wednesday, March 13 print edition. Email the WSN Editorial Board at


  • Christopher Blair

    Universities such as NYU are acting as defacto for profit entities. These insitutions utilize tax payer money through grants and backing of student loans as well as pay no property or income taxes. NYU is expanding on the tax payers dime and is contributing the crisis (i.e., bubble) of escalating student debt.

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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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