Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 05:42 am est

[UPDATE] Tisch faculty passes vote of no confidence

Posted on May 21, 2013 | by Jonathon Dornbush

Update May 22, 2013 9:54 p.m.: Awam Amkpa, associate professor and Tisch faculty senator, explained that the faculty had met with President Sexton on April 30 to discuss the faculty’s concerns.

“During that meeting, the president reiterated his support for all faculty, regardless of their status, playing a role in university governance,” Amkpa said. “He also gave more detailed explanations on the closure of TischAsia, as well as agreed to continue to address the issue of salary disparities between professors.”

Afterward, the faculty held a special meeting on May 11 where they continued to debate the issue. At that meeting, they decided to hold a vote of no confidence, which they passed at midnight on May 20.

“Our process was long and tedious, but overall animated by a common cause: how best to be full and effective citizens of the university,” he said. “Looking forward, we intend to play a leadership role in university governance and representations.”

The Tisch School of the Arts faculty passed a vote of no confidence in NYU President John Sexton on the morning of Tuesday, May 21.

Faculty could either vote for or against the statement, “I, as a member of the full-time faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts, have no confidence in the leadership of the Sexton Administration.”

Of the 244 eligible full-time faculty members of Tisch, 185 participated in the vote. 93 faculty members voted in agreement, 76 voted against and 16  abstained from voting.

“During his April 30th faculty meeting, John, with the support of the NYU trustees, pledged to continue his leadership of the University until 2016,” said Mary Campbell, dean of Tisch. “I am confident that the Tisch community will come forward to work with John and his administration for the continued advancement of Tisch and NYU.”

In response to the vote, chair of the Board of Trustees Martin Lipton issued the following statement:

“The Board of Trustees fully supports John Sexton, has confidence in his leadership and believes that the strategic course he has set for the University will benefit NYU and all its schools, very much including the Tisch School of the Arts.

“Past, as they say, is prologue.  During John Sexton’s presidency and with support from his administration, Tisch has thrived.  It has establishe

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d important and distinctive new programs and been able to recruit and retain outstanding faculty.  Under John, Tisch’s pressing space needs – which must be addressed to keep its programs at their current level of excellence – will be answered with tens of millions of dollars of University resources.

“For all these reasons, the Board finds today’s vote by the Tisch faculty disappointing.  It is our hope that in the aftermath of the vote, the focus will return once again to sustaining NYU’s academic momentum and continuing the school’s drive for artistic and academic excellence.”

NYU spokesman John Beckman also released this statement:

“John Sexton — who enjoys the Trustees’ full support and confidence — and his leadership team will remain focused on supporting NYU’s main missions — research, teaching, and sustaining NYU’s extraordinary and transformative academic trajectory — while enhancing faculty involvement in University decision-making.”

Tisch faculty had begun discussing a vote of no confidence earlier in the semester and also held a forum with Sexton and the administration to discuss the university’s governance.

Keep checking for more updates on the Tisch vote of no confidence.



  • Chuzzlewit

    Martin Lipton (special counsel to the City of New York in connection with the fiscal crisis of 1975–1977, special counsel to the United States Department of Energy, 1979–1980) is beyond any question one of the most influential people in New York. A certain arrogance usually accompanies such profiles. It is safe to predict that he will defend his friend John Sexton to the end, and the buck stops there: if Lipton wants Sexton to remain, Sexton shall remain.

    Recent events seem to demonstrate that these “glimmer twins” are not particularly concerned about topics like human decency or the humanities in general; what they do care about is money, power, and politics. I would guess that they will not hesitate to retaliate against anyone who voted against Sexton. One must hope the proceedings were anonymous, and all the participants tenured faculty members. Anyone who would like to explore the methods used by certain members of NYU’s administration to silence unwanted criticism, should take a good look at the documentation:

    of the criminal trial of a blogger who sent out “Gmail confessions” to expose the alleged plagiarism of the former chairman of the Jewish Studies department. That individual is now facing six months in jail, due to the efforts of several NYU officials, including two former deans who testified at the trial that the alleged plagiarist has a “reputation for honesty”; in accordance with the policy they explained, the plagiarism allegations, first made by an Israeli journalist twenty years ago, were never investigated.

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