Discussions on scheduling, full tuition remission at last University Senate meeting of semester

Alanna Bayarin, Staff Writer

Student and faculty senators met to discuss the academic calendar, sustainability, tuition remission and alumni relations during the final University Senate meeting of the semester in the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life on Dec. 4.

Topics of discussion included issues surrounding midterm scheduling. NYU President John Sexton said professors need to be mindful of students’ other classes when scheduling midterm exams.

“My experience with my students is that they occupy a good 40 percent of what would be called the middle of the semester, so try to be aware of what’s going on with your students,” Sexton said. “In recent years we have been expanding what we call midterms and I think that puts the students under a constant pressure.”

Jules O’Connor, chair of the Student Senators Council, updated the rest of the Senate with progress student senators are making. She said student senators are currently working with an on-campus organization to make NYU a more sustainable campus.

“We had a student group approach us about overall sustainability in the university, and they are specifically focused on not having plastic bottles on campus,” O’Connor said. “We’re also looking in our dining halls to get sustainable containers or recyclable containers if you take food out of the dining hall.”

Sexton added that NYU has already made considerable progress in promoting sustainable practices.

“There is a sustainability task force that has a prominent basis that actually came seven or eight years ago out of a Gallatin seminar, which is quite active,” Sexton said. “Our energy usage and sustainability quotient has quite aggressively improved over the last seven or eight years as a result of this sustainability task force.”

David Vintinner, chair of the Administrative Management Council, announced that faculty members will once again have full tuition remission because university growth is inhibited without this policy. Full tuition remission is subsidized tuition between 50 and 100 percent for faculty and their families on classes.

“Full tuition remission policies at The New School and Columbia were cited as reasons we have lost some of our colleagues and potential recruits to those other institutions,” Vintinner said.

Vintinner added that full tuition remission offered to NYU’s office and clerical employees is a frequent reason promising and ambitious individuals refused opportunities for promotion into administrative ranks.

Raghu Sundaram, chair of the Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council, said NYU will increase their utilization of NYU’s alumni relations and connectivity.

“There are more than half a million alumni that NYU has and more than 100,000 of them live in the New York area alone,” Sundaram said. “Alumni are with us forever, once they come here they are stuck with NYU whether they want it or not.”

Jessica Hawk, vice chair of the University Committee on Student Life, said alumni connections allow students to continue their relationship with NYU after graduation.

“It’s really awesome to have these sort of discussions about alumni relations because it keeps us all in the loop,” Hawk said. “It’s exciting to see that new alumni are interested in being a part of the NYU community.”

Email Alanna Bayarin at [email protected].