May 03, 2013
Welcome to the first entry of the NYU Public Affairs blog, a new endeavor from us here in the Office of Public Affairs.
While the NYU News site will continue to be the home for official University bulletins showcasing the work and achievements of NYU faculty and students, this blog will include a more in-depth look at University goings-on. It will celebrate those people shaping NYU and offer the University's perspective on matters pertaining to our campus, and beyond.
When I first arrived at NYU 17 years ago, I could feel that I was part of an institution on the ascendancy, bolstered by New York City's improving quality of life. But some were still wary of the Village's gritty reputation, and we weren't yet the "dream school" we've become. It all felt a little fragile - as if the gains that had been made could evaporate with one bad turn of luck.
That fragility is now behind us. In the last decade or so, NYU's momentum has only accelerated. We have significantly grown our science and tech programs, and our faculty has earned the world's highest honors--Nobels, Abels, National Medals. We have focused more on research, and become a leader in seeing faculty innovations licensed or turned into start-ups. All while still expanding financial aid, growing student diversity, investing in better facilities, and recruiting world-class faculty.
But there is more to NYU's evolution. We are reshaping the architecture of the modern university to meet the educational challenges for the 21st century. Our new global network challenges the notion that the only way to receive a top-notch education is to be anchored in a university's historic city of origin.
Other schools have also begun to question this age-old way of doing things, too -- Duke, Yale, and Stanford , to name just three. But no one can really match NYU's network, which, in addition to our campus in Greenwich Village, now includes research institutions in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, as well as nearly a dozen global academic centers.
Unlike those peer schools, NYU does not have the luxury of an enormous endowment, and this innovation is essential to our momentum. But beyond that, these moves offer our students unmatched opportunities, better prepare them for a global age, and make an NYU degree more distinguished and valuable.
Change is not always easy, and it's fair to say it hasn't been easy at NYU; indeed, it has at times been uncomfortable and contentious. But we have a long tradition of encouraging the free exchange of ideas, and this commitment does not diminish amidst a difference of opinion.
The success that NYU has achieved is ours, together. In a city where what you do for work is the first question you're asked, I am proud when I tell people I work at NYU. And I and my colleagues in Public Affairs are glad to have a chance to post from time to time about all that is happening now and all that's still to come at our university.
-- John Beckman