Theory and Practice at NYU

NYU’s Mission Statement:

New York University’s mission is to be an international center of scholarship, teaching and research defined by a culture of academic excellence and innovation. That mission involves retaining and attracting outstanding faculty, encouraging them to create programs that draw the best students, having students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields, and shaping an intellectually rich environment for faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. In reaching for excellence, NYU seeks to take academic and cultural advantage of its location in New York City and to embrace diversity among faculty, staff and students to ensure the widest possible range of perspectives, including international perspectives, in the educational experience.

NYU President John Sexton:

It is ironic that at a time when sustaining the university as sanctuary is so important to society at large, society itself has unleashed forces which threaten the vitality if not the existence of that sacred space….

Forces outside our gates threaten the sanctity of the dialogue on campus. Begin with an obvious example. Every university president, and most deans, at some point have to face sometimes enormous external pressure because a controversial speaker is coming to campus. Inviting speakers from the right or from the left, from the fringes or even from the majority, often attracts varying degrees of protest and accompanying demands that the speaker be banned.

Frequently the external pressure is not reserved for protesting visiting speakers. Once unleashed, those who would exclude or punish certain views are more than willing to apply their muscle in an attempt to silence members of the university’s faculty or other members of the community.

At the same time, again in the name of security, we see an increasing official intolerance toward foreign professors and students, with new immigration restrictions which bear no apparent relation to genuine security concerns but which certainly hamper the capacity of America’s universities to bring into the conversation on campus those who are most talented, regardless of their country of origin. Foreign nationals interested in coming to our universities face longer application periods, extensive background checks, and constant monitoring; and many perfectly innocent professors and students effectively have been denied entry through burdensome and lengthy application procedures—and, astonishingly, some simply have been seeking to return after brief visits home to universities where they already have spent months or even years. The result: the Institute of International Education now reports that the number of foreign nationals coming to teach and study in the United States has all but stagnated, reversing a fifty-year trend of increased enrollment and thereby depleting our capacity to understand other cultures and diminishing our chance to have them understand us.

Today’s New York Post:

NYU isn’t letting a pesky thing like human rights stand in the way of its expansion in China.

The university has booted a blind Chinese political dissident from its campus under pressure from the Communist government as it builds a coveted branch in Shanghai, sources told The Post.

Chen Guangcheng has been at NYU since May 2012, when he made a dramatic escape from his oppressive homeland with the help of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But school brass has told him to get out by the end of this month, the sources said.

Chen’s presence at the school didn’t sit well with the Chinese bureaucrats who signed off on the permits for NYU’s expansion there, the sources said.

One Comment

  1. The Raven June 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm | #

    Guy, it’s the Post. Not exactly a reliable source of news.

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