Reflections on the Semester and Best Wishes for the Holidays
As the semester draws to a close, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the exceptional commitment, dedication, and hard work that has been in evidence across The New School. The creative and scholarly work produced by our faculty and students–the heart and soul of The New School’s academic mission–has been a steady source of pride. Here are just a few examples: the enormous critical praise for Parsons Professor Nora Krug’s book, Belonging; the seven young alumni recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30; the impressive New York Times review of the Mannes Orchestra; two Golden Globe nominations for alumnus Kevin Kwan’s film Crazy Rich Asians; the launch of our New University in Exile Consortium; and an American Political Science Association “best book” award for International Affairs Professor Sakiko Fukuda Parr.
There has also been a great deal of effort and achievement in working together as citizens of our dynamic university community and addressing challenges. Some of these challenges have been unanticipated and specific. For example, just weeks into the semester, the discovery of mold in the 13th Street residence hall necessitated the relocation of 160 of our students. Our staff and students demonstrated responsiveness and resilience.
Then there have been challenges inherent in navigating complex, new terrain. In this vein, I want to highlight the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff whose dedication resulted in the landmark first contract with SENS-UAW, the union representing academic student workers at The New School. The final stages this fall of an 18-month negotiation process were demanding and difficult for everyone involved. I want to extend special appreciation to the bargaining teams on both sides and everyone around them who worked so hard toward a successful outcome.
Still other challenges have arisen in the context of the national and global political environment, policy shifts, and emerging issues. These developments have created new relevance, new complexities, and new urgency for our work as a university committed to using scholarship and creative practice to create positive social change.
As we look toward the university’s centennial in 2019, we have much to be proud of, much to build on, and much more to do. The New School is an extraordinary university, a community ready for any challenge, because of the people who choose to learn, teach, and work here.
With thanks and best wishes for the holidays and the year ahead.