Messages to the Community

University News: Changes Planned in 2020

Dear Members of The New School Community,

I write to share some news. I have recently informed the Board of Trustees of my decision to conclude my presidency in June of 2020, after nearly a decade in this role.

I chose to share this news now because I care deeply about The New School, and I want to allow ample time for the Board and university community to plan for the transition. The university’s Centennial year is a particularly fitting time to focus forward on the promise and challenge of defining how The New School will lead higher education in the next century, and to choose the best person to guide the next phase of The New School’s evolution.

I want to take this opportunity to reflect and share my immense pride in The New School, and what an honor, privilege, and thrill it has been for me to steward this wonderful iconic institution. These years absolutely have been the most exciting of my 25-years in higher education leadership. I chose to come to The New School In 2011 because I believed that we could build a superior education out of our strengths in design, social sciences, performing arts, and humanities. At the time, that was just an idea, but I have since learned so much about the marvelous power of art and design, radical new ways of thinking in the social sciences and humanities, innovative performing arts, and the impact that is possible when those strengths come together in the context of a university deeply rooted creativity and social engagement.

As a university community, we have realized many achievements, starting with the articulation of a cohesive and compelling university vision and strategic direction. Guided by that vision, we have strengthened our programs and opened new transdisciplinary pathways. We have created a prominent campus with world-class new facilities, improved our student services and support, and greatly enhanced our visibility and profile in New York City and around the world. We have strengthened enrollment and doubled our fundraising and our endowment in a challenging environment for higher education nationwide. We have also launched new initiatives like Open Campus and global partnerships to help reach new students.

To be sure, we have also experienced challenges. But we have shown that we can work together to address complex issues and conflict. I am grateful to our passionate and engaged students, faculty, and staff for continuously helping me to see the things we need to amplify, develop, change, and do better. I am also grateful to everyone who contributes to ensuring we are an inclusive, welcoming, and tolerant community.

Over the next 18 months, our priorities will remain focused on expanding access to a New School education, ensuring that we are delivering on the promise of providing a high quality, differentiated, flexible, and relevant education, and building our financial and operational resilience for the long-term. Our success will rely on the continued commitment of our extraordinary faculty and staff, the exceptional senior leadership team, and the support of our Board, as well as our growing circle of alumni, families, friends, and supporters.

Ten years ago, in accepting the challenge to lead The New School, I was compelled by my belief that that our world needs creative problem solvers who can work on diverse multidisciplinary teams and come up with innovative ways to address complex challenges. And I knew The New School was positioned to do this better than any other university—it could provide a different kind of education for effective citizenship in a world that is changing dramatically and needs a new generation of problem solvers. Thanks to all of you, I believe that now more than ever, and I look forward to things we will yet accomplish.

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