Welcome to the Start of the Academic Year
A message from Dr. Dwight A. McBride, President and University Professor
We have done it! Today marks the first day of classes—back on our beautiful Greenwich Village and Paris campuses. This is a true milestone. Congratulations and welcome!
A special welcome goes out to those who are experiencing our campus for the first time, including many of our second-year students who studied remotely last year and our incoming class—the largest and most racially and ethnically diverse entering class in the history of The New School. Our students bring an extraordinary range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from their home cities, suburbs, towns, and villages in 48 states and 76 countries.
I also extend my hearty greetings and appreciation to our amazing faculty. We continue to be so proud of your distinction and leadership in teaching, research, and creative practice, and the genuine care for students you bring to your work.
And here’s to our incredible staff. In remarks at new student orientation, one of our colleagues shared that “I have never found a more truly dedicated and committed staff than I have found here at The New School.” I could not agree more!
I know we will accomplish great things together this semester. And through all of our good work, the greatest thing we can build together is each other’s trust, confidence, and optimism as we advance as a community of care.
As we know all too well, the pandemic continues to be a reality that will impact how we move, use spaces, and interact with each other. We have strong protocols in place at The New School that prioritize community health. Our deep thanks go to our university COVID Coordination Group, a team of faculty and staff who have been working hard over the past six months to develop smart policies, systems, guidelines, and communication.
Changing circumstances will require us to be both realistic and patient. There are going to be difficulties, compromises, and frustrations that we will all face. In this extraordinary context, our work should not be judged by the standard of perfection. The best we can all do is to judge our work by the integrity with which we approach it, the principles that inform it, and the care that’s behind it.
And it’s work all of us need to do. I want to remind you of our commitment to caring for our community. It’s also critically important that everyone comply with our vaccination and testing policies. As of today, 99 percent of our faculty and staff and 95 percent of our students in New York are fully vaccinated, and the student number will increase as more students complete their vaccine series and are counted. These high vaccination rates are just one example of the sense of responsibility and concern that is shared across The New School community.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible as we move through this semester. I know I speak for the President’s Leadership Team, the Deans, and leaders across the university in expressing our commitment to ongoing communication and real engagement. In this spirit, please watch for a welcome message from Provost White tomorrow. She is especially excited to begin this semester, her first at The New School.
And please mark your calendar for a very special occasion on Thursday, October 7 at 11am as we commemorate new beginnings and a bright future for The New School at the Presidential Investiture ceremony. You can look for details here.
Here’s to a great semester ahead.
Onward and upward!