Messages to the Community

A Message From President McBride: On Leaving The New School

A Message from Dr. Dwight A. McBride, President and University Professor

Dear Members of The New School community,

Earlier today, the Board Chair announced my decision to conclude my service as The New School’s ninth President. This decision was a difficult one for me, but it is also the right one for me personally and professionally. After 16 years in demanding executive leadership roles in higher education, I am eager to re-engage with the fundamental work of scholarship and research. I’m honored to have been invited to take on a new role as the Gerald Early Distinguished Professor and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Until I officially begin that role in mid-August, I’ll continue to be dedicated to serving The New School community and supporting the Board of Trustees in every way that I can. I believe in the promise of this amazing university, and I want nothing more than to see all the ways it will grow, change, reach, thrive, inspire, and transform. I know it will continue to play a powerful role as a locus of critical thinking and discourse, a cultural and intellectual commons for NYC and broader communities, and a higher education leader for equity, inclusion, and social justice.

The legacy and promise of The New School make it worth navigating the challenges. Indeed, the past three years have brought into high relief some of the most complex and difficult issues facing The New School in its history. As I’ve led through these successive challenges, I have been guided by our deeply held values, our strengths, and our vast potential as a truly distinctive university. I’ve been continually awed and inspired by our students and my responsibility to support their success. And I have been lifted by the shared commitment of my colleagues in leadership at The New School, who are among the most brilliant, principled, and dedicated people with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure to work.

Indeed, by far the greatest joy of my experience at The New School has been engaging with the extraordinary people here. I have been instructed by hearing your New School stories and experiences, impressed by your research and creative projects, appreciative of the work you are advancing for the university, and enlightened by your viewpoints and ideas. It’s been a continual education to be your President, and that has been a true gift.  In the coming weeks, I hope that I can connect personally with many of you to offer both my gratitude and ongoing support. 

I love academia. And I’ve spent my entire career—indeed, more than two-thirds of my life—immersed in higher education. I believe it remains a key tenet in sustaining an educated citizenry and a thriving democracy now more than ever. I also know that it remains an important engine of social mobility that quite literally changes lives, just as it did mine—a working-class, first-generation, African American kid from the rural south who has been able to achieve and contribute to our society in the high-level ways I have been privileged to do. The opportunity to serve The New School for these past three years has been a tremendous honor for which I will be forever grateful.

Meanwhile, I wish each and every one of you my continued very best wishes.

Onward and upward!

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