Messages to the Community

Strengthening Our Academic Core

A Message from Dr. Donna E. Shalala, Interim President

Yesterday, Mark Diaz, Interim Executive Vice President for Business and Operations, provided an update on our work to stabilize The New School’s finances and put the university on a path towards financial sustainability. I am writing to share our next steps.

With the first phase of our strategy completed—stabilizing the university’s finances—we are now ready to begin the second phase of this important work, which will focus on reinforcing the university’s core mission to create an exceptional educational experience for students while they attend The New School. This goal will guide our work in the weeks ahead and is grounded in the following principles: safeguarding the academic core, including our renowned graduate programs and institutes; respecting faculty and staff positions; and focusing on areas of opportunity and growth for the university.

The Board of Trustees has endorsed this plan, and I have asked the Provost and Executive Deans to lead a review of our academic offerings and structure. This work will identify ways to create a more unified, integrated, and accessible university and will include a route to reducing the number of colleges. We will look for opportunities to align programs; enhance student mobility and flexibility; remove duplication; foster synergies among graduate programs and institutes; and create opportunities for growth and innovation for the future.

The review will begin immediately, and the Provost and Executive Deans will form working groups, including faculty and staff across the colleges, to evaluate our current organizational structure and develop a plan to strengthen our academic core for a sustainable future. The working groups will consider implications for all of the colleges, in addition to the effort already underway to integrate Continuing and Professional Education programs with the other academic areas of the university. The recommendations will be shared with university leadership in early May. 

Thank you in advance to all of those who will be engaged in this important undertaking. I am confident this work will put The New School on a path towards a strong and resilient future.

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