Salary Reductions for Tenured NYU Faculty
- In the summer of 2007 the faculty of the School of Medicine (SoM)
were informed by the administration that the medical center was facing a
structural deficit of $150,000,000 as the result of the failed merger with
Mt. Sinai Hospital. The faculty had strongly opposed this merger
and went to court to try to stop it, predicting that it would be a
financial disaster. Needless to say, the Trustees refused to listen, the
court ruled against the faculty, and financial disaster ensued.
In order to address this deficit, Price-Waterhouse-Cooper was hired to do
an analysis of the situation and make recommendations. One of the
recommendations was to require tenured faculty to support their own
research efforts by generating funds from external sources to pay their
salary. It has always been understood that faculty who do research are
expected to apply for extramural funding, but tenure was thought to
guarantee ones salary in the face of funding shortages. The guarantee of
ones institutional salary, which is described in the Handbook as a
guarantee of "economic security," has been reaffirmed many times by the
FSC in resolution form (1998, 2008, 2009). There is no precedent for
salary reductions of tenured faculty.
The dean of the SoM convened a task force and the result was a
for salary reductions for tenured faculty that was voted
down by the SoM Faculty Council, but was nevertheless submitted to the
Provost, bypassing the Faculty Senators Council.
The Provost approved this plan, stating that the
was developed in extensive consultation with faculty," but failing to
mention that these faculty members were hand-picked by the Dean, that it
was not approved by the SoM Faculty Council and had never even been
submitted to the Faculty Senators Council.
President Sexton had previously communicated
his views on the issue of
salary guarantee for tenured faculty, namely that tenure did not guarantee
a particular salary, and that therefore the salaries of tenured faculty
could be reduced if it was felt their were failing to live up to their
responsibilities, which in the case of the medical school, included
generating part of ones salary from external funding sources
Should the 2031 plan result in financial difficulties for the University,
will tenured faculty at the Square be required to obtain extramural
funding to support their salary?
Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine