Salary Reductions for Tenured NYU Faculty

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The dean of the SoM convened a task force and the result was a recommendation 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.
  4. The Provost approved this plan, stating that the "Program 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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?

Marie Monaco
Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine

Supplementary documents