French Department Resolution: NYU 2031 Plan

The French Department Faculty of NYU has voted unanimously for a Resolution opposing the NYU 2031 plan for construction and development of the Greenwich Village campus and residential complexes at Washington Square Village and Silver Towers. "Construisez vite, construisez grand" ("Build fast, build big"), a watchword of Louis XIV's administration, comes back to haunt us at a time when NYU is expanding physically and institutionally in many directions with insufficient dialogue and exchange about the overall effect this is having, or could have, on our academic mission. While we have no principled objection to an expansion of NYU's footprint in light of real space needs, we feel that the potentially negative impact of this particular plan has not been adequately assessed. The scale and concentration of new building on a cramped site, the loss of sunlight and green space, the disruption to research and quality of life due to construction work over an extended period of time, are cause for concern. In our view the 2031 plan exposes NYU to the risk of financial over-extension. Fiscal uncertainty could curtail our ability to recruit and consolidate excellent faculty in the foreseeable future. It could also add substantial debt burden to that already shouldered by students struggling with steep tuition, soaring fees, and the high cost of living in New York City. As members of the French Department we are united in our commitment to see the university develop and flourish, but we are not convinced that the 2031 plan advances these goals in an economically sound, academically responsible and socially advantageous way for the NYU community and its neighbors.