New time zone.
That has been life for Lisa and me for the past few months since we moved from Chicago—and we could not be more pleased. I want to thank everyone at The New School for making us feel so welcome. It is truly a thrill to be part of this dynamic and diverse community and to see firsthand the energy and engagement that flow between The New School, New York City, and the world.
In the months before I officially started as president, I spent several days a month on campus. I was immediately impressed by the work of the faculty and students and the dedication of the staff. The New School today is a university in transition, experiencing unparalleled expansion in enrollment and new programs.
The New School has continually evolved in order to remain relevant to both New York City and the world.
Everyone who works and studies at The New School deserves a share of credit for that success, but I would like to recognize in particular the leadership and vision of Bob Kerrey. I join the New School community in thanking him for ten years of exceptional service to the university and for all he has done to ensure a smooth transition of leadership at The New School.
Shrewd fiscal management under his leadership has placed the university on solid financial ground. Though the university faced a very difficult bond market in November 2010, when the university sold tax-exempt bonds to finance the new University Center, buyers showed confidence in the university’s credit and financial condition. When the University Center opens in 2013, it will provide new and improved academic spaces and amenities to meet our growing enrollment and support our efforts to promote collaboration between disciplines.
A Remarkable Year
As I reviewed the events of the 2009–2010 academic year, I was struck by the remarkable breadth of achievements across the campus. I am particularly inspired by the fact that at a time when many universities were cutting back, The New School announced the appointment of 53 new full-time faculty members. (An additional 40 new full-time faculty were announced for the 2010–2011 academic year.) These outstanding scholars, professionals, and artists join the ranks of current faculty—including our 1,700 part-time faculty members—who have long been inspiring students in and outside of the classroom.
The highlights of the 2009–2010 academic year and the profiles of our students, faculty, and alumni in this Annual Report reveal the exceptional diverse gifts of our community. My goal is to continue pulling our academic and learning community together—to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts—without losing sight of our traditions of progressive leadership, innovative thinking, and civic engagement.
True to its name, The New School has continually evolved in order to remain relevant to both New York City and the world. In keeping with this tradition, we must constantly assess what our students need to be successful citizens in a changing world, and maintain the capacity to adjust our programs to meet those needs.
We can already see this philosophy in action in academic programs such as the new interdisciplinary undergraduate programs that examine the challenges of globalization, urbanism, social justice, and sustainability, and new graduate programs at Parsons that link design studies to our highly regarded programs in other divisions of The New School in social sciences, policy, management, international affairs, and media. We also see it in projects like the Solar Decathlon competition, in which a multidisciplinary team from Parsons The New School for Design, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and Stevens Institute of Technology is developing innovative solutions to address the need for affordable housing.
These programs and initiatives point the way toward our future as a truly integrated university. But that integration will happen only if we—faculty, students, and staff—work together. I am excited about the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals as we meet that challenge. Together we will build upon the strengths of The New School. The university’s future is bright, and I thank you all—students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and friends—for not only being part of it, but making it possible.
David E. Van Zandt
The New School