In November 2011, the New School Board of Trustees approved a general strategic direction proposed by the president and provost. Working within that framework, a statement was developed over many months by the deans, provost, and president to encapsulate the vision of the university, with input from all sectors of The New School including our Trustees. The statement set forth an academic direction informed by our values and strengths, the changing context for higher education, and a paramount concern for students' intellectual and professional growth. In November 2012, it was posted on newschool.edu with an invitation for community response. From that feedback emerged not only a more focused and crystallized vision, but also an updated Mission Statement for The New School.
We ask everyone at the university to rise to the challenge of advancing this vision and sharing your feedback. In doing so, we will not only better serve students, but we will also become a stronger university, prepared to meet the challenges of the future while continuing to honor our extraordinary legacy.
The New School was born out of a commitment to academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Our future will be shaped by the qualities that have defined our past:
- Creativity, innovation, and challenging the status quo, both in terms of what and how we teach, and in the intellectual ambitions of the School itself;
- Social engagement, orienting students' academic experience to help them become critically engaged citizens devoted to solving problems and contributing to the public good.
Now as then, The New School must embrace these principles and innovate to address shifts in the global economy, society, and environment. These shifts require that individuals grapple with complex problems, lead more fluid and flexible careers, and collaboratively create change.
We will prepare our students to understand, contribute to, and succeed in a rapidly changing society, and thus make the world a better and more just place. We will ensure that our students have not only the abilities that a sound liberal arts education provides, but also the creative competencies essential for success and leadership in the emerging creative society and economy. We will also lead in generating practical and theoretical knowledge that seeks to understand our world and improve both global and local society and the people who live within.
We are and will be a university where design and social research drive approaches to studying the issues of our time, such as democracy, urbanization, technology, economic empowerment, sustainability, migration, and globalization. We will be the intellectual and creative center for effective engagement in a world that increasingly demands better-designed objects, communication, systems, and organizations to meet social and human needs. Our vision corresponds with shifts in the global economy, society, and environment, which animate our mission.
We will fulfill our mission by extending The New School's legacy as a non-traditional academic community, nimble and responsive to change, that will:
- Focus on and engage contemporary critical issues.
- Prioritize the importance of humanity and culture in designing better systems and environments to improve the human condition, an approach that draws from design thinking and the liberal, creative, and performing arts.
- Place project-based learning at the center of the learning experience.
- Take full advantage of our New York City locus and connectivity to global urban centers.