Campus Free Speech

NYU Hands Out Loans to Administrators, Faculty for Vacation Homes

And sometimes forgives them too


Last summer I met a woman who decided, along with her husband, to sell their home so that her daughter could attend New York University. The family concluded that this enormous sacrifice was worth it so her daughter could major in theater at a school near Broadway.

I was stunned when I heard the woman confess to giving up the family home so they could afford to send their child to NYU. But I wasn't surprised that it would take something so extreme to pay the school's tab. The institution is not only one of the most expensive universities in the country, but also is among the stingiest when it comes to providing financial aid to its students.

That anecdote seems especially relevant given the report in The New York Times that revealed that NYU is  quite generous to the very people who don't need a helping hand. They include John Sexton, the school's president, as well as some star faculty and administrators. The university has been giving these lucky folks sweetheart loans so that they can buy expensive vacation homes.

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  1. As I’ve indicated elsewhere, this is only one of a variety of embarrassments highly damaging to NYU’s reputation as an institution of higher learning:

    1. Sneering at the democratic process, the board of trustees focuses on polluting the historic beauty of the Greenwich Village neighborhood. A few years ago they demolished Edgar Allen Poe’s home in face of a public outcry; what will it be next?

    2. More recently, various NYU officials were involved in the criminal trial of an individual who set out to expose the alleged plagiarism of an NYU department chairman on the Internet. Does this persecution reflect the official policy of NYU? For details, see

    3. A disregard for humanistic values and free speech also seems to have led to efforts by NYU to dissuade resident scholar and Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng from meeting with members of Congress. NYU interpreters who ultimately accompanied him to Washington prevented reporters from talking with him at Union Station.

    4. Millions of dollars earned from appalling tuition hikes have been amateurishly squandered on defective programs in China and the United Arab Emirates–programs whose mismanagement has been deeply upsetting to many faculty members whose views are disregarded by the board of trustees.

    5. A climate of fear and backbiting continues to take hold in one department after another: thank you, John Sexton, for fostering so much arrogance and ill-will in our community.

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