Saturday, November 19, 2005

Former NYU Dean Marcus: "We need people that we can abuse, exploit, and then turn loose"

While trolling the internet, I found this fascinating (albeit lengthy) interview with Joel Westheimer, a former assistant professor at NYU who was denied tenure (Social Text PDF here) after supporting our GA unionization effort in the late 1990's, which culminated in the official recognition of GSOC in 2001. He successfully challenged NYU, which subsequently reversed its denial of tenure.

Westheimer's saga exposes the dirty, labor-exploitative underbelly of NYU. In his defense, he unearthed e-mails sent by Dean Ann Marcus (that's her to the right) that said shocking things such as, "we need [to hire] people that we can abuse, exploit, and then turn loose," and which made reference to NYU's "union-bashing" tactics. I feel compelled to note that Marcus was Dean of the Steinhardt School of Education when she wrote these e-mails. She is currently Professor of Higher Education and Director of The Steinhardt Institute of Higher Education Policy at NYU. It saddens me to think that such people are charged with educating future teachers of America; ironically, the exact same people who disavow the legitimacy of NYU T.A.s' labor, and who "abuse, exploit" and denigrate educators at their very own institution.

Sigh. NYU hasn't changed much in last 5-10 years, has it? The administration continues to "union bash." And yet, the union lives on; our strike is its testament.


Anonymous GenPaul said...

you can find the article published in Social Text (2002) here:

11/20/2005 1:22 PM  
Anonymous genpaul said...

11/20/2005 1:24 PM  
Anonymous GenPaul said...

Check out Dean MArcus here...and what deans have to say about her....

11/21/2005 3:11 AM  
Anonymous GenPaul said...

trying again...
Steinhardt Dean Ann Marcus Announces Intention to Step Down
Ann Marcus, dean of The Steinhardt School of Education since 1989, has announced that she intends to step down as dean of the School at the end of the 2002-03 academic year.

During her tenure, the School’s national stature was substantially enhanced. Its faculty and researchers became prominent participants in the civic conversation about public education. It was widely recognized for innovation and excellence in preparing professionals for careers in communications, nursing, health, music and art, as well as for its leading researchers who have gained a portfolio of the most prestigious public and private research grants. It also achieved unparalleled success in fundraising.

At a Steinhardt faculty meeting in September, Dean Marcus said that the transition to a new University administration presented an opportunity for School of Education faculty. Noting President John Sexton’s vision of NYU as a leadership university, she drew attention to the School’s 112-year tradition, saying, “We are allies in the quest identified by President Sexton. The strength of our School has always been found in its spirit of innovation, its dedication to being at the leading edge of change in our fields and professions. We have grown and flourished out of a willingness to take risks. We invented many of the programs we offer and even some of the fields we represent.”

“Ann’s leadership over the past 13 years has enabled the School to overcome its financial difficulties, to thrive as a microcosm of the entire University, and to grow in academic stature and promise,” said President Sexton and Provost David McLaughlin in a letter to the Steinhardt community. “We can’t reiterate enough, for ourselves and for the Steinhardt community, our indebtedness to Dean Marcus for her many achievements and her dedication to Steinhardt and NYU as a whole.”

After a year-long sabbatical, Dean Marcus will return as a member of the School’s faculty, where she will teach and create a center for research and debate in higher education policy.

Following her announcement, the president’s office and the provost’s office opened a dialogue with Steinhardt faculty, students, and staff on the dean search and the future of the School. As a consequence of those conversations, President Sexton and Dr. McLaughlin announced the formation of two University committees for The Steinhardt School — a dean search committee, and a strategic assessment committee.

Referring to the meetings and dialogues with Steinhardt community, President Sexton said, “It turned out to be an extraordinary extended conversation. Steinhardt faculty members indicated a desire to immediately begin work on the search for the next dean. There was also a widespread interest in examining the mission, purpose and structure of the School.”

The dean search committee is chaired by Associate Professor Niobe Way and includes nine other Steinhardt faculty members, an undergraduate and a graduate student, and Catharine Stimpson, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science.

The strategic assessment committee is composed of 12 faculty, students, and administrators drawn from the Steinhardt community, together with five members selected from the University central administration. The chair of the strategic assessment committee is Dr. Matina Horner, executive vice president of TIAA-CREF and one of the nation’s leading educators.

Professor Dick Richardson will serve as vice chair of both committees, ensuring that there is synchrony in the work of the two committees. Vice Provost Yaw Nyarko and Deputy to the President Diane Yu will also serve on both committees ex officio.

During the transitional period Steinhardt Vice Dean Tom James will act as the School’s Chief Operating Officer, in consultation with Dean Marcus and Vice Provost Nyarko, on important, immediate administrative matters. Dean Marcus will work closely with Dean James and the chairs of the two University committees to ensure continuity, momentum, and stability.

Dean Marcus began her career at NYU in 1976, serving as dean of the School of Continuing Education (now the School of Continuing and Professional Studies). From 1980 to 1991, she was NYU’s vice president for student affairs and services.

11/21/2005 3:12 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home