Pulling back the curtain...
In his recent ultimatum to GSOC strikers, Sexton's language veils the real disruption to American universities, which is not the grievances of their workers, but the conflicting priorities of their trustees. Below is a list of the Officers of NYU's Board of Trustees, as well as links to the multibillion-dollar corporations where they have leveraged themselves into a position to buy out higher education.
Martin Lipton, Chair
A founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Lipton specializes in advising major corporations on mergers and acquisitions and matters affecting corporate policy. He is best known for inventing the "poison pill defense," a strategy for safeguarding shareholder value in the event of a hostile takeover.* Net profits at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in 2005 are projected at $405,834,000. Lipton's personal profits this year will be $3,295,500.*
William R. Berkley, Vice Chair
Berkley is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer of W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company that offers property casualty insurance business in the United States and internationally. Its revenues in 2004 totalled 4,512,200,000.* In 2002, the insurance conglomerate was able to establish a $12,000,000 reserve on surety bonds to indemnify itself from the bankruptcy of its biggest client, the Enron Corporation.* Berkley's paycheck this year will be $7,040,000.*
Laurence D. Fink, Vice Chair
Fink recently stepped down as chairman and chief executive of New York's BlackRock Inc., one of the largest bond-fund managers in the world with $400 billion in assets. Since it went public, BlackRock's stock has quintupled, earning $143 million on revenue of $725 million in 2004.* Fink is now a trustee of the company, as well as a member of the Board of Executives of the New York Stock Exchange.
Kenneth G. Langone, Vice Chair
On the General Electric Board of Directors (and member of executive committee for Home Depot, TRICON, and the NYSE), Langone first struck it rich by taking Ross Perot's Electronic Data Systems public in 1968. Has been quoted as saying "Bernard Baruch said, 'I got rich by selling too soon.' I got rich by never selling."* Langone's net worth is estimated at $750,000,000.*
Larry A. Silverstein, Vice Chair
Best known as leaseholder of Ground Zero, Silverstein is also president of Silverstein Properties, Inc., a Manhattan-based real estate investment and development firm which owns interests in and operates over 10 million square feet of office space.* Silverstein has spent the last four years in and out of U.S. District Court, devoting his energy not to higher education but to turning a $3.5 billion insurance policy on the trade center complex into a $7 billion payout.* 2005 revenues of Silverstein Properties were $2,700,000.*
Anthony Welters, Vice Chair
As President and CEO of AmeriChoice (a UnitedHealth Group Company), Welters has made his fortune in health insurance, targeting a demographic near or below the poverty line.* The company operates managed health care plans for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program recipients in about a dozen states. Welters has been the subject of ongoing investigations at the state and federal level: "Federal and state audits concluded in the early and mid-1990s that ineffective oversight by Pennsylvania officials had enabled Welters and his partners to make too much money from their taxpayer-supported business," The Washington Post reports, "The audits said the Welters group had paid itself millions of dollars in management fees - paid to other companies they controlled - and millions more in bonuses."* In May 2000, New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that for years, Welters' clinics had been staffed by "unsupervised physician assistants or nurse practitioners."* Since its creation, AmeriChoice has made revenues of around $2,674,000,000 annually.*
Leonard A. Wilf, Vice Chair
As president of Garden Homes Management Corporation, Wilf and his real estate partners have diversified their assets in professional sports (the Wilf family bought the Vikings for $600 million) and a variety of real estate investments. In 1999, the Justice Department sued Wilf and Garden Homes Management for engaging in racially discriminatory housing practices (refusing to rent to African Americans in several properties in New Jersey).* Wilf set the record in New Jersey when he settled for divorce with wife Marcia in 2000, after 12 years of wrangling and $20 million in fees.*