For some reason the media just now caught on to the fact that John Sexton is flying biweekly to Abu Dhabi to teach a class to rich Emiratis, something NYU students have known for months. Here are 5 problems, just off the top of my head –
ONE: Just on face silly. A quote from above: “The course, which will be titled Religion and Government, is expected to be similar to a “popular” module Dr Sexton teaches in New York” – The point being that, you know, his job is to be president of NEW YORK University, and he’s taking 48 hour jaunts to a far off desert country to teach *17* students. NYU (the actual school, not the puppet one in AD) has 50,000 students, give or take. Priority check? This man gets paid nearly a million dollars a year out of student tuition money (and has no living expenses – NYU provides a president’s penthouse, and I suspect those executive brunches with donors probably don’t get expensed back to Dr. Sexton), and he’s teaching less than 20 students a world away, who as it turns out, aren’t paying his bills.
TWO: Need based scholarships. “The group of 17 male and female students will be the first to take part in the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed University Scholars Programme, launched to provide excelling students with “special academic and leadership opportunities”.” At Washington Square, NYU is eliminating non-need based aid, because the school costs too damn much and scholars programs represent really misplaced priorities for a school that needs to focus on making itself realistically accessible to more students. In one of many, many double standards set for NYUAD, that policy will apparently be suspended in the interests of… good press. Well, decent press, considering most everyone recognizes the new school will be a shitstorm.
THREE: Carbon footprint. Those airline miles add up. No comment on what building a full campus in the desert will do to the environment.
FOUR: Listening to John Sexton has got to get tedious. For serious: the man can’t avoid speaking in pithy bullshit. Here’s a sampler: the “university of the other” “FIRE and ICE economies” “The greatest power of a university president is to be the Homer of the community,” “the world’s first global university in the world’s first truly global city,”and, a new classic: “This university isn’t for you”
FIVE: It runs cover for a university that will abuse its construction workers, provide only minimal protections for its queer students, only to spread the flag of a reckless global-brand of a university and rake in money for an administration that will spend it in a secretive and unaccountable fashion.