Debunking JSex on NYU Abu Dhabi

They're hiding something mediocre

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Some classic NYU talking points on NYUAD came out in a recent NPR story on the new site abroad.  Here’s a quick debunking:

John Sexton: We are I think making a leadership move here, not a move that’s designed to emulate others.”

Leadership… in what?  Being the most global of the globe?  Also, who is the ‘we’ here?  ‘Leadership’ isn’t going to bring down NYU’s soaring tuition, which is the biggest issue facing the University today, and trying to stay ahead for the sake of being ahead is what commits NYU into high-dollar expansion projects that drain resources from more student-focused investments.  Also, pretty sure that the ‘we’ in this sentance refers to John Sexton, the NYUAD Chancellors, and maybe a few other people.  This wasn’t a decision made by the university, but rather it’s administration.

“When the campus is completed in 2012, University President John Sexton hopes it will attract as many as 2,000 of the best students from all over the globe.”

There is absolutely no precedent for this type of enrollment in Abu Dhabi universities.  Other US run schools in the area have less than 100 students after years of operations.  I suspect that to meet this goal NYU is going to end up offering sweet scholarship packages to its students on the condition they spend years in Abu Dhabi to keep its numbers up.

“NYU is offering professors salary increases of at least 50% to head east.”

Umm.. wow.  That’s a lot of cash and brain power drained from Washington Square.

Una Chaudhuri: It’s just vital for America and for the West in general to begin to have a much better, deeper interaction with Islamic societies.”

…Which isn’t a reason to go to Abu Dhabi, which has a relatively weak cultural history compared with other cities in the middle east.  The emirate’s culture-boom is paid for with oil money, and doesn’t grow out of a long scholarly tradition of any kind.

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