Students Demand Cash-Strapped New School Sell Donna Shalala Townhouse

The ultra-progressive New School university is facing a projected budget shortfall of $85.5 million, and things are so bad that students and faculty have even been asked to submit suggestions for cutting the budget.

It’s no surprise to a school that has produced Marxists and progressives like Jacques Derrida and Erich Fromm that ideas include cutting executive salaries and even selling the school-owned Greenwich Village row house currently occupied by the former Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala, who now serves as the school’s new interim president.

The New School realized a harsh reality during the pandemic: Operating a private university in lower Manhattan is quite expensive.

After enrollment fell 15%, the university dipped into its endowment fund to make up for a $130 million revenue shortfall.

New School has been thrown into chaos by austerity measures implemented to mitigate a projected deficit of $85 million. Corbis via Getty Images
School Projected Financial DeficitAt a recent meeting of the University Budget Committee, New School staff revealed a grim projection of the future deficit.
The new school campusThe New School administration is struggling to close a persistent deficit after the pandemic.Getty Images

Chief Financial Officer Josh Burgher warned at a budget meeting in March that the projected five-year deficit could “easily” rise to $240 million.

But attempts at austerity have been met with vociferous opposition from the ultra-progressive community.

In 2020, the school cut senior management salaries by 12 to 15%, reduced library subscriptions, extended voluntary separation packages to employees, and laid off 122 predominantly lower-level employees.

Poster of the demonstration against austerity.Campus protesters have rebelled against the university’s cost-cutting measures.@AAUPTNS/Twitter

“This is not about securing a future for The New School, but about a struggle for power and the kind of university The New School will be in the future,” the American Association of University Professors of the New School said in a statement.

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The protests continue. In April, a demonstration against austerity The movement, organized by students and teachers, declared: “There will be no increases in tuition. No pay cuts. No layoffs.”

The school was also rocked by a 25-day part-time teachers’ strike last year, the longest in U.S. history, demanding pay increases. Students banded together in solidarity and occupied school buildings for days.

TikToker says "160 students slept in the classrooms of the school.  We have had to occupy the school for nine days."Protesting students occupied school property last year in solidarity with the part-time staff’s strike for higher wages.@kxngzaire/ TikTok

A deal was reached in December that plunged the school further into a deficit.

“Students and professors go on strike virtually every semester,” an anonymous master’s student told the Post. “[The administration is] Actually quite submissive when students demand something. “I don’t know where the money comes from to pay all the lawsuits.”

Srishti Yadav, a professor at Azim Premji University and a doctor in economics at the New School, denounced the budget cuts at her alma mater in the Marxist magazine Jacobin.

Strikers at the New SchoolLast year, part-time New School staff took part in a historic strike that lasted 25 days. Corbis via Getty Images

“At the New School, two visions collide: one of its student body and faculty… and the other of its board of directors and presidential leadership,” he wrote.

Yadav told the Post that she chose the New School to study economics through a Marxist lens, but was deeply disappointed with the administration’s blatantly capitalist efforts.

“The New School was founded by people who were able to create an institution that stood for progressive values, but that has changed,” he said. “The entire vision of the university changed, which makes it really difficult to practice the progressive values ​​it was founded on.”

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Donna ShalalaThe New School’s interim president, Donna Shalala, currently resides in the president’s Greenwich Village home, which has come under fire amid austerity measures.The New School
presidential HouseLocated in the heart of Greenwich Village, the president’s home is worth an estimated $15 million.Google Maps

Professor and economics chair Sanjay Reddy has suggested alternative cost-cutting measures, such as emergency fundraising and further pay cuts for the highest-paid employees.

As he points out, the salary of the president of the New School is greater in proportion to his endowment than that of the president of Harvard, and the presidential house is worth approximately $15 million.

The New School told The Post that a first wave of community suggestions is being implemented, including optimizing the school’s real estate portfolio, leasing premises, managing its trademark and reinventing the bookstore. from campus. Another round on academic changes will be held soon.

srishti yadavEconomist Srishti Yadav says the New School is losing touch with its progressive roots.

“We are grateful for the support and involvement of the community and are confident that these efforts and other initiatives will help ensure that The New School is strong, stable and prosperous for many years to come,” Assistant Vice President of Communications Amy told The Post. Malsin.

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