Happy New Year!
I say that fully realizing that it is, in fact, the end of September. But to me, the new academic year is really my New Year. Even more so than on January 1, this is the time at NYU when we truly embark on fresh endeavors.
I feel that renewed sense of purpose all around campus, from the clusters of students seated in the lobby at Bobst to the bustling (and construction-laden!) sidewalks we find ourselves weaving through on West 4th Street. This beehive atmosphere of energy and activity has always attracted me to NYU, dating back to my very first visits to my colleagues in the chemistry department decades ago.
Which was why I was quite surprised to learn that only 47.8 percent of NYU students voted in the last election in 2016. This figure came to my attention through a report that was recently published by Tufts University, which actually puts us below the average for all universities, which is 50.4 percent.
I find this particularly puzzling because my impression of NYU students is that they want their voices to be heard. Some of you might even be voting for the first time, which is very exciting. And regardless of where you reside on the ideological spectrum, I think we can all agree that we live amid an extraordinarily fraught time in our nation’s history that calls for more involvement and more civic engagement. And that means making voting a priority.
NYU Votes! is a terrific resource for helping every member of our community register to vote and then find the right method for casting their ballot. In addition to providing valuable information—such as registration cutoffs (October 12 in New York) or ways to obtain absentee ballots if you’re abroad or vote in another state—we’ll be setting up tables around our campuses in honor of Voter Registration Day tomorrow to help make the process as easy as possible for everybody.
This is a busy time of year as we all juggle burgeoning responsibilities and commitments. But let’s start the new year off right by exercising our rights as citizens of our democracy.
What a month it has been! It was my honor and privilege to greet the Class of 2022 in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. Here are some memories from the start of the academic year.
Back to the subject of politics, Tandon assistant professor Damon McCoy and his team have recently launched the Online Political Ads Transparency Project, which uses AI and data scraping to determine who is spending how much to influence whom on social media. The first study of Facebook advertising found Donald Trump in the clear lead. Studies on Google and Twitter are in the works.
I’m very much looking forward to celebrating the biennial Making a Difference Award celebration on Thursday, September 27, recognizing NYU students, faculty, alumni, and administrators who are making a profound and lasting impact on the world. The ceremony will be held at Rosenthal Pavilion and is open to the community, so please join us!
This month marked the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis, and since then many of our faculty have led the ongoing conversation and analysis of this pivotal moment in financial history. Regulating Wall Street: CHOICE Act vs. Dodd-Frank (2017), authored by more than a dozen faculty members from NYU Stern and the NYU School of Law, addresses the prominent issues of financial regulation as they exist today.
Did you know that we use 1,140,000 straws in the dining halls every year? Happily, we’ve recently replaced plastic with biodegradable paper, so drink up!
Summer seems miles away now. Jennie and I can look back on some lovely memories of experiencing firsthand the wonderful research, excavation, and conservation work taking place at the Institute of Fine Arts’s excavation site in Aphrodisias, Turkey.
And back on Washington Square, they certainly were "rocking the boat" last week at a wonderful performance of Guys and Dolls, staged by Steinhardt Vocal Performance at the Frederick Loewe Theatre.