Year in Review
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
The trend of flux continued through this academic year. General Studies and now Lang will end the year without a full-time dean. Leadership struggles and administrative intervention marred students government. And the presidential transition continues to loom, leaving many to wonder in which direction the university is about to go.
The Board of Trustees hired Kerrey in part to shift the university in a radically new direction. Kerrey has long been a prolific fundraiser since his time in the U.S. Senate. He's always attracted media attention, which many hoped would help raise the profile of the university.
Now, however, the search for a new president is forcing the university to determine whether it wants to continue with the same kind of leader or seize the opportunity to appoint a more academic president, a quality Kerrey is often criticized for lacking.
Kerrey reappointed Provost Tim Marshall, who was to serve on an interim basis, in order to ensure a smooth transition by bridging the gap over Kerrey's departure.
The university handles transitions with relative ease, unlike the student government, which is still trying to figure out its role in the institution.
The University Student Senate, the university-wide representative student government, was crippled by a leadership struggle early on in the year when then-President Tushar Gogia spent about $5,000 on water-bottles without the approval of the senate. The USS censured Gogia, but many senators continued to complain that Gogia was an ineffective leader and removed him from office. The senate then reformed its structure and replaced the presidency with three co-chair positions.
The university administration temporarily suspended the senate because of this leadership struggle and drastic constitutional reforms which they thought required investigation. Administrators found no infractions.
Much of the trouble the USS is experiencing is because it is such a young institution that began in 2007. It continues to struggle with internal policies and external disregard, which inhibits its ability to serve the student body.
Now with the most recent announcement that Dean Neil Gordon will step down at the end of his contract, two divisions of The New School will be without leaders. Although General Studies does have an interim dean, and Lang will soon appoint an interim dean as well, the two still have yet to conduct a national search. Both divisions simultaneously face opportunity and uncertainty.
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