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Faculty Group Demands NYU Wachtell Partner Lipton Quit Board of Trustees
A group of NYU faculty is angry over John Sexton’s administration of the school and is asking one of his prominent defenders to resign from his position as the chair of NYU’s board of trustees. Martin Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is one of the main supporters of John Sexton, the President of New York University.
NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (FASP) is a group that represents more than 400 professors who are opposed to Sexton’s plan to expand the university. They content that John Sexton wants to expand the university domestically, acquiring smaller colleges and growing its campus space and student body size, as well as internationally. Under President Sexton the University has expanded internationally by adding campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. They contend that this will all happen “on the backs of debt-saddled students and underpaid staffers.” They demand that Lipton step down from the post that he has had for more than a decade and a half in an open letter released Tuesday, according to American Lawyer.com.
Criticism was aimed at President John Sexton since NYU’s plans for its Greenwich Village expansion was approved by the NYC Council, despite activists and faculty members’ opposition. The faculty group consists of almost two dozen plaintiffs who filed a suit against the city’s transportation department, parks department, planning commission, and other agencies arguing that the expansion illegally eliminates several parks, and “threatens to overwhelm one of New York City’s crown jewels.”
By an overwhelming 44 to 1 vote, the New York City Council approved a series of zoning amendments, permits and map changes that will allow the university to erect four buildings that together will add a skyscrapers’ worth of classrooms, dorm rooms and office space to a leafy 12 block parcel occupied by two university apartment complexes south of Washington Square Park, according to the NY Times.
Professor Andrew Ross, president of NYU’s chapter of American Association of University Professors, a group that previously called for Sexton’s resignation and had also endorsed Fasp’s position that Lipton step down. He comments, “it’s not surprising that the M&A legend is getting caught in the anti-Sexton crossfire. [Lipton] and John Sexton have been ‘partners’ for a long time, it’s almost as if they were law firm partners and it’s their tight relationship that has really driven the direction of this university.” Both the medical and law schools on the NYU campus bear Lipton’s name. Lipton supported President Sexton and responded, “we are wholly confident in N.Y.U.’s president John Sexton, whose own innovative leadership has done much for the law school and the university in maintaining the university’s upward trajectory.”