Thank God Provost Tim Marshall was at The New School Town Hall meeting last Wednesday, October 26th. Immediately following a number of speeches and PowerPoint presentations, he and New School President, David Van Zandt, fielded questions following several presentations; however, it appeared that the Provost was the only one of the two who could provide answers. Don’t get me wrong: I really liked Van Zandt. He seems like a really personable, approachable guy, but Van Zandt’s charm only seemed to carry him through his presentation; the questions and answer session proved difficult for him. Often times, he would not even attempt to field a question, and would direct it (by pointing) at Marshall.
Both faculty and students expressed concern regarding diversity at The New School: what is the current administration doing to promote diversity and how has it changed from the past? One angry participant boldly said, “All you have to do is look around this room to understand what I am talking about.” He was the only black man I could see.
The economy was also of concern. The President and the Provost were forced to answer some of the more difficult questions facing the university: how is the construction on 14th and 5th going to affect the school financially? As the economy worsens, should students expect to pay higher tuitions? Is the yearly increase in tuition actually accelerating or slowing down?