|The New School|
|Motto||"To the Living Spirit" (unofficial) |
|Type||Private, Non-Profit; Doctoral, Research-Intensive|
|President||David E. Van Zandt|
|Other students||5,900 (continuing education)|
|Location||New York, NY
|Former names||New School University, The New School For Social Research|
|Colors||New School Yellow, Orange, and Red|
The New School is a university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. From its founding in 1919 by progressive New York academics, and for most of its history, the university was known as the New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University. The university and each of its colleges were re-branded to their current names in 2005.
The school is renowned for its teaching, housing the international think tank, World Policy Institute, and hosting the prestigious National Book Awards. Parsons The New School for Design is the university's highly competitive art school.
Some 9,300 students are enrolled in graduate and undergraduate degree programs, organized into seven different schools, which teach a variety of disciplines, including the social sciences, liberal arts, humanities, architecture, fine arts, design, music, drama, finance, psychology and public policy.
The graduate school of The New School began in 1933 as the University in Exile, an emergency rescue program for threatened scholars in Europe. In 1934 it was chartered by the New York state board of regents and its name was changed to the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, a name it would keep until 2005 when it was renamed New School for Social Research.
The New School for Social Research was founded by a group of university professors and intellectuals in 1919 as a modern, progressive free school where adult students could "seek an unbiased understanding of the existing order, its genesis, growth and present working." Founders included economist and literary scholar Alvin Johnson, historian Charles A. Beard, economists Thorstein Veblen and James Harvey Robinson, and philosophers Horace M. Kallen and John Dewey. Several founders were former professors at Columbia University.
The school was conceived and founded during a period of fevered nationalism, deep suspicion of foreigners, and increased censorship and suppression during and after the involvement of the United States in World War I.
In October 1917, after Columbia University passed a resolution that imposed a loyalty oath to the United States government upon the entire faculty and student body, the board of trustees fired Professor of Psychology and Head of the Department James McKeen Cattell for having sent a petition to three US congressmen, asking them not to support legislation for military conscription. Other firings included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana (grandson of the poet) and Leon Fraser. Charles A. Beard, Professor of Political Science, resigned his professorship at Columbia in protest. James Harvey Robinson, an associate of Beard's at Columbia and Professor of History, commented on the resignation: "It is not that any of us are pro-German or disloyal. It is simply that we fear that a condition of repression may arise in this country similar to that which we laughed at in Germany." Robinson would resign in 1919 to join the faculty at the New School.
Founder Charles A. Beard had, in 1899, collaborated with Walter Vrooman at Oxford to start Ruskin Hall, a progressive institution of higher learning for workingmen. The New School would offer the rigorousness of postgraduate education without degree matriculation or degree prerequisites. It was theoretically open to anyone, as the adult division today called The New School for Public Engagement remains. The first classes at the New School took the form of lectures followed by discussions, for larger groups, or as smaller conferences, for "those equipped for specific research." In the first semester, 100 courses, mostly in economics and politics, were offered by an ad hoc faculty that included Thomas Sewall Adams, Charles A. Beard, Horace M. Kallen, Harold Laski, Wesley Clair Mitchell, Thorstein Veblen, James Harvey Robinson, Graham Wallas, Charles B. Davenport, Elsie Clews Parsons, and Roscoe Pound. John Cage later pioneered the subject of Experimental Composition at the school.
The University in Exile was founded in 1933 as a graduate division of the New School for Social Research to be a haven for scholars who had been dismissed from teaching positions by the Italian fascists or had to flee Nazi Germany. The University in Exile was initially founded by the director of the New School, Alvin Johnson, through the generous financial contributions of Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation. It was later renamed the "Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science", and bore this name until changing to its present one in 2005. The University in Exile and its subsequent incarnations have been the intellectual heart of the New School. Notable scholars associated with the University in Exile include psychologists Erich Fromm, Max Wertheimer and Aron Gurwitsch, political philosophers Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss, and philosopher Hans Jonas.
The New School played a similar role with the founding of the École Libre des Hautes Études after the Nazi invasion of France. Receiving a charter from de Gaulle's Free French government in exile, the École attracted refugee scholars who taught in French, including philosopher Jacques Maritain, anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and linguist Roman Jakobson. The École Libre gradually evolved into one of the leading institutions of research in Paris, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, with which the New School maintains close ties.
Between 1940 and 1949, the New School was host to the "Dramatic Workshop", a theatre workshop and predecessor of The New School for Drama that was founded by German emigrant theatre director Erwin Piscator. Important acting teachers during this period were Stella Adler and Elia Kazan. Among the famous students of the Dramatic Workshop were Beatrice Arthur, Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Ben Gazzara, Michael V. Gazzo, Rod Steiger, Elaine Stritch, Shelley Winters and Tennessee Williams.
Following the collapse of totalitarian regimes in Europe, the University in Exile was renamed the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science. In 2005 the Graduate Faculty was again renamed, this time taking the original name of the university, the New School for Social Research.
I attended The New School for Social Research for only a year, but what a year it was. The school and New York itself had become a sanctuary for hundreds of extraordinary European Jews who had fled Germany and other countries before and during World War II, and they were enriching the city's intellectual life with an intensity that has probably never been equaled anywhere during a comparable period of time.
Jack Kerouac also attended the New School in the fall of 1949 under the G.I. benefits scheme for returned service men and women, which included a stipend and book allowance. Kerouac took Meyer Shapiro's course on the French Impressionists, Alfred Kazin's course on Melville's Moby Dick, and Harry Slochower's course on myth. Shapiro's and Kazin's teaching was described as "brilliant" and "inspiring"; Slochower however "was a bore with a Marxist viewpoint who treated myth like merchandise."
The New School continues the Graduate Faculty's tradition of synthesizing leftist American intellectual thought and critical European philosophy. True to its origin and its firm roots within the University in Exile, The New School, particularly its Department of Philosophy, is in the minority in the United States in offering students thorough training in the modern continental European philosophical tradition known as "Continental philosophy." Thus, it stresses the teachings of Parmenides, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Freud, Benjamin, Wittgenstein, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, et al. The thought of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School: Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, et al. holds an especially strong influence on all divisions of the school. After the death of Hannah Arendt in 1975, the philosophy department revolved around Reiner Schürmann and Agnes Heller.
Former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey became president of The New School in 2000. Kerrey drew praise and criticism for his streamlining of the university, as well as censure for his support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, generally opposed by the university's faculty. In 2004, Kerrey appointed Arjun Appadurai as provost. Appadurai resigned as provost in early 2006, but retained a tenured faculty position. He was succeeded by Joseph Westphal, yet on December 8, 2008 Kerrey announced that Westphal was stepping down to accept a position in President Barack Obama's Department of Defense transition team. Kerrey then took the highly unorthodox step of appointing himself to the provost position while remaining president. This decision was strongly criticised by faculty and other members of the university community as a power-grab involving potential conflicts of interest. This was seen as a threat to scholarly integrity since the role of provost in overseeing the academic functions of a university has traditionally been insulated from fundraising and other responsibilities of a college president. After a series of rifts including protests involving student occupations of university buildings, Kerrey later appointed Tim Marshall, Dean of Parsons The New School for Design, as Interim Provost through June 2011. Marshall has since been reappointed in this role.
On May 7, 2009, Kerrey announced he would fulfill his presidency at the University through the end of his term and expressed his intent to leave office in June 2011. However, he ended up resigning a semester early, on January 1, 2011. His successor was Dr. David E. Van Zandt.
Unlike most US universities, The New School has a "student-directed curriculum", which does not require its undergraduates to take general education courses. Instead, students are encouraged to explore before focusing on a major, selecting topics that are of interest to them. Although all "New Schoolers" are required to complete rigorous core training - usually of a literary, conservatory, or artistic nature - students are expected to be the primary designer of their own individualized and eclectic education.
The New School's curriculum is highly experimental and avant-garde, offering classes such as: "Heterodox Identities", "Games 101", "NYC: Graphic Gotham", "Punk & Noise", "Masculinity in Asia," "Queer Culture", "Theories of Mind", and "Play and Toil in the Digital Sweatshop".
The university offers 81 degree/diploma programs and majors, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. This small class size allows The New School to teach most of its classes in the seminar style — especially at Eugene Lang College, which consistently ranks at the top of The Princeton Review's "class discussions encouraged" national listing.
The New School publishes the following journals:
Twenty-five percent of New School students are international, with 105 foreign countries being represented at the university. US students come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 41% of them are minorities, and 38.5% of American students identify as more than one race. Of the entire student population, 74% receive financial aid, and 17% study abroad before graduating.
The Huffington Post ranks The New School in "The Top Thirteen Non-Traditional Colleges" in the United States. In the U.S. News & World Report rankings, it is #128 among tier 1 national universities, #1 in the nation for small class sizes, and #1 in the nation for international student enrollment. The Princeton Review ranks the university among "America's 371 Best Colleges" and the "Best Northeastern Colleges." Independent Magazine ranks it nationally in the "Top Ten Academic Programs for Aspiring Screenwriters", citing its MA in Media Studies and Certificate of Screenwriting.
The New School's campus is composed of numerous buildings, most of which are minutes from Union Square.
The university's Parsons division also has affiliations with schools that operate independently but embrace Parsons' philosophy and teaching methodology, including:
Currently, the university is undergoing a "major expansion and renovation", as indicated on the back of 2009-2010 student handbooks. The New School is currently constructing a 16-story University Center at 65 5th Avenue. The tower, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's Roger Duffy, is the biggest capital project the university has ever undertaken, and will include new classrooms, dormitories, a library, and lecture hall. While the 65 Fifth Avenue plans were initially controversial among students and Village residents (spurring in 2009 a major student occupation was held at The New School's previous building on that site), plans for the University Center were adjusted in response to community concerns and have since been well received. In a review of the University Center's final design, New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff called the building "a celebration of the cosmopolitan city." The building is set to open in fall 2013.
Several of the university buildings are certified by New York City as historical landmarks. Prominent among these is the egg-shaped Tishman Auditorium, considered by many to be the first building to employ modern architecture. It was designed by architect Joseph Urban, along with the entirety of The New School's historic 66 West 12th Street building. Thousands of writer's forums, author visits, political debates, award ceremonies, academic lectures, performances, and public hearings are held for both the academic community and general public throughout the year in Tishman.
Newer buildings have garnered a multitude of awards. Among these is The Sheila Johnson Design Center, which attracted media attention for its revolutionary design. In 2009, it won the SCUP's Excellence in Architecture Renovation/Adaptive Reuse Award. In addition to being a Parsons core academic building, the Center also serves as a public art gallery. The New School Welcome Center, located on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, won the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter's Interiors Merit Award in 2010.
The New School was also the first college in America to offer education to adults.
The university contains five dormitories:
The New School owns several libraries throughout New York City and is a member of the Research Library Association of South Manhattan. In 2009, its libraries counted a total of 1,906,046 holdings.
The university's legacy of supporting the freedom of artistic expression began in 1931 with the commissioning of two historically significant mural cycles: Jose Clemente Orozco's "A Call for Revolution" and "Universal Brotherhood" and Thomas Hart Benton's epic America Today. The New School Art Collection was established in 1960 with a grant from the Albert A. List Foundation. The collection, now grown to approximately 1,800 postwar and contemporary works of art, includes examples in almost all media. Parts of it are exhibited throughout the campus. Notable artists such as Andy Warhol, Kara Walker, Richard Serra, and Sol LeWitt all have pieces displayed in New School's academic buildings.
The New School is divided into seven autonomous colleges called "divisions." Each one is led by a dean and has its own scholarships, standards of admission, and acceptance rates.
|The New School for Social Research||1937|
|Parsons The New School for Design||1896|
|Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts||1978|
|Mannes College The New School for Music||1916|
|The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music||1986|
|The New School for Drama||2005|
|The New School for Public Engagement||2011|
|The New School for General Studies||1919–2011|
|Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy||1964–2011|
|The Actors Studio Drama School||1994–2005|
In June 2005, the university was officially renamed "The New School" and, in order to better promote the common affiliation of the divisions, the academic units were renamed to prominently feature the New School name.
Some faculty, students, and alumni have expressed concern over the rebranding of the university, and especially the dramatic redesign of the logo from a six-sided shield against a green background to a spray-painted graffiti mark reading simply, in capital letters, "THE NEW SCHOOL" with, in smaller letters beneath, "A UNIVERSITY." They claim that the university's new identity campaign, while maintaining a slick urban edge, does little to suggest academic rigor or collegiate legacy.
The name change came about in part to consolidate the divisions under one banner, and in part as an official recognition of the shorthand name for the school used by students, faculty and New Yorkers in general.
My view is that you never argue with the customer about your name.— Former New School President Bob Kerrey
There are several student government and leadership councils at The New School. Among them are:
The New School houses over 50 recognized student organizations, most of which are geared towards artistic endeavors or civic engagement. Notable among these are The Theatre Collective, which stages numerous dramatic productions throughout the year, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Debate Team, ReNew School (sustainability and environmental advocacy group) Moxie (feminist alliance), the New Urban Grilling Society (NUGS), and The Radical Student Union (RSU).
A noted student newspaper, The New School Free Press, is widely distributed throughout the campus. Hard print copies are available in most academic buildings, while an online edition is available as well. Students at Eugene Lang College can edit and submit to Release, a student-run literary magazine. WNSR, a student-run, faculty-advised online-only radio station, also operates at the university. Programming is currently delivered in the form of streamable mp3s and, in the near future, subscribable podcasts. It is a station for all divisions of The New School.
The New School has numerous outdoor programs, exercise groups, and intramural sports teams. Among these are an Indoor Soccer League, Basketball League, and Volleyball League. In fall 2009, Move At The New School, a running and walking group, formed. Extra-curricular classes in salsa dance, yoga, meditation, karate, and t'ai chi are also available to all students.
Eugene Lang College also features a "Beyond the Classroom" program, in which students are awarded two liberal arts credits for completion of courses such as Lang Urban Park Rangers, Lang Urban Forestry, The Oyster Gardens of NYC, and Lang on the Hudson, in which students build a boat to be raced down the Hudson River. Many of these wellness classes can lead to paid summer fellowships or NYC Park System certification, as in the case of Urban Forestry.
Historically, The New School has been associated with leftist politics, campus activism, civic engagement, and social change. It is a "Periclean University", or member Project Pericles, meaning that it teaches "education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community." The New School is one of nine American universities to be inducted into Ashoka's "Changemaker" consortium for social entrepreneurship.
In 2010, NYC Service awarded New School special recognition in The College Challenge, a volunteer initiative, for the "widest array of [civic] service events both on and off campus." Miriam Weinstein also cites the Eugene Lang division in her book, Making a Difference Colleges: Distinctive Collegse to Make a Better World.
In 2003, adjunct faculty in several divisions of the New School began to form a labor union chapter under the auspices of the United Auto Workers. Though the university at first tried to contest the unionization, after several rulings against it by regional and national panels of the National Labor Relations Board the university recognized the local chapter, ACT-UAW, as the bargaining agent for the faculty. As a result of a near strike in November 2005 on the part of the adjunct faculty, the ACT-UAW union negotiated its first contract which included the acknowledgment of previously unrecognized part-time faculty at Mannes College The New School for Music.
John McCain's speech at the graduation ceremony of 2006 generated a large amount of media attention, due to vocal student opposition in print, radio, and television media, and the speech of Jean Rohe, a graduating senior who spoke before McCain and directly confronted the controversy, saying that the senator "does not reflect the values upon which the university was founded." 
On December 10, 2008, 74 of the New School's senior professors gave a vote of no confidence for the New School's former president, Bob Kerrey. By December 15, 98% of the university's full-time faculty had voted no confidence.
On December 17, over 100 students barricaded themselves in at a dining hall on the campus while hundreds more waited on the streets outside. They considered the current school administration opaque and harmful. Their chief demand, among others, was that Bob Kerrey resign. The students soon enlarged their occupied area, blocking security and police from entering the building. At 3 AM the next morning, the students left the building after Kerrey agreed to some of their demands (the most important elements on their first list of demands were not agreed to), including increased study space and amnesty from any actions performed during the protest. He did not, however, concede to resignation. In total, the occupation lasted 30 hours.
In January 2009, a student organization called The New School In Exile issued a public threat to shut down the university on April 1, unless the President and Chief Operating Officer were removed. They subsequently stole an entire edition of the student newspaper, after the paper published an article revealing their plans and names, and defaced the university's presidential residence.
On April 10, 2009, students, mostly from New School but also from other New York colleges, reoccupied the building at 65 Fifth Avenue, this time holding the entire building for about six hours. Once again, the students demanded the resignation of Bob Kerrey. The New York Police Department arrested the occupiers; the New School students involved were then suspended. Controversy arose because some students who were not directly involved in the occupation were beaten by police and arrested as well.
On August 26, 2010, a letter was sent out stating that the board of trustees had approved the appointment of Dr. David E. Van Zandt, who succeeded Bob Kerrey and become the 8th president of the New School.
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