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Sexton Responds to No-Confidence Vote Threat

N.Y.U. president John Sexton responded in writing yesterday to last week’s decision by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to hold a vote of no-confidence in his leadership. Faculty members are said to be unhappy with the university’s plans to expand in Greenwich Village in the face of local opposition, and aspects of its international outreach.

Silver TowersMichelle Rick

In a memorandum addressed to the faculty and distributed by email, Dr Sexton acknowledged that he takes the “vote, and the need to address constructively the concerns of faculty, very seriously.” Dr Sexton continued: “I have had no ambition or mission other than advancing NYU’s well-being, sustaining the trajectory established by my predecessors, and leaving a better university for my successors. Yet, it has become clear that my efforts have not been experienced in this way by some members of the FAS faculty.” He concludes by wishing faculty members and their families a happy holiday.

The vote is scheduled to take place in March, 2013.

Watch Violent Femmes Frontman ‘Save the Village’ With ‘Blister in the Sun’

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An eclectic group of musicians – including Gordon Gano belting out his Violent Femmes classic “Blister in the Sun” – performed last night at a benefit to “put a stop to this destructive, environmentally calamitous process that’s destroying the city we all love.” At least, that’s how the evening’s M.C., Mark Crispin Miller of Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, put it shortly before announcing that Susan Sarandon and Matthew Broderick were among those who pledged money to a lawsuit against N.Y.U.’s expansion plans.

The idea behind the “Save the Village” concert at Le Poisson Rouge, Mr. Miller told an audience of about 200, was to show that the Village still rocks – even if “N.Y.U. does not rock. N.Y.U. rolls. It rolls its students; it rolls its faculty; it rolled the City Council. We’ve got to stop this.”

To that end, songstress Janine Nichols kicked off the night by cooing “This Land Is Your Land” with John Kruth on sitar. (It was that kind of evening: bongos, banjos, cowbells, canastas, and, yes, even scatting. At times the Greenwich Village club resembled a genuine Beat coffee shop.)

Noise rocker Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth got right into it with composer and saxophonist John Zorn. The duo launched into a cacophany of discordant free jazz that had all the abrasiveness of, well, jackhammering south of Washington Square Park. Read more…

(A Few) Protesters Picket Town Hall With N.Y.U. President

protestersNatalie Rinn

In a protest organized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a handful of representatives from the N.Y.U. Grad Student Organizing Committee distributed flyers outside of Kimball Hall at 246 Greene Street, where N.Y.U. President John Sexton was expected to hold a town hall with students at 4 p.m. The flyers, also signed by N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, demanded that attendees of the meeting ask why Mr. Sexton was not respecting the group’s right to organize.

Check back here for an update from the town hall, where the subject of the university’s controversial expansion plan just might come up.

Update: N.Y.U. President John Sexton: ‘We Need More Space’