Faculty Group Accuses NYU Of Putting Renovations Before Student Concerns

05/18/2015 03:45 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2015

A group of New York University faculty that is critical of the school’s land grab in Manhattan alleges that the university is overcharging its students to fund its real estate acquisitions and excessive pay for its administrators, according to a new report.

The three-part report by NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan comes as the university tries to renovate buildings in the city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood over the group's objections. The faculty group, which says it represents more than 400 NYU educators, has said the renovation plan would hurt the community and make life difficult for the hundreds of NYU faculty who live in the area.

Among the group’s allegations are that the university has rapidly increased its tuition without a corresponding increase in the school’s national rankings, a proliferation of opaque and comparatively high fees, and a pay scheme that has benefited university administrators rather than faculty.

A spokesman for NYU, John Beckman, dismissed the report and its claims, citing an increase in financial aid for students and higher rankings for the school in various surveys as among the reasons the report shouldn’t be relied on.

"The simple reality is that we are successfully improving financial aid, reducing student debt, recruiting talented students and faculty, planning for future space needs, and being careful stewards of the university's finances all at the same time," Beckman said.

NYU is among the most expensive colleges in the country. As concern has grown that unpaid student debt in the U.S. risks harming economic growth, students, faculties and government policymakers have attempted to rein in the nation's roughly $1.2 trillion stack of unpaid student loan bills and pushed schools such as NYU to explain their spending decisions.

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