…by offering them amazing loans not only for fantastic Manhattan apartments and vacation houses (as described in this article) but also for third homes in European capitals?

To be sure, NYU hasn’t yet extended its two-subsidized-luxury-residences policy to a third subsidized overseas residence; but UD is confident this will be its next move. You can’t expect to draw the best, most committed professors to your unattractive school in Greenwich Village without offering to subsidize a primary residence, a vacation residence, and a place in a foreign capital of the professor’s choosing.

I mean, let’s do what the real estate people call comps; let’s look at how important people in Manhattan tend to live. Take the Murdochs. They own six residences, one on the Upper East Side, and the others in “Beverly Hills, London, Beijing, Cavan in South Australia and Carmel in California.” So say you’re recruiting a new NYU law professor. The legal job market has collapsed, so few of the professor’s students will get good legal jobs, but put that aside. She must be given what the very best professors demand if they are to be successfully recruited: One course per year. Armies of teaching assistants. A huge salary. Time off like crazy. Summer travel and research money. Plenty of freedom (and, once again, time) to pursue all conceivable forms of outside compensation.

You simply cannot expect such a person to buy a house with her own salary. You will need to give her spectacular deals on Murdoch-worthy residences in New York City, in surrounding states, and in a foreign capital.

Charles Grassley, that sour old scold who seems to see his job as superintending the American tax dollar, gets all high and mighty about what NYU is doing:

“Universities are tax-exempt to educate students, not help their executives purchase vacation homes,” he said in a statement on Monday. “It’s hard to see how the student with a lifetime of debt benefits from his university leaders’ weekend homes in the Hamptons.”

Ha! Loser! As Greg Mankiw and Eric Cantor have noted, Grassley’s just envious because he has a shitty little Senator salary, and these people are so much richer.


UD thanks David.

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8 Responses to “UD Wonders: What will this unwelcome publicity do to NYU’s plans to attract and retain faculty…”

  1. David Says:

    What a dynamic and innovative idea to offer 3rd home loan options to our academic superstars — especially those in law schools. Clearly you have a future in higher education administration! And that Rep. Grassley. What an old stick-in-the-mud. Just ignore him.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thank you, David. I’ll admit it’s my innovation, not NYU’s. Let’s see if they take up the idea.

  3. Timothy Burke Says:

    Come now! Surely you would concede the need to help faculty and senior staff escape from the privations of a nowheresville little city like New York? You can’t expect to recruit top faculty and administrators and tell them to live out their lives in the squalor and boredom of Manhattan or Park Slope.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Tim: Exactly. The squalor is such that they will need not just Litchfield by way of clearing their nostrils, but a yet more distant place – hence my anticipation of the European-capital-house policy.

  5. gtwma Says:

    Nobody with a net worth of $4 million–Grassley’s financial disclosure–is scraping by, even if it’s less than half the Senate average.

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    gtwma: But in the high-echelon NYU context, a four million dollar net worth is pathetic. It’s precisely because these people wouldn’t be caught dead being worth four million dollars that NYU is doing what it’s doing.

  7. Jack/OH Says:

    A loan forgiveness clause? Did I read the article correctly? Whew! There may be a legitimate reason for an employer to act as a lender of, apparently, first resort–I can’t think of one right now.

  8. DM Says:

    Do they provide this sort of offer to Computer science faculty? If so, I’d be willing to relocate!

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