Facing Budget Troubles, Some Colleges Look to Sell the President’s House

The president of the New School in Manhattan is about to lose an extraordinary perk: a five-story West Village townhouse that for decades has served as the university head’s official residence.

The school, which projected a $52 million budget shortfall for the 2024 fiscal year, is asking $20 million for the home as it seeks to stabilize its finances. The sale comes as shaky student enrollment, inflation and other forces are threatening smaller colleges in New York City and around the country. To stay healthy, some have sought to sell off real estate assets to shore up their balance sheets.

The New School’s building, on a residential block of West 11th Street, is especially valuable. It has also become a symbol of administrative bloat and arrogance to some at the college, a historically progressive, century-old institution with about 10,000 students.

Nearly 90 percent of the New School’s faculty are part-time adjunct professors, some earning as little as about $6,000 per course, union leaders said. Dwight A. McBride, who resigned as the university’s president last summer, earned a total of $1.4 million annually, according to federal tax forms.

“We can’t even wrap our heads around what would it be like to live in a $20 million house,” said Annie Larson, a union leader who is also a knitwear designer and an adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Design, the largest of the New School’s multiple colleges. “The disparity is incredible.”

When news that the house would be put on the market was announced at a recent faculty meeting, those in the room broke out clapping, said Sanjay Reddy, the chair of economics at the university. He has independently analyzed the school’s finances, and welcomed the decision.

We are having trouble retrieving the article content.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.

Thank you for your patience while we verify access.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Want all of The Times? Subscribe.

Related Articles

Back to top button