The New School has told pupils they should continue with their work, but furious parents are threatening a class action lawsuit for ‘unservices’, according to a group representing more than 1,500 parents. Parents are also considering delaying payment of the last installment of fall tuition, suspending spring tuition, or transferring their children to other schools. Some call on the president to resign.
In a Saturday Zoom call with parents, New School President Dwight A. McBride said he was committed to resolving the standoff, but the union rejected the school’s latest offer. increase pay rates by 18% over five years and expand access. to subsidized health care, which he said would put the operating budget in deficit.
“We are a relatively small to medium sized, tuition and enrollment intensive, low endowment institution operating in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. This is our reality,” he said, adding that a quarter of college spending goes to real estate and large sums of money go to servicing debt.
But part-time instructors, who make up about 90% of faculty — significantly higher than the national average of about 50% — blame the administration for financial mismanagement and say they prioritized administrators over to instructors, a claim that university officials deny.
At one point, the president, David Van Zandt, who resigned in 2020, was receiving $1,473,155, more than his Harvard counterpart, and living in the university’s expensive townhouse in the heart of Greenwich Village, whose some professors argued the institution should sell. The New School maintains that he was paid at the market rate.
The total cost to attend the new school, including tuition, fees, and on-campus living expenses, was $78,744 in 2021-22, a 7% increase from the previous year , according to the National Center for Education Statistics, although students generally pay significantly less when financial aid is included. There are approximately 10,800 undergraduate and graduate students, including those enrolled at Parsons.
At the New School, adjunct professors are paid $5,753 for a three-credit course, or about 135 hours of work, according to the unions that represent part-time professors. They also receive longevity increases to their pay rate, ranging from $6 per hour for 10 years of service to $10 per hour for 30 years of service. The university does not compensate for time spent outside of the classroom, which includes time spent correcting assignments or advising students.