NYU President Emeritus John Sexton provides a detailed history of the evolution of NYU into the world’s first, global network university. This began with the recognition that New York itself was home to immigrants and neighborhoods representing most of the world’s cultures. Version 2.0 involved foreign-language focused study away sites in Generalisimo Franco’s Madrid and Paris. Under Version 3.0 NYU added a large number of study abroad sites, each taking advantage of the distinctive strengths of its location (e.g. London for finance and theater). Version 4.0 featured transformational partnerships first with Abu Dhabi and then Shanghai to create comprehensive universities to develop global leaders and citizens that quickly became among the most selective and successful in the world. The COVID pandemic has accelerated the development of Version 5.0 by connecting all of these campuses more closely into a virtual network where students across the locations are taking shared courses.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.