Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New School Whistleblower Policy

May 4, 2009

Re: The New School Whistleblower Policy

A Note to the New School Community,

Every member of the university community is encouraged to report suspected misconduct to his or her immediate supervisor, or in the case of students, to the office of student rights and responsibilities. However, we understand that this procedure is not always a feasible option and have heard concerns regarding the need for a neutral forum to report wrongdoing. For these reasons, we have implemented a whistleblower policy.

This new policy creates a University Compliance Committee to receive and investigate complaints from students, faculty, and staff. If a committee member is the subject of a report, the chair of the board of trustees’ Audit and Risk Committee will conduct the investigation. The members of the committee are:

● Vice Provost Elizabeth Ross, who will hear complaints regarding academic misconduct;
● Senior Vice President for Human Resources Carol Cantrell, who will deal with matters related to the university’s personnel practices;
● Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Frank Barletta, who will deal with fiscal misconduct;
● Vice President and General Counsel Roy Moskowitz and/or Bevis Longstreth, chair of the board of trustees’ Audit and Risk Committee, who will handle all other concerns.

We have also retained EthicsPoint, a third-party provider of confidential reporting services, to create a phone and online system to allow for anonymous reports. This system will be in place by the end of May.

Following an investigation of a complaint, the University Compliance Committee will propose corrective actions to the president, provost, and executive vice president for approval and implementation.

We have done a great deal of work and made much progress in the last few months creating systems to enable members of our community to communicate openly and freely. By offering a channel for reporting suspected misconduct while ensuring protection from retaliation, this policy provides another avenue for constructive criticism to improve the functioning of the university.

The full policy is attached for your review or you can read it online as part of the Institutional Policies & Procedures Manual at www.newschool.edu/hr/manual.aspx. The Whistleblower Policy appears on page 49.

Bob Kerrey

Parsons Fine Arts "Reconfiguration"

Message to the AMT Community (sent via email 4/27/09)

From Sven Travis, Dean, School of Art, Media, and Technology

As we move more fully into the five school structure across Parsons, I
want to keep you updated on plans for administrative structure within
the School of Art, Media, and Technology. AMT is the biggest school of
Parsons’ five and this will clearly be a work in progress over the next
couple of years. Throughout this process I am committed to open and
regular communication; it is important that all faculty have a clear
understanding of the academic environment they are a part of.

Let me start by describing several structural changes being implemented
across Parsons as part of the shift to the five schools. First,
“departments” are being replaced by degree “programs” as the primary
academic unit. This will occur at different times for different
departments. Administrative roles held by faculty are also undergoing
change; since departments are being phased out, so is the position of
department chair. This shift is commensurate with successful models that
have been fostered within several other Parsons schools. Program
directors will have primary administrative oversight; they will report
to the school dean. A related shift involves all full-time faculty
including those not holding administrative charges: they will no longer
reside within a given department or program; their appointment will be
to the School of Art, Media, and Technology.

Today I want to describe how these changes will affect two areas: CDT
(Communication Design and Technology) and Fine Arts.

First, the CDT “department” will be reconfigured as four programs: AAS
in Graphic Design—Katarzyna Gruda, Director; BFA in Communication
Design-- Jane Pirone, Director; BFA in Design and Technology-- Jess
Irish, Director, and MFA in Design and Technology-- Anezka Sebek,
Director. These programs will continue to operate academically exactly
as they have. The directors will report to me, as dean of the school.
The directors who are currently serving have all agreed to continue in
these roles for the 2009-2010 academic year.

A similar structural shift will occur in Fine Arts. The Fine Arts “department” will be reconfigured as two programs: BFA in Fine Arts--Mary Judge, Director and MFA in Fine Arts, Anthony Aziz, Director. These programs will continue to operate academically exactly as they have. The directors will report to me, as dean of the school. Many of you are aware that Anthony Aziz has been awarded a sabbatical for Fall 09 (congratulations are due-- he will be participating in an international residency at the C-Collection’s Berlin-based studio preparing for an upcoming museum exhibition and publication). I am pleased to announce that Simone Douglas, senior full-time faculty in AMT, has agreed to serve as MFA Fine Arts Director for the 2009-2010 academic year, in Anthony’s stead. In the BFA program, Mary Judge has ably served as interim director this spring and we are grateful to her for willingness to step into this role at the last minute. Discussions are ongoing with Mary about the possibility of her continuing in the role. I will inform the AMT community as soon as we finalize the BFA Directorship.

Coco Fusco will shift her role next year to become Director of AMT’s Intermedia Initiatives. Coco will maintain her appointment as AMT faculty, and will continue to teach in Fine Arts. Building on her considerable research skills, global perspective and strong vision, she will work directly with me to evaluate, develop and propose new curricular models for us to consider implementing within the AMT School in the years ahead. As part of this new role, Coco will expand the existing Fine Arts lecture series into a cross-disciplinary series for all of AMT in 2009-2010 and will continue her efforts to create interdisciplinary opportunities for students in AMT. I have also charged her with investigating best practices in “cross-disciplinary” programs across the United States aI will provide further details when I have them.
Good faith efforts will be made to keep all those effected by changes informed and involved in the process before formal public announcements are issued. I understand that any planned shifts in roles, focus or work require effective engagement and communication. What I can tell you now is that the structural changes I am describing here are real, and will happen.

You know where to find me if you want to discuss any of this.

Sincerely, Sven

Sven Travis
Dean, School of Art, Media, and Technology
Parsons The New School for Design

School of Art, Media and Technology
Parsons The New School For Design