Hefty housing help at NYU angers some

March 04, 2013 01:30PM

New York University like other schools is known to give star professors some big perks, some of which include loans for housing backed by the mammoth institution. But in New York City, those perks add up to hefty sums, the New York Times reported.

For example, the school gave NYU’s law school dean a $5.7 million loan to buy an apartment. And the university bought an apartment on the Upper East Side, for $6.5 million, for the head of NYU’s medical center, the paper said. In addition, the school shelled out over $4 million for a professor who previously taught at Columbia University’s law school to stay in her Upper West Side home after taking a position at NYU’s law school.  And some staff are made unhappy by these deals, the paper said.

“Most faculty find these numbers to be obscene, especially at an institution where adjunct teachers qualify for food stamps,” Andrew Ross, an NYU professor, told the Times. “To students with a crushing debt burden, they are unfathomable.”

However, the Times said, deals like these help the university keep in-demand individuals at NYU.

NYU also doles out parting gifts, according to the Times. One of them went to Jacob Lew, a former NYU executive vice president, who Pres. Obama nominated last week to head the Treasury Department. Before leaving NYU for a position at Citigroup, he had a salary of $800,000 annually and $1.5 million in mortgages.

“It is not uncommon for large organizations to make payments to senior officials on their departure, as has happened in this instance,” John Beckman, an NYU spokesperson, told the Times. [NYT]Zachary Kussin