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Monday, March 30, 2020

The Dancing Dean of NYU: No Tuition Refund For You

     Yearly tuition at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts is a whopping $58,000. In March 2020, spring classes at NYU were moved online amid the coronavirus pandemic. Because remote learning via video conferencing apps like Zoom, particularly for students in the School of the Arts, didn't cut it, hundreds of Tisch students asked for a partial tuition refund.

     On March 18, 2020, the dean of the Tisch School of Arts, Allyson Green, sent an email to the dissatisfied students announcing there would be no refund. The students were obviously not happy with this policy and organized groups to fight it.

     Four days later, Dean Allyson sent another email telling students that tuition refunds were not forthcoming. With this email, the dean attached a 2 minute, 16 second video showing her, in her living room, singing and dancing to the song, "Losing My Religion." The cringeworthy, uncomfortable-to-watch clip infuriated the complaining students.

     On March 26, 2020, a Tisch School of Arts graduate named Rachel Bloom, asked the school on Twitter "to give students refunds now." She also said, "I am ashamed to say this is my Alma Mater. Stop buying up real estate and start treating your students and their parents with respect and empathy."

     As of March 27, a Tisch student petition asking for tuition refunds had garnered 2,500 signatures.

     Dramas like this are unfolding across the country in America's institutions of higher learning. The COVID-19 crisis will result in lower enrollments, causing academic bubbles to burst, and clueless professors and administrators like Dean Allyson to tumble out into the real world where they will have to find meaningful work.

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