But even before the election of 1973, New York University had begun its melancholy withdrawal from the Hall of Fame. In the sixties, the University was itself feeling a fiscal squeeze. Part of its growing deficit was due to the problems of governing from one office an institution occupying two sites, including two virtually free-standing arts colleges in competition, each with its own curriculum. An uptown allegiance could live with a downtown allegiance, but not as cheaply as one.

 

Moreover, in the words of President James Hester in a letter to NYU Arts and Science graduates, "All but a very few relatively rich private colleges and universities are having to cope with serious financial restraints." Higher education was feeling the pains of a well-known disease, deficit financing. Much of it was due to the disorders of the sixties. Student riots and sit-ins broke the rhythm of administration. Funding campaigns had to be set aside for the time being. Damages to property had to be repaired and paid for. there was no national collegiate riot-insurance. Legislators at all levels of government were showing more caution about appropriations for new buildings, for equipment, for essentially everything.

 

No college president, as far as we know, had ever studied methods of controlling riots, not to mention paying for them. They had been given no training in self-defense, no courses in "How to Sleep and Eat Under Stress," or "Fund Raising in Hard Times." New York University was not exempt from the troubles that beset institutions from City College and Columbia clear across to Berkeley and Stanford. In 1968 students set fire to Gould Library. Fortunately it was contained in the lower depths, after costly damage to the auditorium and shock to administrative psyches.

 

 

Sale of the Uptown Campus