Dear Tisch Community,
Welcome, and Welcome Back! The first day of classes is a pivotal moment in the life of a university. For some, it’s the first day of your career at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. For others, you’re returning to your home away from home. For all of us, it’s the beginning of the new academic year full of possibilities.
Starting a new fall semester at Tisch is an exciting and joyful moment. But, there is no denying that a read of the news reveals an anxious, fractured time with daily stories that are often heart-wrenching and stories that also fill me with inspiration and determination.
Our new students, faculty and staff come here from all over the world, and each one brings a different experience and story to tell. Many come from homes devastated by hurricanes, fires, or violent conflicts and will need our support. We also have the opportunity to learn of each other’s rich and complex histories. I don’t presume for a moment to have any answers to the complex problems of our time. But, I do believe that a school of the arts is exactly the brave space where questions should and will be asked, that conversations must flourish, and creative responses and solutions are encouraged.
I find comfort and a great clarity of purpose in the joy of being an educator in our open, welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community of storytellers. This is where we will develop new knowledge for future generations and cultivate unique voices over many years. This is where we are ALL the teachers, and the learners, and the creators.
Our studios, stages and classrooms will be courageous containers for constructive debate. We may engage with each other in conversations that will be difficult or cause us to grapple with multiple points of view. We will disagree, learn to critique and reconsider, collaborate, and find a new point of view. Our mission is gaining experiential wisdom; learning by doing. As creators of new knowledge, we ALL have to keep ourselves on the frontier of curiosity and to imagine outside of the box. The free flow of ideas across all kinds of borders is crucial to innovation. Together, we will build bridges of empathy, not walls.
The Tisch School of the Arts has an extraordinary faculty and staff. I’m grateful for your dedication, and I’m inspired by the work that you do. This year, I am pleased to welcome Fred Carl and Karen Shimakawa as the new Associate Deans of Faculty, and I also invite you to greet our outstanding new faculty.
Together, let’s get to work. Teach. Learn. Create!
Dean, NYU Tisch School of the Arts