The Hamilton Presidency

In January, Andrew Hamilton became the 16th president of New York University. A renowned chemist, he is former vice chancellor of the University of Oxford and provost of Yale University. He now brings his robust résumé to the global university.

In announcing the selection of Hamilton as NYU president, Martin Lipton ’55, then chair of the NYU Board of Trustees, and William Berkley, then chair of the Presidential Search Committee and now chair of the Board of Trustees, underscored their faith in him. “[I]t was clear to us that he understood NYU—our urban character, our distinctive global presence, our vibrancy, our focus on the future, our innovative spirit, our sense of being on the move, and our habit of exceeding others’ expectations,” they wrote.

Hamilton, who jokes that he mistook eagerness to see the popular Broadway musical Hamilton among members of the NYU community for excitement at his arrival, is already working to match that pace. Assuming office amid nationwide calls for college affordability, he quickly announced plans to lower the annual increase in cost of attendance to 2 percent in 2016–17 for most undergraduate programs, the lowest it has been in 20 years. He also introduced a three-year plan to raise the minimum pay for work-study recipients and other student workers to $15 per hour.

Hamilton succeeds President Emeritus John Sexton, who oversaw the University’s elevation to a highly regarded global institution during his nearly 14-year tenure. In an early message to the NYU community, Hamilton acknowledged the weight of his new undertaking. “The steep ascent in the quality of NYU’s research, the high caliber of the education it offers its students, and the esteem in which the University is held are striking to behold and are unprecedented in higher education,” he wrote. “I am deeply honored to be asked to join all of you in this grand endeavor.” 

Posted September 2, 2016