The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Katherine O'Regan and Sharon Oster (Yale Management School) use data collected with the New York City Comptroller's Office to present empirical results of the effects of board structure and composition on individual board level performance for nonprofit contractors. They are able to examine in relatively fine, micro detail, the way in which individual board member behavior is influenced by board structure, the strength of the chief executive of the organization, and individual demographics.
In the first major policy address of his campaign, Andrew Cuomo, Democratic candidate for governor and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, unveiled his proposals to reform New York State’s campaign finance system at an appearance at New York University sponsored by the Wagner School.
Tying the issue to a renewed interest in government and public service after September 11th, Mr. Cuomo said, “Our first mission must be to restore the public trust and this will only be done when we address the way our campaigns are financed and give the government back to the people. Campaign finance reform and public ethics reform must be the starting point.”
Mr. Cuomo outlined his ten-point plan, called “High Standards–Low Limits.” Among his specific proposals were lowering the current contribution limit on donations for statewide offices from $45,000 to $2,000 per election, capping total gubernatorial campaign spending to $7 million in the general election, establishing a public financing system with required debates, and banning contributors from receiving state contracts for two years after giving a donation.
Mr. Cuomo is the second of the major candidates for NYS governor to deliver a policy speech at NYU’s Wagner School. NYS Comptroller H. Carl McCall presented a speech in November 2001, and Governor George Pataki has been invited to speak at the Wagner School in the coming months.
08 DECEMBER, 2001
Randi Weingarten, the hard-charging president of New York City's teachers' union, gambled mightily when she endorsed Alan G. Hevesi in the Democratic mayoral primary this summer, and sure enough, Mr. Hevesi placed dead last.
That did not stop Ms. Weingarten from backing another candidate, Fernando Ferrer, in the runoff, and when he lost, endorsing Mark Green in the general election. Mr. Green was defeated by Michael R. Bloomberg, whom Ms. Weingarten had painted as a dilettante.
Ms. Weingarten, it seems, should still be scraping egg off her face, but in fact, she appears neither daunted nor damaged by her missteps. She was one of the first people whom Mr. Bloomberg visited after his victory, and he publicly promised that day not to punish Ms. Weingarten's union or others for supporting his rivals. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bloomberg named Ms. Weingarten to his transition committee, further suggesting that she was not on his enemies list.
As if to emphasize that she was not about to slink off the political stage into obscurity, Ms. Weingarten made waves last week by renewing her union's demand for a 22 percent wage increase despite the economic problems that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's withering response only seemed to add fuel to her fire. Two days later, she joined striking teachers at Roman Catholic schools on their picket line, drawing yet more attention to her own goal of getting the city's 80,000 public school teachers higher salaries.
Why has Ms. Weingarten emerged seemingly unscathed from three bad calls in the mayoral race? The easy answer, associates say, is a combination of Mr. Bloomberg's hold-no-grudges attitude and Ms. Weingarten's ability to avoid burning bridges and to redraw alliances quickly when the tides turn, using a mixture of personal charm and political savvy.
"She has always had a good sense of the big picture," said Robert Berne, the vice president for academic and health affairs at New York University and an expert on the school system. "The combination of her pragmatism and Bloomberg's reaching out has led to an interesting moment."
Others say that Ms. Weingarten has worked more diligently than her predecessor, Sandra Feldman, at maintaining close relationships with other union leaders and finding a significant role in the overall city labor movement. As chairwoman of the Municipal Labor Committee, which coordinates bargaining for all municipal unions, she has additional visibility and influence.
Nor are Ms. Weingarten's unsuccessful endorsements likely to hurt her within the ranks of her union, the United Federation of Teachers. The members overwhelmingly re-elected her in April, and in an earlier vote, they extended the length of a president's term to three years, from two. Opposition within the union has been weak, and the coalition that tried to defeat her last spring has been working closely with her lately, delegates say, after she lobbied them to do so.
"There was disappointment and a lot of disgust right after Election Day, when Green lost," said Marian Swerdlow, a longtime delegate and social studies teacher at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School. "But a lot of members would like to believe that Bloomberg's reaching out to her is a really good sign and that she's landed on her feet."
George Arzt, a political consultant who advised Peter F. Vallone and then Mr. Ferrer in the mayoral race, pointed out that Ms. Weingarten was hardly the only person who endorsed more than one losing candidate in what proved to be a completely unpredictable race. So many people switched their endorsements that none are likely to suffer grave consequences, Mr. Arzt said.
"No one really knew which horse to get on," he said. "Look at Ed Koch: he was with Vallone, Ferrer, finally Bloomberg. This was a very, very unusual year."
Notably, none of Ms. Weingarten's endorsements in the mayoral race were particularly passionate. She waited until mid-August, less than a month before the Democratic primary, to back Mr. Hevesi, and did little campaigning on his behalf. Her endorsement of Mr. Ferrer came only after an even larger union, District Council 37, backed him. By the time she got around to endorsing Mr. Green, it was clear from remarks she had made about him throughout the campaign that Ms. Weingarten - a member of the Democratic National Committee - was merely fulfilling political obligations.
"I read those endorsements as very careful, lukewarm statements about the candidates," Mr. Berne said. "None of them would have prevented her from doing what she did in the next round."
In an interview on Monday, Ms. Weingarten said her endorsements of Mr. Hevesi and Mr. Ferrer were heartfelt, and she pointed to past endorsements of candidates who won - Charles E. Schumer in 1998 and Hillary Rodham Clinton last year. "I tend to be a risk-taker, and sometimes risks work out, sometimes they don't," she said. "The mayor- elect understands that the U.F.T. follows its convictions. He also knows that when we say we want to work with him, we mean it."
Also in Ms. Weingarten's favor is the fact that Mr. Bloomberg is a novice politician, a Republican in a city of Democrats who needs all the support he can get, said Joseph P. Viteritti, a research professor at New York University. "He can't play the game of not dealing with people who didn't support him," he said.
He added that the relationship could be mutually beneficial, because Ms. Weingarten has signaled recently that she is willing to reverse longstanding union positions and support two ideas that Mr. Bloomberg advocates: increased mayoral control of the school system and bonuses for teachers in schools whose test scores improve.
"It's not what Rudy Giuliani wanted," Mr. Viteritti said of Ms. Weingarten's new positions, which are more cautious than similar proposals by Mr. Giuliani.
"But it's a very significant sea change in the thinking of the union. Bloomberg may realize it's in his interest to have her across the bargaining table."