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NYU Funds $1M Upgrade for University President's Penthouse

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New York University's decision to renovate its president's apartment in Greenwich Village is raising questions about the university's spending habits, the New York Times reports.

In order to prepare for new, incoming president, Andrew Hamilton, NYU has undertaken the task of working on a 4,200 square-foot duplex penthouse that the University owns at the landmark building located at 37 Washington Square West.

NYU purchased the building in 1953, and it is currently used as faculty housing. The president's house, located at the top, has four bedrooms, a rooftop terrace, and four and a half bathrooms.

The renovation work will see the conversion of the top two floors into a master bedroom suite with private entrances. Additions to the apartment will include a new kitchen, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, windows, and air conditioning.

And why is all this work problematic? It could cost the University upwards of $1.1 million, according to the Times. And that amount has raised serious concerns whether this kind of work is justified amidst rising costs and a greater need for financial aid.

Hamilton, who will start as the University's president in January, will leave his current position as Oxford University's vice chancellor where he was making $660,000 per year. The outgoing president at NYU, John Sexton will receive a $2.5 million payout and $800,000 in annual retirement benefits, according to the Times. Several top universities across the country provide housing allowances to their top administration, and this many students and faculty members have said is irresponsible in light of student debt and rising tuition.

Several other universities have faced similar criticism, most notably Columbia University's $20 million of its president's house in the early 2000s.

· Penthouse for N.Y.U.'s President Gets a Costly Upgrade [New York Times]