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New School Office of the President, Board of Trustees records

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-01-01-04


The New School Office of the President, Board of Trustees records were transferred from the university president's office and cover the presidencies of Jonathan Fanton and Bob Kerrey. The records consist of trustee name files containing correspondence, minutes, and other materials pertaining to that trustee, many of which are restricted.


  • 1967-2014



10.4 Cubic Feet (7 boxes and 1 CD)

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The first three series are open for research use. Series 4 is largely closed for research use for 50 years from the date of file creation. Please email for details.

Conditions Governing Use

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Historical Note

The Board of Trustees of The New School is the governing body of the university as specified by the New York State Education Department and the bylaws of The New School. The Board and its committees meet regularly to consider matters relevant to the planning, operations, and welfare of the university and to make or approve policy for the university. Officers of The New School submit reports on their respective departments to the Board regularly, including reports from the deans of the academic divisions of The New School.

Upon the founding of The New School for Social Research in 1919 by Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, The Board of Trustees of The New School consisted of six women and six men, with Robinson serving as its informal head, with the understanding that he was to be “first among equals,” as Beard and Robinson opposed establishing a hierarchical leadership system for the school. The Board also included student representatives, one of whom, Clara Mayer, was appointed in 1924 and eventually became the school’s vice president from 1950 to 1961. In 1934, the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research was granted a provisional charter to confer degrees on graduates by the New York State Board of Regents. By 1936, Alvin S. Johnson, director of the school since 1923, was formally appointed the first president of the school under its Board of Trustees. As of 2024, the current board chair is Linda E. Rappaport.

In 1994, which falls within the dates covered by this record group, the Office of Secretary of the Corporation of The New School, Robert A. Gates, described the responsibilities of the Board:

Among the main areas of ongoing attention in the work of the Board are academic and administrative personnel, academic and financial planning, and the University's role in the larger community. The Board considers and approves the contracts (not the substance) of appointments to the faculty and administrative appointments at the level of director and above. It considers and approves all major changes in the structure of the curriculum. It regularly reviews the financial condition of the University and conducts an in-depth examination of revenue and expenditure trajectories each year as part of the process of adopting the University's annual budget.

In addition to the areas which receive ongoing attention, the Board may decide to examine specific programs, departments, or any other aspect of University life, in complying with its responsibility to New York State for the operations of the University. On the basis of this responsibility, it considers and adopts policies and advisories that represent the official position of the University and, in some cases, are legally binding on students, faculty members and other University employees.

The Trustees represent the University informally in their professional communities, and they may be called upon to serve as ambassadors of the University in Albany, New York, in Washington, D.C., and internationally. They also play an active role in fund-raising on behalf of the University and its programs. Trustees are expected to contribute to the Annual Fund and to support the University with capital gifts, such as gifts to endowment for faculty positions, scholarships, research and funds to improve the physical plant.

While this group of records does not contain much correspondence emanating directly from the Office of Secretary of the Corporation, the secretary's principal responsibility was to serve as liaison to the board of trustees, conducting board correspondence, preparing agendas, and compiling materials for general meetings and committee meetings.8 The role was established by New School President Jonathan Fanton in 1983 and initially held by Richard L. Rogers, who Fanton brought with him from the University of Chicago when he began as New School President (Rogers's first title was Special Assistant to the President, before serving as Secretary of the Corporation from 1983 to 1994). Rogers was succeeded by Robert A. Gates (1994-2001), Doris Suarez (2001 to 2011), and Roy Moskowitz (2012-2019).9 (Moskowitz also served as Chief Legal Officer to The New School from 2006 to 2018.)10 As of 2024, Jennifer E. Hobbs is University Secretary.11


Audio interview with Jonathan Fanton by Julia Foulkes, Wendy Scheir, and Mark Larrimore, Part 1, May 5, 2017, The New School Oral History Program, NS.07.01.01, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, NY.

“Board of Trustees.” Accessed August 14, 2023.

Course Catalogs. 1922-2019. New School Course Catalog Collection. The New School Archives Digital Collections, New York, New York.

“Degrees Approved for New School.” New York Times, August 1934. In Press clippings 13, 1935 Feb-1937 Jun, New School Publicity Scrapbook Collection. The New School Archives Digital Collections, New York, New York, 21.

Friedlander, Judith. A Light in Dark Times: The New School for Social Research and Its University in Exile. Columbia University Press, 2019.

Gates, Robert A. “University Seminar Paper Number 1. The Board of Trustees and the Visiting Committees of The New School for Social Research.” New School Central Administration Collection NS.01.01.05, box 3, folder 12, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

“Office of the President Team.” Accessed January 11, 2024.

Tucker, Emma. “Exit Interview with The New School’s Top Lawyer.” New School Free Press, October 15, 2018.


Organized into 4 series, arranged alphabetically: 1. Correspondence; 2. Presidential searches; 3. Subject files; 4. Trustee files

Related Materials

Earlier files related to or created by the board of trustees are found in the New School Archives in a number of collections, including the New School Office of the President records (NS.01.01.03), the New School central administration collection (NS.01.01.05), and the New School Annual Reports (NS.01.01.08). Photographs of trustees are found in the New School photograph collection (NS.04.01.01) and the New School Office of the President Laserfiche files (NS.01.01.06).

Guide to the New School Office of the President, Board of Trustees records
In Process
Jason Adamo, Jack Wells, and New School Archives staff
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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