Though the requirements for each goal and priority are articulated throughout the document, it is important to highlight several overarching strategic imperatives, which cut across the whole of the academic strategy and support all of the high-level goals:
First and foremost, universities are agglomerations of human potential and talent; their success ultimately depends on enabling individuals to learn, grow, connect, and create together as a productive community. The academic strategy therefore hinges on NYU Abu Dhabi’s human capital; i.e. our ability to admit and yield outstanding cohorts of undergraduate and graduate students and help them to realize their potential, and to recruit, develop, support, and retain high quality faculty, researchers, and staff, at the level of the world’s best research universities.
The global diversity of NYU Abu Dhabi’s community is one of our most distinguishing features and is central to supporting our vision of being a world-class leader in global higher education. This differentiating diversity presents an enormous opportunity to be a leading, intentional force for bringing people together, creating shared understanding, and promoting positive change in the world. It also presents a challenge to make such a diverse community feel fully inclusive, where everyone feels a sense of equity and belonging, whether in learning, residential, or working environments, or public spaces across campus. This will require hard work and active support across the institution in the years ahead.
As NYU Abu Dhabi grows and develops, we must have the underlying physical infrastructure and spaces, as well as digital infrastructure, needed to maximize our human potential and talent. This includes laboratories and studios, core technologies, library facilities, research computing, information technology, office spaces, classrooms, dormitories, and informal gathering spaces. Some of these areas already face projected constraints, which need to be accounted for and addressed moving forward. Any decisions about academic growth and initiatives should be enabled by existing or planned knowledge infrastructure.
NYU Abu Dhabi was founded as a forward-looking experiment in global higher education where creativity and innovation could be unleashed in everything from admissions, the curriculum, and community-based learning to research, teaching, and scholarly and public engagement. As we mature and develop into a more established institution in our next decade, we must remain committed to allowing creativity and innovation to flourish across the university in order to fulfill our distinctive vision and mission.
Even after a year when borders around the world were closed and social interactions were limited, we anticipate increasing global connectivity to remain an overarching macro trend in the years ahead. The world’s most pressing challenges are global in nature (as the pandemic reminded us), and labor markets as well as research and creative activities are defined by international mobility, collaborations, and networks. Navigating this complex landscape requires individuals capable of engaging, leading, and providing solutions across local, national, and global levels. To meet these challenges, we must enable our students, faculty, and staff to move, connect, learn, and work across boundaries and with individuals from diverse backgrounds.