Field Tripping

NYU Students Protest Exit of Popular Prof

Bamyeh wasn't surprised by the uproar. "The university is full of secrecy," he says. "In most places there is a due process but there, you have no recourse. I haven't seen a system as secretive as NYU. It's like a medieval trial, where you are charged and you don't know why you're sentenced."

Intrigue and politics are all part of life in a university. But NYU may be an especially tense environment due to the new adjuncts union, created in 2002. "NYU is especially brutal," says adjunct Martha Bordman, who helped launch the union and then sued the school for trying to fire her over a lack of collegiality. "Even if you're successful, you're going to get screwed, so that's why you have to walk the straight and narrow. I've talked to professors who were Teachers of the Year and got fired the next day."

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