As NYU expanded, its debt increased. In 1971, NYU created the Financial Task Force to search for ways to prevent the university from falling deeper into debt. Enrollment was at an all time low, and the city’s growing reputation for increase in crime started to hurt attendance numbers for out of state students. In 1967, 21.5% of the student body came from outside the metropolitan area, while in 1971, only 10.2% did. NYU was on the verge of collapse and President Hester had to make a decision. To the disappointment, and even anger, of the current students and alumni from the Heights, NYU put the campus up for sale in 1972 and in March 1973 CUNY bought the campus and it became the new Bronx Community College. Although Dean Sidney Borowitz once declared University College to be the “jewel of undergraduate training at New York University,” the Arts and Science college was forced to merge with Washington Square College, the undergraduate college downtown, and the School of Engineering became part of Brooklyn Polytechnic University.
The buildings are a testament to New York University’s residency in the Bronx. The edifice of the Gould Memorial Library still reads, “The Library of New York University,” and a number of the buildings maintain their original names, including Begrisch Hall, Gould Library, and the Halls of Languages and Philosophy. New York University’s lasting legacy uptown remains in the beautiful and modern buildings it helped to create, serving as a reminder of its time up at the Heights.
Click the thumbnails below for images of the campus through the years.