Why does the university behave this way? The answer may lie in its history department. When the robber barons of early industrial America built factories, they often chose locations where company payrolls and political influence gave them de facto control of just about everything. These locations were known as company towns and the company executives were rich and imperious. Decades ago, NYU—whose president makes $1.3 million a year and whose professors typically earn $250,000 per annum—set out to make Greenwich Village into a company town, and it has largely succeeded.