A Letter to Parents: Important New Steps at NYU to Respond to COVID-19
Date: March 9, 2020
TO: NYU PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton
Dear Parents, Loved Ones, and Guardians,
I know the spread of the COVID-19 illness and the well-being of your student must be very much on your mind. Let me update you on where things stand as of today.
Below please find a communication that the University sent to the NYU community today. In it, you will see that we are taking a number of new, additional steps to safeguard the health of the community, check the spread of COVID-19, and maintain our students' educational progress and our research mission. Among the most prominent are these:
- Tomorrow will be the last day of in-person classes this week. As of this coming Wednesday, NYU will move to remote classes for all its classes at the New York campus. Next week is spring break. We will continue with remotely holding classes through at least March 27.
- We are prohibiting upcoming, non-essential, University sponsored domestic travel to Washington and California, and discouraging it elsewhere.
- We are cancelling admission tours, sessions, and events from now through April.
- We are discouraging non-essential, non-academic gatherings on campus.
- We are discouraging hosting guests in-person on campus, and restricting guest policies in the student residences.
Though there continue to be no cases of COVID-19 in the NYU community, we believe these actions, though significant, are prudent, timely, and arrived at thoughtfully.
As I said when I wrote you last week, we recognize the trust you have placed in us; it is never far from our thoughts. Please know that we will continue to be guided in all our decision-making by our concerns for the students' well-being and our commitment to their education.
The University will continue to be in touch regularly with the students, faculty, and staff -- and with you -- in the coming days as we respond to the dynamics of COVID-19.
Date: March 9, 2020
To: THE NYU COMMUNITY
We are implementing a number of additional actions to keep the NYU community healthy and to contribute to checking the spread of the coronavirus.
Crucial Changes to Class Meetings This Week and the Following Two Weeks
In New York: At our New York campus, we are holding classes as usual through Tuesday, March 10. Classes should meet at their designated time in their designated location.
However, beginning on Wednesday, March 11 we will move to remote instruction. Except where specified otherwise, classes will meet remotely at their regularly scheduled time.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 11 -13, will allow us to test for the transition to remote instruction.
Spring break will commence as planned at the end of this week. If students wish to leave following their last class on Tuesday, they can participate in classes remotely from their homes for the rest of the week.
Spring break -- the week of March 16 - March 20 -- will carry on as normal. However, rather than reconvening on campus to recommence in-person classes on March 23, we will continue to hold classes remotely during that week, March 23 - March 27. Early during the week of March 23, the University will communicate if and for how much longer we will continue with remotely-held classes. Under any circumstances, classes will be held through the end of the semester to ensure the academic continuity and progress of our students.
IMPORTANT - WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD BRING HOME FOR SPRING BREAK: Students departing for spring break should take with them any items essential to carrying on their education from home, such as laptops, textbooks, notebooks, essential papers, etc. Students should also plan to carry home valuables and indispensable items in the event that a sustained period will pass before they are able to retrieve them easily.
RESIDENCE HALLS WILL REMAIN OPEN: As is customary, student residences will remain open during spring break. Food service will be available at three dining halls: Kimmel and Lipton in Manhattan, and Jasper Kane in Brooklyn
FACULTY TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES: Here is a technology resource guide for faculty. Faculty should be mindful that not all students will have ready access to quality internet connections; accordingly, they should make advance sessions material available as soon as possible and be prepared to accommodate students using NYU Zoom over the telephone.
NYU Shanghai, NYU Abu Dhabi, and NYU Florence will carry on as they currently are; NYU Abu Dhabi leadership will send out updated guidance shortly.
As in New York, all global sites (including Los Angeles and Washington, DC) will move to remote instruction this Wednesday through Friday. Beginning next week, US and European sites will continue to operate utilizing remote instruction through at least March 27 (spring breaks will continue as scheduled). Madrid is an exception; we will soon have additional guidance to reflect recent decisions by the health authorities in Madrid.
Sites in Accra, Buenos Aires, Sydney, and Tel Aviv will resume in-person courses on Monday, March 16, though of course, will be prepared to move to a distance-only option should it become necessary.
If you are at a global site and have questions about how this guidance relates to your specific location, please contact your local student life team.
Research-related activities in laboratories, etc. will continue to carry on as usual. Research-related employees should continue to report for their assignments as usual.
Bobst and Dibner Libraries will have their regular hours this week and its regular spring break hours next week.
New Guidance, Restrictions, Postponements, and Cancellations
Cancellation or Postponement of Gatherings and Non-essential Activities
Effective immediately through at least March 29, schools, departments, programs, and units are strongly discouraged from holding non-essential, large gatherings -- meaning those not related to core academic activities. These should be cancelled, postponed, or conducted in a "virtual" way that does not bring large groups of guests and members of the NYU community together in a single venue. We expect members of the community to exercise good judgment to maintain the health of the NYU community and check the possibility of the coronavirus' spread.
New Travel-related Restrictions
- Domestic travel: Effective immediately, in addition to the previously announced international travel restrictions, the University is also now prohibiting all upcoming, non-essential, University-sponsored travel to the states of Washington and California and discouraging all other upcoming, non-essential domestic travel.
- Visitors to campus:
- Cancelling or postponing international visits: NYU strongly encourages all non-essential, in-person international visits -- such as for lectures, events, and scholarly meetings -- be cancelled, postponed, or converted to a virtual appearance.
- Restricting guests in student residence halls: Effective Thursday, March 12, NYU students will not be permitted to sign in short-term guests (including those with NYU IDs) into any residential facilities, at any location in New York City, or at any of our Global Academic Centers (aka, study-away sites). This policy will be in effect until further notice, and applies to both daytime and overnight guests.
Changes to Admissions Activities
Cancelling admissions tours and info sessions: In-person admissions-related visits to campus -- including tours, info sessions, and admitted student events -- will be cancelled as of this week, effective though April. Instead, we will be providing opportunities for virtual campus visits and dialogue with admissions staff.
University Administrative and Business Operations
The University's business operations will remain open. On the whole, administrators and staff are expected to be at their work assignments, and those deemed essential to NYU operations must be present.
However, we are giving managers flexibility regarding teleworking and employees’ hours if circumstances warrant.
To be clear: even if NYU moves to conducting administrative and business operations remotely, we will continue to support the academic mission by ensuring the on-going function of all our offices and operations. Some employees performing essential functions will be required to report to work on campus. Other employees will be expected to work from home. Employees, supervisors, and managers should be clear about status, expectations, and responsibilities, including clerical employees, and be sure that everyone has all the necessary technology and applications to carry on their duties from home.
For a variety of reasons, there may be some instances in which specific schools' instructions will vary from aspects of the guidance in this memo. Where there is a discrepancy, follow the specific guidance from your school dean.
NYU Up-to-Date Information and Current Status
We realize that this communication may not answer every question. Please refer to the NYU Coronavirus Information and Resource page for further information -- we will be updating it regularly, and we will be sending out more detailed follow-up communications as well.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to those who have worked so hard to make NYU ready to take these steps, as well as for the steadfastness, resiliency, and patience of the NYU community in responding to these changes.