To the NYU Community,

During this incredibly unusual time, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NYU, I am writing this letter to bring everyone up to date on the University’s outlook.

I do not know anyone who is happy about the current state of affairs; however, I do know our job is to move forward and do the very best we can in this unprecedented environment.

We have sound priorities established in line with our purpose as an institution of higher education and our responsibilities to all of you. First and foremost, our focus is the health and safety of all students, faculty and administrators. Flexibility is paramount; our plan to open with a blending of online and in person classes allows us to meet our cornerstone academic purpose: the educational needs of our students and our faculty’s research.

We have shared goals. Only if everyone in our community joins together will we be able to achieve them. We must respect every individual’s real needs and fears. Being disciplined must go hand-in-hand with being understanding. We must recognize that every action we take, or fail to take, impacts the entire NYU community. Everyone must abide by the rules, recognizing their responsibilities to all members of our community. When people do not rise to their best and most responsible conduct, we must be resolute and active in enforcing our policies.

Some schools have elected not to bring students back; we selected a different course, in which we can have legitimate confidence. We have built a robust program that we believe can work. With your help, I am confident we will get this done.

The next weeks will be challenging but together with your/everyone’s commitment and discipline we will meet the challenge. I believe that brighter days are ahead, although there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way.

Bill Berkley
NYU Board of Trustees