A Letter to Parents from NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Date: March 4, 2020
TO: NYU PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton
Dear NYU Parents, Loved Ones, and Guardians
Yesterday, I again wrote your NYU students about COVID-19. On the heels of that communication, and I want to make sure all of you are familiar with how NYU is responding to the coronavirus situation.
My children are older now, but I well understand the parental concerns you must be feeling in the face of all the news coverage of coronavirus-related developments. Please know that COVID-19 is the topic of daily analysis and consultation by senior administrators at NYU. We have set that level of scrutiny because we take the issue seriously; it allows us to collectedly keep on top of new developments, to evenly make the adjustments necessary to keep our community safe and well, to communicate clearly and regularly, and to have a decision-making process as dynamic as the situation.
NYU is a large, complex university, and our response has many elements. In early February, we made the decision to suspend in-person classes at our campus in Shanghai and conduct some 300 classes remotely using technology. Nothing quite replaces being in class with one's students, but this effort is proceeding well. Last week, we made a similar decision about our Study Abroad site in Florence; classes for those students resumed this week using remote technology, too. This week we are taking several additional steps -- moving to remotely conducted classes at our Abu Dhabi campus in compliance with local government guidance, prohibiting upcoming non-essential international University travel, allowing students to voluntarily leave Study Away sites and pursue their classes remotely -- that we think are measured, prudent, and effective.
And that is just the manner in which I believe we should continue to proceed. Because just as we are committed to safeguarding our community's health, so, too, are we dedicated to meeting our academic responsibilities to our students and their progress toward their degrees. We place a value, as well, on maintaining the daily rhythms of university life, to the extent circumstances permit us to do so wisely.
At the moment, the most authoritative voices tell us we can go about our business normally here in New York, using the precautions we should typically take in flu season, and that is what's happening. We are, of course, out of prudence and a spirit of preparedness, undertaking extensive contingency planning in case circumstances change. But for now, life on campus is carrying on essentially as usual, and most members of NYU community are doing their utmost not to let their worries get the better of them. I held one of my regular Town Halls with students earlier this week, and I was proud of the degree of calm, steadfastness, and level-headedness I observed.
We know the trust you have placed in us by sending your child here to be educated. Rest assured, we take our students' safety and well-being just as seriously. Even as events change swiftly, we are prepared and well positioned to respond thoughtfully and unhesitatingly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the NYU Parents Helpline. For the most up-to-date information on the University's response to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Information page.