Date: March 12, 2020
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton

Dear NYU colleagues and students,

Spring break is about to start. However, before we all adopt a spring break mindset, we have—given this week's rapidly changing circumstances—some important matters to relay.

Remotely-Held Classes—Looking Ahead

We do not know when in-person classes will resume. However, given the aggressive steps being taken by government at all levels to check the spread of the coronavirus, we can reasonably predict it will be further in the future than we anticipated or hoped. 

At this point, none of us should contemplate recommencing in-person classes before April 19. This longer time period will help in limiting the spread of the coronavirus in New York. It will allow everyone to more fully embrace remotely-held classes, and it will give us more time to judge the right point to reassemble safely.

International Students

We know that the rapid and unprecedented actions by governments around the world present special hurdles and uncertainty for our international students, who represent an important part of our campus community.  The University is committed to ensuring that those students who are unable to return to campus due to illness, hardship, or travel restrictions can continue participating in their courses remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.

NYU's Administrative and Business Operations

Even as we move to holding classes remotely for a more extended period, it is important to ensure that our administrative operations—which support teaching, learning, and research—continue to operate effectively and uninterrupted.

However, given the recent directives from the City and State with respect to businesses and working New Yorkers, we are strongly encouraging more administrative personnel to move to “teleworking.” Martin Dorph, our Executive Vice President, and Sabrina Ellis, our Vice President for University Human Resources, wrote to unit heads, administrators, and staff today with guidance on how greater working from home can be achieved.

Concluding Thoughts

I will resist the impulse to compare our current situation to the other challenges NYU has faced over its nearly 200 years. The fact is, the spring 2020 semester has been unprecedented in so many ways.

Instead, I will express my gratitude and pride in how this community has so nimbly and resiliently risen to these challenges. And I will share my hope and wish that circumstances allow us to return to normal soon. I very much look forward to that day, and the swift and busy passage of time until then.

You can keep up with information about the coronavirus and NYU at this webpage we've created.

Enjoy your break next week. Do take the health precautions being offered to heart, and stay healthy. Good luck with the resumption of your remote studies on March 23.


Andrew Hamilton