NYU Returns: The Coming Academic Year
Date: August 13, 2020
TO: NYU Researchers, Administrators, and Staff
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton; Executive Vice President Martin Dorph; Vice President Sabrina Ellis
Next week, we begin to welcome students back to campus after summer break. It is, customarily, an exhilarating time, filled with promise and energy.
That will be true this year, too; our education and research missions will carry on robustly. But fall 2020 will also be accompanied by an uncommon degree of anxiousness and uncertainty. We will need to swiftly adopt new customs and practices in our work lives even as we take on the usual start-of-year duties and may also be struggling with difficulties in our own personal lives: unpredictability about a child's schooling, transitioning to a new way of doing a job, the postponement of an important life event, worries about a sick family member, or about becoming sick ourselves. You may be apprehensive about your own return to work.
Your concerns — for our students, colleagues, the University, New York, and for your own personal health — are entirely understandable.
However, NYU has solid plans in place to address, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19; followed conscientiously, the protocols will enable us to effectively manage the challenges we will no doubt confront. We are prepared to respond flexibly, and the health of our community members has been, is, and will be first and foremost in our decision-making.
Many of you have contributed to that planning over the summer during months when you might normally have been on vacation. We want you to know how grateful we are to you.
Our approach to on-campus staffing in the fall is to have a reduced number of employees here — enough to ensure proper operations of units and support for students and faculty, but no more than is necessary. So many employees will continue to telework, while others will be asked to come back to their workplaces, often in a hybrid arrangement, with some days on campus and some days teleworking. You will hear from your supervisors and managers in the coming days.
For those of you who will be returning to campus this fall, we have instituted strict guidelines to require proper personal protection, physical distancing, ongoing monitoring of the health of our community, and other measures. Observing these guidelines closely will be very important; we know we can rely on you to do so.
As NYU approaches a new academic year, mainly we want you to know we are thinking of you. Your well-being matters to us. We are appreciative of all you do to support the University's academic mission, and the seriousness and purposefulness with which you take your duties.
We are proud to call ourselves your colleagues. And we thank you.
Andrew Hamilton, Martin Dorph, and Sabrina Ellis
P.S. We also want to remind you that we have resources to help you, if you need it. NYU's employee assistance program, administered by Carebridge, is available to you 24/7. So, too, is our Human Resources division and our Office of Work Life.