NYU Returns: The Coming Academic Year
Date: August 13, 2020
TO: NYU Faculty
FROM: Andrew Hamilton, President; Katherine Fleming, Provost
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Next week, we begin to welcome students back to campus after summer break.
For faculty, it is normally a familiarly exhilarating time, the summer break having renewed our energy and readied us to resume our teaching, scholarship, artistic work, and our service to departments, schools, and disciplines.
That will be true this year, too. But fall 2020 will also be accompanied by an uncommon degree of change, apprehension, and uncertainty, and we know that the past summer has not been as restful as we would have liked.
We will need to swiftly adopt new customs and practices in the classroom, the lab, and the studio even as we shoulder the usual start-of-year duties. Additionally, some of us may also be struggling with difficulties in our own work and personal lives: disruption to research, unpredictability about a child's schooling, the cancellation of long-planned trips or important life events, or worries about a sick family member, or about becoming sick ourselves.
Even as we made accommodations for those faculty for whom a return to the classroom presented difficulties, many of you chose to teach in person — about half our classes have some in-person component or are wholly in-person. We admire your dedication, and we know that our students are grateful.
NYU has spent these last few months planning for the fall and putting in place protocols to address and mitigate the spread of COVID-19; followed conscientiously, the protocols will enable us to effectively manage the challenges we will doubtlessly confront. Our plans enable us to respond flexibly, guided by the health of our community members, which has been, is, and will be first and foremost in our decision-making.
As NYU approaches a new academic year, mainly we want you to know we are thinking of you. Your well-being matters to us. Faculty are the heart and soul of NYU, and its academic success rests on your leadership and input, your commitment to our students, and your dedication to your scholarship. We respect your work and your concerns, and we appreciate all you do to support the University's academic mission.
We are proud to be NYU faculty. And we thank you.
Andrew Hamilton and Katherine Fleming
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.