Date: February 24, 2021
TO: NYU Administrators and Staff
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton, Exec. Vice President Martin Dorph and Marina Kartanos, Interim Head, NYU Human Resources

Whether you start counting from last March, when we pivoted to remote instruction, or from the beginning of Academic Year 2020-21, it’s been a long year that has required a lot of all of us.

When the University Senate changed this semester’s academic calendar in response to COVID-19, in place of spring break, it set aside Friday, March 19 and Monday, April 19 as days without classes to create two three-day holiday weekends. The original plan was to treat these two days off the same way we treat spring break: as a holiday from classes for students and faculty, though not for administrators or staff.

However, we are going to make the two days (March 19 and April 19) holidays for administrators and staff as well, so that the entire community can enjoy the three-day weekends. You will not need to use vacation or personal days to have these days off.

These are special circumstances that do not represent a permanent change to the University calendar, but rather a recognition of the special demands faced this year.

Some employees, such as essential workers and those designated by their supervisors because of academic or clinical requirements, will still need to report to work; for employees covered under the collective bargaining agreement, they will be compensated at the applicable holiday rate. Administrators who are designated to work these days should contact their HRO for guidance. But our hope and expectation is that the vast majority of administrators and staff should be able to take the day off from work on the designated days.

Along with news of the days off, we’d like to give some advice. Barring an emergency, resist the impulse to catch up or get ahead on work, or to call / email / text / IM / or send an owl to your colleagues. Embrace the impulse to do something fun but COVID-safe with friends or loved ones, to take a nice walk, to sleep in late, to read a book, or binge-watch something great. The work will still be there when you turn back to it.

Enjoy the days.