Date:  December 11, 2020
To:  NYU Faculty
From:  Katherine Fleming, Provost

Dear Colleagues,

As we close out the semester, here are some quick updates on matters relevant to faculty.

I’m acutely aware that the constantly shifting status of the New York City schools has created yet more confusion and stress for those with children in the NYC school system (I’m among them). I hope that the childcare grant (see below) may provide some help. There is also support through the Employee Assistance Program. I’ve asked chairs and deans to show great flexibility in making committee assignments, setting meeting schedules and the like. I’m very sorry that this additional burden falls on you at the end of a very long semester already full of burdens.

  • New Childcare Grant: NYU has established a grant to reimburse childcare support for NYU full-time faculty and employee families facing expenses due to COVID-19-related child-care/school disruptions or closures. While this won’t cover all additional expenses that families incur, we hope it will help. Please see the Work-Family Child Supports for Faculty page. Additionally, there is constantly evolving information and resources available to the NYU community for caregiving needs on the Work Life COVID-19 Resources: Academic Year 2020/2021.
  • Faculty Webinar: Deputy Provost Cybele Raver recently organized a webinar for faculty on the impact of COVID-19 on the fall semester. Speakers included Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Exec. Lead of the NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team; Jordana Mendelson, Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese; and Michael Beckerman, Petrie Professor of Music. Faculty feedback was positive. If you missed it, it’s viewable here.
  • Top 50 Green Colleges: For the first time, NYU has been named to the Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges. I’m particularly interested in the various ways that COVID has forced NYU to adopt environmentally minded practices that we should have instituted some time ago: a reduction in air travel, a reduction in the amount of wasted food and number of food-centered events, a reduction in “swag,” an increase in flexibility around telecommuting, etc. My hope is to keep many of these practices in place in the future. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
  • NYU Retirees Society: Last week, I hosted NYU’s second-ever Retiring Faculty Celebration over Zoom, honoring 81 retiring faculty members. I want NYU to do a better job at ensuring our retired faculty remain an active part of the NYU community — as mentors, participants at events, and volunteers. With this goal in mind, the Work Life office will be launching the new Society for Retired Faculty, which will be organizing programming for retired faculty, starting in 2021.
  • Provost Index- COVID-19 Edition: Here are some stats and numbers that give some sense of what goes into keeping us safe during this pandemic, the changes it’s wrought on NYU’s daily life, and some related matters.

It has been a long and difficult semester, and already we are preparing for a new one. As with last semester, faculty have maximum flexibility as to their teaching “modality” for spring of 2021. We’re also looking towards a return to in-person teaching in the autumn of 2021, assuming a successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. I know many of you have vaccine-related questions, and we hope in short order to be able to get you information on that front.

You have my deep appreciation and admiration for your extraordinary work. I hope the winter break is restful and safe, and that 2021 delivers us a better year.

Keep each other Safe