Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020
To: NYU Faculty
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I fully recognize that you've had to embrace in two days what for most of us is an entirely new mode of teaching. I know it's been a challenge for all and a major drag for some, and I am grateful for your persistence.

Many of us are concerned about students' access to technology – whether devices or high-speed internet. We have some laptops available and are securing more, and we are working with advising offices to get them to students who need them. We are also asking faculty using NYU Zoom to be aware that some students will have to phone in to class, rather than using video.

I'm aware that concerns have surfaced regarding the technologies that we're using for teaching during this period:

  1. Holding classes remotely is not a secret first step on the road to eliminating our regular mode of instruction.
  2. NYU is not using NYU Zoom to surveil your class.
  3. You do not have to use the recording feature of NYU Zoom (though the students in your class may appreciate it if you do).
  4. If you do use the record feature, your lectures, etc., do not become the property of NYU.

Please find below a brief guide prepared by Clay Shirky, Vice Provost for Educational Technologies.

Stacie Bloom, Vice Provost for Research, will be writing you soon with an update on the effects on the research enterprise due to the latest COVID-19 developments here at NYU and more broadly.

I admire tremendously the seriousness with which NYU faculty take their responsibility to our students' academic progress. These are unnerving and strange times for us all. I extend my best wishes and solidarity.

Sincerely,
Katherine Fleming
Provost
 

A Brief Guide on NYU Zoom

During this move to remote instruction, we have seen several questions come up about using Zoom, including privacy and IP questions. We'd like to offer this guide:

Faculty should be sure they are using their NYU Zoom accounts, which can host large meetings of 24H duration, rather than using a personal Zoom account, which can only host smaller meetings, and only for 40-minute sessions. The easiest way to ensure you are using your NYU account is to log in through NYU Classes, where Zoom has been enabled for all courses, but you can also log in directly through nyu.zoom.us. (Using Classes is not required.)

If you would like to test Zoom on your own, you can visit nyu.zoom.us/test/. If you want a guide to using Zoom for instruction, this video is informative.

Concerning the privacy of Zoom streams and recorded video, there is no central recording function. We have enabled the option of recording by individual faculty, given possible pedagogic reasons for faculty offering students a recording of a lecture, and to enable use of Zoom for faculty to pre-record videos for students. It is up to faculty to decide whether to record a video, and it is up to faculty to decide whether they want to share a video with their students, by hosting it on NYU Stream, NYU Zoom, or otherwise distributing a video file.

NYU does not host or have access to either live Zoom sessions, or to recorded Zoom videos that faculty have not opted to share via NYU Stream. Faculty who want to disable recording on their account entirely can request that via this form.

Finally, streaming or recording video does not change NYU's stance on your ownership of your lectures, as spelled out in the 2012 Statement of Policy on Intellectual Property (PDF): "NYU will not assert ownership of Traditional Works of Scholarship, Lectures and Instructional Media authored, created or given by faculty" except in specific cases where work is licensed or commissioned. (Section XI.B.) NYU defines Traditional Works of Scholarship "to include not only traditional print media, but also where content historically associated with scholarly works is in digital form." (Section IX.)