To: Deans and Directors

From: Provost Katherine E. Fleming

Date: January 31, 2019

From time to time, the University is disrupted by seasonal weather, including winter storms. During severe weather, advisories are issued to the entire University community, and information about closings and changes to University operations are posted at NYU’s Info Alert page and appear as a banner at NYU’s website.

When the University is open during weather events, it is expected that all classes will be held as scheduled. Nevertheless, it is understood that there may be occasions when personal travel hazards lead faculty to cancel a class and students to miss a class. Feedback from commuter students and conversations within the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of the Provost, and among the undergraduate deans have generated a set of expectations with respect to class attendance and class cancellation during severe weather events when the University is open and transportation is disrupted. As we begin the spring semester, I am asking all Deans and Directors to sensitize their faculty to these issues.

It is expected that school rules about class attendance and cancellation will vary with school culture and curricular requirements. Please clarify these rules to your faculty, stressing the need for sensitive, sensible, and consistent implementation. In addition, please use the following set of expectations to provide guidance to your faculty.

Reasonable expectations of faculty include:

  • providing options for student commuters who are unable to attend class, such as reasonable accommodations for missed work and (where possible) exams, as well as lecture notes or videos posted on NYU Classes; and
  • in the event of an unavoidable class cancellation, giving their students and home departments as much advance notice as possible (preferably not less than three hours), taking into account that student commuters’ travel plans may also be affected.

Reasonable expectations of students include:

  • providing sufficient advance notice to instructors if they need to miss class due to disrupted or hazardous transportation; and
  • submitting, without significant delay, assignments that were to be handed in during the class session.