Date:  May 19, 2020
From:   Katherine Fleming, Provost, Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President, Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Associate Vice President for Student Health

During this last week of the Spring 2020 semester — perhaps NYU’s most unusual — we would like to express our thanks for your dedication, our admiration for your perseverance, and — to our graduating students — our congratulations and best wishes.


Provost Email to Undergraduate Students about 2020-2021

In a letter to undergraduates, NYU provided a preliminary picture of Academic Year 2020-21. Of particular note: that we are planning to reconvene at NYU’s campuses and sites in New York City, the US, and abroad; that the safety of the entire NYU community will be the basis for our decision-making; and that we will offer expanded flexibility for students, permitting them: 1) to take their year’s classes over two semesters or three; 2) to take courses remotely or in-person; and 3) to takes courses at alternative NYU global campuses and sites based in countries in which they hold citizenship or residency rights, if they cannot get to their regular, intended campus for the semester (an option we call “Go Local”). 

Information for graduate and professional students will be provided by their schools within the next few weeks.

Provost Email to Faculty

Provost Katherine Fleming wrote to faculty to reaffirm NYU’s commitment to protecting the health of the community, to scholarly excellence, and to making use of faculty expertise and guidance in reopening and structuring Academic Year 2020-21.


With the extension of New York State’s “On PAUSE” order for the NYC region (see below), Vice Provost for Research Stacie Bloom has provided an updated timetable for the plans to open NYU laboratories and research facilities.

Course Registration for First-Year Undergraduates

Because planning for undergraduate courses is still ongoing (see top item above), first-year student registration has been postponed until July. This will provide us more time to consider the implications of instruction modes (in-person, online, etc.), space, and class scheduling for registration purposes. Returning students, who have already registered for fall courses, will receive updated information on their courses in the coming weeks.

CARES Act Funds

The first half of the federals funds available to NYU under the CARES Act have arrived. As we indicated previously, all the CARES Act funding that comes to NYU will be used for direct aid to students over the spring, summer, and fall. Students should click here to apply for an NYU COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant.

Community Health And Planning Efforts

Planning for Protecting the Health of the NYU Community in 2020-2021

NYU is working on the details of health and safety protocols we will have in place for reconvening in New York and at our global campuses and sites in the fall. The well-being of members of our community continues to be the principal basis for our decision-making. Under the leadership of Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Associate Vice President for Health, NYU is assembling a detailed plan that includes measures for prevention, tracking, and responding to COVID-19 infections. The plan — which will take account of current and forthcoming guidance from multiple health authorities and sources — will be shared later this summer.

For 2020-21, members of the NYU community should anticipate:

  • Required wearing of masks or face coverings
  • Social distancing in teaching, research, and administrative settings
  • Testing, screening, and tracing
  • A public awareness campaign to reinforce the personal conduct necessary to combat the spread of the coronavirus within the NYU community

May 15 and the “NYS On Pause” Order

New York City was not one of the regions of New York State that met the criteria established by the Governor’s Office for lifting the “On Pause” order and beginning a phased reopening. Accordingly, University faculty, other employees, and students should continue to act in accord with the “On Pause” order. We continue to prepare for when NYC meets the State’s re-opening criteria, with NYU putting into place plans and procedures to help protect the health of students, faculty, administrators, and staff. NYU has been closely involved with efforts by CICU (the organization that represents private colleges and universities in New York State) to advise the Governor’s Office on higher education’s restart in New York State.


International Students’ Possessions

The Office of Residence Life and Housing Services (ORLHS) is communicating with international students who lived in undergraduate housing during spring 2020 and were unable to take all of their belongings with them prior to checking out, noting delays in international shipping due to COVID-19. Given the delays, ORLHS offered — in addition to the option of shipping the belongings back to the international students’ home addresses — three alternatives: having the possessions shipped to a US address selected by the student; having the possessions sent to a storage facility; and offering an opportunity to have the student or a designee come pick up the possessions during the summer.

Administration and Operations

We are in active planning for the restart of campus operations for the fall semester.  We expect that some employees will be returning to work during the summer, in support of the restart of research and in preparation for the fall semester. As discussed above with regard to Community Health and Planning, the health and safety of those returning to work is foremost in our thinking, and we will be able to provide specific guidance to our staff and administrators in the coming weeks. All other University employees (other than those performing essential functions who are required to report to campus or are performing critical functions) should anticipate teleworking through the summer, as indicated in a memo sent last week to employees from NYU’s Vice President for Human Resources, Sabrina Ellis.

In addition, the communication:

  • Noted that as we move towards fall 2020, we will bring employees back carefully and in line with our health guidelines
  • Provided information on summer employment of students
  • Outlined the policy on vacation leave and carryover