Statement from NYU Spokesman John Beckman


"NYU continues to be guided by two priorities--the health and well-being of our community across the globe, and the academic progress of our students.

"As of this date, there are no cases of coronavirus infection at any of our academic locations around the world, including in Shanghai.

"The occurrence of coronavirus cases has climbed steeply in northern Italy. In response, the Italian government has been taking swift action to try to prevent its spread. While we do not believe there is a pressing health threat to the NYU Florence community, the past month has taught us that countries may swiftly and unexpectedly make decisions that can significantly affect one’s ability to travel.

"So, we have made a decision to cancel classes for the rest of the week at NYU Florence; to suspend operations at the campus on Thursday, February 27; to begin holding classes remotely starting on Monday, March 2 (the experience we've gained at NYU Shanghai should help with this); and to carry on in this manner until at least March 29, when we hope everyone can reconvene at Villa La Pietra.

"We have urged students to leave Florence for this period; staff from NYU Florence will be available to assist the students in making arrangements as needed until the campus closes.

"As to elsewhere: in New York, classes are proceeding normally -- classes began on January 27, and for the vast majority of students and others who joined us by that date, we are well past the incubation period. Though we made provisions in our student housing system for students who might need to self-quarantine, we did not have to make use of them.

"At NYU Shanghai, our colleagues successfully started classes last week. Thanks to the dedication of NYU Shanghai's faculty and academic support staff (see this lovely tribute put together by NYU Shanghai senior Maudie Carey), in the space of little more than two weeks nearly 300 courses were converted from meeting face-to-face to meeting remotely using online technologies. Several hundred students are pursuing their studies this way; several hundred others have been reassigned to other NYU academic sites around the world. NYU Shanghai has published a write-up about the effort. We remain hopeful that the authorities in Shanghai will permit schools to open and classes to meet later this semester; the classes have been designed to allow that to readily proceed.

"The NYU community has, in almost all instances, responded with patience, good spirits, resilience, and calm to these developments. We are grateful for that, and proud of the flexibility accorded to us by our global network of academic sites and our technological capabilities."

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848