A Look Back – and Ahead to Fall – for Employees
Date: February 25, 2021
To: NYU Administrators and Staff
From: Executive Vice President Martin Dorph and Interim Chief Human Resources Officer Marina Kartanos
Whether you’ve been performing your role remotely or are continuing to report to campus to perform your essential duties, now that we’ve nearly approached the one-year mark of pandemic operations, it’s important to reflect on how significantly administrators and staff have risen to the occasion throughout. It’s also important to again say thank you. Without your dedication, professionalism, and perseverance, the many challenges NYU faced would have been impossible to navigate; the many successes NYU realized would not have come to fruition. We proudly recognize and deeply appreciate your contributions of the past year.
As we reflect on the recent past, it’s natural to think about the not-so-distant future – the roles each of us will play this summer into fall to successfully continue to advance NYU’s mission and trajectory. With the summer term planned as partly remote and partly in-person for faculty, NYU will apply the lessons learned since last March, fashion this summer as a transitional bridge, and look to return many employees to campus alongside the faculty in fall 2021.
Realities and Opportunities of Returning to Post-Pandemic Operations
In looking to return NYU – and, on a personal level, our lives – to some degree of familiarity, we want to share with you, candidly and early, what we envision fall to potentially look like for employees. Much like the challenges we faced this semester with the appearance of new variants and problems in vaccine distribution, planning for the fall semester will also put a premium on flexibility, patience, and resilience.
Throughout the spring and summer, we will continue to look at and consider how a return in the fall will need to adapt to the realities on the ground: vaccine availability, child and adult care accessibility, public school reopenings, and, above all, the public health situation, with the first priority being to keep each other safe.
Despite the significant variables and unknowns, some opportunities and expectations that we envision for fall 2021 include:
- the community’s continued adherence to University, NYS, and CDC guidance regarding PPE, social distancing protocols and other practices
- the safe return of more – at this time, likely not all – administrators and staff to campus, for at least some portion of the work week, every week, with rare exception
- NYU schools and units thoughtfully reimagining the workplace, considering how our experiences of this last year and Telecommuting Policy might translate to an effective local hybrid work model, as appropriate, supporting sustainability, affordability, and work life at the University
Additional Resources for Administrators and Staff
To support employees both now and as we transition back to campus in the future, we encourage you to avail yourself of some of the valuable NYU benefits and resources for which you may be eligible:
- NYU Work Life COVID-19 Resources
- Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Program, which will waive co-pay fees this March and April
- NYU COVID-19 Child Care Grant Program
- NYU COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Faculty and Employees
- NYU COVID-19 Benefits Updates
- Optum Employee Assistance Program
Thank you again for your contributions as we look and plan ahead together. And we will keep the lines of communication open as we move forward.
Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President
Marina Kartanos, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer