TO: NYU Administrators and Staff
FROM: Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President and Sabrina Ellis, Vice President for Human Resources
DATE: June 17, 2020
Dear Administrators and Staff:
With the culmination of Commencement, we successfully completed another chapter in our journey, and I am incredibly proud of the collective efforts of our administrators and staff. We are especially thankful to the efforts of our essential staff, who have continued to help maintain the critical infrastructure of the university while we await our much anticipated gradual and safe return of students, faculty, researchers, administrators and staff to campus.
I know that many of you are eager to return. I also recognize that some are concerned—even anxious. I want to share some recent updates about our planned preparations and changes to the workplace that might address some of the more urgent return to campus considerations.
As a reminder: over the summer, all employees should expect to continue to telework, other than those designated essential and those involved in early return or restart activities.
While the University awaits further guidance on when it can resume on-campus operations, all schools and units are actively involved in return planning. Planning teams are taking into account the need to provide core services to new and returning students while also ensuring that we closely adhere to well established guidelines for physical distancing. In the coming weeks, we will be working diligently to support schools and units in the implementation of their planning efforts. This will involve some being asked to return to campus over the next several weeks and others continuing to work remotely when their duties allow for such arrangements. Decisions regarding on-site or remote work will be made by each school and unit based on necessity.
As previously mentioned, our goal is to ensure a safe return for everyone while we serve and support our students as effectively as possible. Overall, we are emphasizing reducing the number of administrators back on campus during the fall term, with the remainder continuing to telework. As schools and units determine the appropriate mix of on-site and remote operations for the fall, employees will be provided with at least ten business days of notice as to when they will be asked to return to campus.
Some employees may have underlying health conditions that may require accommodations for the fall semester. Others may wish to request changes to their work arrangements due to being members of an age group considered to be at higher risk to COVID-19 according to guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (currently age 65 and older).
For administrators and staff who wish to request work modifications for the fall, specific instructions will be provided once employees have been notified of their possible return to campus date. Requests for accommodations related to a health condition will go to the Office of Equal Opportunity. All other requests for modifications will go to the HR Officer for the school or unit (for the fall 2020 semester, NYU will provide workplace modifications to employees in the CDC-defined high-risk age group). Please note: any administrator, researcher or staff member whose work is not conducive to the requested work modifications will be contacted by the Office of Employee Relations to discuss other available options.
An important aspect of our planning activity is the development of a Return to Campus Guide that will provide comprehensive information and guidance to all new and returning students, faculty, administrators, researchers and staff to help navigate their arrival on campus. The guide is being developed through the partnership of several offices and will be published within the coming weeks.
University Relations and Public Affairs will be developing an online hub where an NYU community member can go for the latest information on NYU's return to campus.
As additional guidance is disseminated at the federal, state or local level, we will be in touch with you on developments that may impact our planning efforts. Again, we appreciate your efforts and look forward to connecting with you in the near term on more important updates.
In the meantime, some have expressed a desire to return to campus over the summer to obtain items they may need in their offices, or other related reasons. We have previously advised employees to, at all possible, refrain from returning to campus, without notifying their local HR Office. This continues to be our guidance to protect our on-site essential employees, students, and researchers. Please contact your HR team with any requests about coming on campus.
Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President, and Sabrina Ellis, Vice President for Human Resources