Date: March 20, 2020
To: NYU Faculty
From: Office of Work Life

Dear Faculty,

We write to you at a time when our world has drastically changed. Neither our home nor our work lives feel familiar or comfortable right now, and it’s hard to say when we might return to our normal rhythms.

That said, Work Life has been working on a number of initiatives to support faculty in this uncertain time. Below, you’ll find several updates and resources related to COVID-19 and to our changing situation. We will be continuing to identify and address the needs of faculty members as we navigate uncharted territory together.

In addition to updating our website regularly, we will also be posting frequently on our Facebook page. We’ll be sharing several resources as they relate to our focus areas – child care, schools, adult care, self-care, and more – along with posts about events and groups geared towards faculty members. We recently posted about ways to keep kids entertained while at home and tips to help parents who are juggling work and looking after their children.

Remote Work Webinar

Work Life has invited the Flex + Strategy Group to offer a faculty-focused webinar called “How to Adapt, Teach, and Stay Sane in a New Remote Work and Life Reality.”

Practically overnight, you’ve had to reset where and how you teach, conduct your research, and perform the other activities of service expected of you. How do you work remotely, often in small spaces with others, while caring for others and addressing the challenges and concerns of the coronavirus crisis? Join internationally-recognized flexible work expert Cali Williams Yost as she shares concrete, actionable strategies that will help you regain a sense of control, well-being, and sanity in this new reality.

The webinar will be hosted on Zoom, on Tuesday, March 24th, from 12PM - 1PM. If you’re interested in joining, please add the meeting to your calendar.

Bright Horizons Crisis Care

Bright Horizons, the university’s back up care provider, is offering a supplemental program called Crisis Care from now through April 30, 2020. Crisis Care allows eligible faculty and employees to use their own personal network – a relative, neighbor, friend, or sitter – for child or adult care, and receive a reimbursement of $100.00 per day. Note: Remember to cancel any reservations for Bright Horizons care you may have made that are no longer needed in light of school and center closings, so that you can access Crisis Care instead.

Visit https://clients.brighthorizons.com/crisiscare to access Crisis Care, then select “Use it” to be directed to the reimbursement form and steps to receive reimbursement. If you have questions about the back-up care benefit and Crisis Care program, please refer to the information and FAQ documents on the university website.

Memo to Faculty and Staff on COVID-19 Protocols

The spread of COVID-19 has raised questions among employees about how to keep themselves, their colleagues, and the broader community safe, healthy, and well. This latest communication about COVID-19 protocols contains important guidance about how to protect the community while respecting individuals’ privacy and dignity, as well as precautions individuals can take to keep themselves healthy.

Support Group for NYU Community with Older Adult Loved Ones

Work Life is creating a support group for faculty and administrators who are concerned about their older adult loved ones during this time. We will be meeting via Zoom on Friday, March 27th at 11:30am. If you’d like to join the call, please fill out this quick Google form.

Faculty Housing, Work Life, and Resident Volunteer Efforts

Work Life is partnering with Faculty Housing and a group of involved faculty housing residents to create a volunteer corps to provide support to our most vulnerable community members in NYU housing. The team circulated a flyer asking residents to self-identify if they are concerned about meeting their needs for groceries, medicine, tech help, dog walking, etc.

NYU Silver School of Social Work faculty and students have volunteered to provide additional mental health wellness checks to residents and make referrals to local agencies as needed.

Our team is also preparing bags of goods including food items and toiletries for those in need.

If you’d like to volunteer or know someone in the NYU community who is in need of services, please contact Stacey Gordon. We are especially interested in recruiting people to answer tech questions.

Other Resources

We recognize that NYU faculty will be challenged in many different ways during this time. Below are some resources that speak to both your personal concerns about the virus as well as ways to adapt to remote instruction.

  • The Chronicle of Higher Education is providing free access to their coronavirus coverage. You can access daily coverage by signing up for their morning newsletter, Academe Today. The Chronicle also released a free downloadable collection of the best advice on teaching online during this time as well as a running tracker for up-to-date developments. The latest edition of their weekly newsletter, Teaching, was about preparing for emergency online teaching.
  • NYU Langone has a number of resources regarding COVID-19, including a podcast led by the hospital’s experts and a link to their Virtual Urgent Care. You can also call 1-877-40-COVID (1-877-402-6843), their 24/7 hotline for COVID-19 information, to hear doctors’ responses to frequently asked questions and ask questions of your own. 

Announcements, updates, and resources are coming in at a rapid pace, so please be sure to visit our website and Facebook page for the latest news.

While we are all working to stay as informed as possible, I also urge you to not ignore your mental and emotional health. Carebridge, NYU’s Employee Assistance Program, offers confidential mental health services at no cost to you.

Sincerely,
Grace Cosachov Protos and the Work Life team