To: NYU-NY employees (Administrators, staff, full-time faculty, part time faculty, researchers, Local 810, Local 30, Local 3882, Local 153, Local 1, all student employees
Date: March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

We greatly appreciate everyone’s assistance and cooperation as the University made the move to remote instruction. It was an unprecedented effort, and a significant step in reducing person-to-person interactions on campus, which is vital to checking the spread of the virus.  We want to underscore the tremendous appreciation we have for all of our employees who have stepped up during this most challenging situation.  We could not respond to such a situation as this on a global level without all of you.  

That effort has helped us in preparing for changes that we are announcing today.

We have been in touch with the Administrative Management Council as well as all of our unions regarding our plans to reduce in-person operations in response to COVID-19, and, effective tomorrow, Friday, March 13, we will take another significant step by strongly urging all schools and units to begin the transition to remote work for all non-essential employees who perform administrative and research duties, until further notice.  

Please note: pursuant to well established protocols, essential personnel are not included in this change, and are required to report to work. Departments who have personnel who perform essential duties will be in contact with these designated employees with further information directly.

We ask that schools and units use the remainder of today and tomorrow to:

1) make final preparations to ensure that all non-essential employees whose work can be performed remotely (at least in part) are transitioned to remote work as soon as possible (but no later than Monday, March 16, 2020), and

2) understand the duties that will be performed remotely. We also ask that you ensure that you have clear operating and communication protocols in place for continuing academic and administrative services.

3) if you have not done so already, conduct a thorough and rapid review of any necessary in-person activities that must continue and appropriately notify those essential employees in your schools and units of their responsibilities in providing on-site support during this period. This would include a review of research staff that are deemed essential and providing such notification. As long as the buildings are open labs are accessible.  

For Research:  University buildings will remain open for laboratory access, however you are strongly encouraged to promote remote work and to communicate with your departments and schools to coordinate dry research activities and wet lab experimentation.

We ask that all administrative, research and staff employees whose work is being transitioned to telework review the NYU Tech Guide to Teleworking that provides important information on preparing to telework. Please also review the Employee Workplace FAQs that were distributed earlier this week.

We will be asking schools and unit heads to ensure the following:

  1. Determine when and how critical office functions will be staffed. For example, mail will still be delivered, so individuals should be tasked with coming into the office to open mail and ensure that urgent mail is scanned and distributed.
  2. Call forwarding from office phones should be set up to assure that all phone inquiries are managed, including maintenance of phone logs.
  3. Protocols for timely opening and response to emails.
  4. Identification of personnel who are essential who will be required to report to work on campus.
  5. Posting of notices with information about in-person hours of operations and contact information when offices are closed for those offices that will be partially open on campus.  These should be physically posted at main department entrances and online on department web pages.

While this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, these are just some of the considerations that should be fully reviewed and planned for. Supervisors and staff should ensure they continue to be actively engaged in the business of the University as they would if they were onsite.
Please be in touch with your supervisor or Human Resources office for questions related to communication, telework, essential services or other related questions. Please see the list of your local Human Resources Officer or Business Partner. As always, we appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this time.

Martin Dorph
Executive Vice President

Sabrina Ellis
Vice President for University Human Resources