In-Person and Remote Work in the Spring Semester
DATE: January 28, 2022
TO: NYU Employees
FROM: Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President and Sabrina Ellis, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
We continue to admire and appreciate your continuing dedication and commitment to NYU, which has enabled us to navigate the start of the Spring semester with far fewer disruptions than might have reasonably been expected.
As the fall semester ended and COVID cases started surging, we maximized remote work. In advance of the start of the spring semester, we adjusted that, asking the leadership of the schools and administrative units to ensure there was sufficient in-person staff to support the start of the semester and demands of our students, faculty and broader community, but to otherwise continue to allow for as much remote work as possible. At that time we anticipated that staffing levels and guidance for remote work would at some point return to where we were in the fall, consistent with our belief that a robust in-person presence is how to best support our teaching, research, and student support missions.
New York City and NYU are now seeing a rapid decline in the incidence of COVID cases, and the NYU community is moving towards full compliance with our booster mandate (we’re already at 95% among students and 93% among employees).
Therefore, we write to update our operating guidance with the expectation that as of Monday, February 7, all University units are requested to return to the scheduling and on-site presence that was in place through the fall semester, i.e., a hybrid work environment with in-person staffing of offices, but with the level of remote work that is deemed appropriate by the supervisors and leaders of the individual schools and units. As in the fall, the decisions regarding the amount and scheduling of remote work will be at the discretion of the school or unit’s leadership.
As we had noted at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year, we see this year as an opportunity to test new modes of work and staffing. In the coming months, an executive steering committee on remote based services and support will be launched, led by Sabrina Ellis, to review the data and lessons learned throughout the pandemic in order to create a set of policies and guidelines regarding remote work at NYU.
We are aware that COVID’s evolving nature will likely give rise to concerns and even confusion, and it will continue to require steadfastness and resilience from all of us. Please know that we continue to base our decisions on the best medical information available to us, and are very interested in receiving input from the members of our community about how the current situation affects them.
Things seem to be trending in a more positive direction, and that’s a hopeful development. Like you, we look forward to the time – maybe in the not-distant future – when we may return to a stable and predictable working and living environment.