Date: March 30, 2021
To: NYU Employees
From:  Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President, and Sabrina Ellis, Vice President, Human Resources

Since we last wrote to you about the fall 2021 semester, we have sharpened our planning assumptions, and we wanted to share that with you to provide additional clarity about our expectations for administrative personnel and operations. Faculty are not covered under this Policy, and should consult with the appropriate chairperson or dean and/or refer to the Faculty Handbook for any applicable policies. Professional Research Staff also are not covered under this Policy.

Based on the trends we are seeing – increased daily vaccination rates and availability of vaccines, low classroom transmission rates, and plans for public school reopenings, among others – we deem it very likely that we will have – and you should plan for – a full return to campus for almost all employees alongside the faculty in fall 2021. In the meantime, schools and administrative units are developing transition plans which likely include a transition period of increasing return to work beginning in mid- to late-summer. You will be provided information in the coming weeks and months from your Dean or unit head as to the specific plans for your school or unit.

As previously stated, there may be some review of operations and consideration of continued use of remote work, but this will be confined to certain limited instances in which it is in the best interests of the University and our students. The default position will be a resumption of and return to pre-COVID academic and administrative operations. To the extent we diverge from that arrangement, the decisions will be made at a leadership level for strategic reasons, not at the level of individual faculty or employees choosing whether to opt in. All telecommuting arrangements are subject to the university’s policy on telecommuting.  

In all circumstances, safety has been and will continue to be our highest priority. So even as our principal focus is on the return to in-class, in-person instruction and operations, we will make provisions for how we might need to alter those plans based on, for instance, changes in various physical distancing requirements or other public health demands. And, of course, our planning will also take account of how to fulfill our responsibilities to students in the face of certain hurdles likely to still be in place for the fall, such as restrictions on international travel. We will continue to provide additional updates over the next several months.

You all have done a great job in the most difficult of circumstances. We look forward to reconvening on campus with you come fall.