A Message from President Foley
Dear New York Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff:

New York Institute of Technology is committed to sharing information about news and developments that impact our community. While this has always been true, it is especially so with regards to the unprecedented situation created by COVID-19.

As such, I am writing with further updates about our fall semester reopening plans and sharing additional informational resources that are now available on our
reopening web page. We continue to make great progress on the reopening plan for our New York City campus and expect to submit it to New York State next week.

First, I am happy to report that our search for suitable, quality accommodations for our Long Island residents is progressing well. It is our goal to provide an update on the final housing location for the fall semester as quickly as possible. Interim Assistant Provost for Student Engagement and Development Tiffani Blake is communicating regularly with our residential students at the Long Island campus and we will share all developments with the New York Tech community at large as soon as a decision is made.

Second, as we approach the beginning of this next semester, we see that the pandemic has not subsided on a national basis, though it has regionally. However, we also know that a second wave is likely returning to New York if we are not vigilant and careful in our actions. We are also learning more about COVID-19 and that it may affect people of different ages, genders, and blood types in different ways. All these are reasons that call for continued prudence.

With that in mind, it is likely that primarily those experiential courses that must meet in person, such as studios, labs, and clinical health courses, can be face-to-face in the fall. Other courses that can be taught via hybrid remote instruction will probably be taught in that mode. This is because different disciplines have different content and need to be able to adapt to the pandemic in light of their various specializations. Fortunately, deans, department chairs, program directors, and individual faculty members are working hard on developing the best course modalities. Most course schedules have been finalized and there will be follow-up communications to students informing them about schedules. Students are encouraged to visit the student portal at
my.NYIT for additional information.

Why follow such an individualized course-by-course approach rather than one general approach for all courses? Because we are seeking to accommodate the needs of our students and faculty with a remote modality and one approach will not work for all. Furthermore, while one may envision teaching in Long Island face-to-face, the same may not be possible in New York City. Hence, flexibility needs to be our watchword.

For those students who will be coming to campus, we have put together a wellness kit containing a mask and other protective items. In addition to the new outdoor seating areas and other enhancements I mentioned in last week’s
update, we are also placing signage around both New York campuses, per CDC, state, and local regulations, reminding us all of physical distancing and other important practices.

In addition, we have developed several audience-specific web pages with reopening information for
students, faculty, and staff that contain relevant details for each group. For faculty and staff, there is additional guidance from Human Resources on returning to the workplace, including potential accommodations, and remote working. I urge you to regularly visit this growing body of information on our dedicated web pages at nyit.edu/reopening.

Having addressed issues related to students and faculty, let me turn to the question of staff work, and more specifically, where staff should work. In keeping with prudence, and in order to ensure further staff health and safety, to the greatest extent possible, staff should work from home. I realize that we have had a long-standing policy against working from home, but this pandemic has made it a very different time for us and the old policy is out-of-synch with our new reality. So, I am calling on all managers to do their best to keep staff at home while also ensuring that necessary work is getting done. Students are depending on the institution to be as fully functional as possible, especially at this time. At the same time, there are jobs and functions that cannot be done remotely and require an on-campus presence. It is our expectation that managers will make sure that staff in such positions are able to work safely and with all necessary precautions in place to protect them.

Let me summarize. To the greatest extent possible, we seek to continue New York Tech’s educational enterprise while maintaining efforts to support the health and well-being of students, staff, and faculty.

Earlier this week, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A., shared details with faculty on a number of important topics including logistics and operations for academic continuity, faculty development, support and training resources, as well as technology enhancements in further preparation for the start of the new academic year.

My sincere thanks to all who are working tirelessly to prepare for the fall semester and to welcome our students in a variety of course delivery methods and engagement initiatives.

I remain in awe of your energy, commitment, and continued support of New York Tech.


Hank Foley's Signature
Hank Foley, Ph.D.
President, New York Institute of Technology
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