A Message from President Foley
Dear New York Tech students, faculty, and staff,

The first day of the fall semester is quickly approaching, so this is a good time to review how we will manage the challenges presented by COVID-19 as we continue to move our students toward their degrees and career goals. Every year, we look forward to welcoming students to New York Tech in person, but this year we will do so mostly virtually. We have all seen other universities around the country that have tried to approximate normal operations and fail. We decided months ago that such an approach would not work for us. Instead, we have planned for a controlled and delimited reopening that seeks to provide flexibility of approach in order to be prudent and effective.

By using a mix of remote and limited in-person instruction, the goal is to continue teaching and learning while maximizing the health and safety of our students and faculty. Unlike those schools that sought to return to pre-pandemic normal operations, we have adapted our operations to the new context. We will continue to be flexible and innovative as the situation evolves. We expect something unexpected could occur this semester, and we are prepared to pivot to an all-virtual mode if necessary. Even as we seek to maximize the safety and health of our community, we will provide an optimal learning experience for all of our students.

On our Long Island campus, we had a successful start to the medical school’s fall semester in early August. I am also happy to report that we have submitted both our New York City and Long Island campus reopening plans to New York State. These plans are posted on the reopening microsite, where you will also find other updates and resources for students, faculty, and employees.

Diagnostic COVID-19 Testing and Reporting

Both campus reopening plans require that students who plan to be on either of our campuses this fall take a COVID-19 diagnostic test and submit their results prior to the beginning of the semester. This applies to students who are taking classes, attending events, working, or meeting with someone on campus, as well as employees who are taking courses as students on campus. Students who will not be on campus at any point this fall are not required to take and submit test results.

COVID-19 testing for students took place last week on our New York City campus and is currently underway at the Long Island campus for the duration of the week; students can also submit results from COVID-19 tests provided by their private physician or another independent source. All student testing information can be found in the Student FAQs section of our reopening microsite.

Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff who are not part of the College of Osteopathic Medicine are not required to get tested prior to returning to campus. Please note that faculty and staff who are taking classes on campus as students are required to be tested for COVID-19 and to submit evidence of test results in order to access campus. All other employees (faculty and staff) who wish to be tested for COVID-19 may do so at the Old Westbury campus on September 2, 3, and 4 (consistent with health department requirements, results will remain confidential). Please see further details regarding on-campus testing here.

Self-Screening Questionnaire to Access Campus

All community members who will be coming to campus this fall must log on to the COVID-19 Health Screen app on my.nyit.edu and submit a health attestation to receive clearance each day they intend to enter campus. This is mandatory per New York State guidelines. Remember to complete the app questionnaire on your phone each time you seek to access either campus.

At the check-in locations on both campuses (1855 Broadway in New York City and the Brook One parking lot in Long Island), security personnel will ensure that each entering individual is wearing a face covering and shows evidence from the app on their device that they have received clearance (show icon) before being allowed to enter campus. Campus access protocols can be found here.

Residential Student Accommodations

Students will be moving into residence halls in the coming days. Since my last email, we’ve finalized an agreement with the Hilton Garden Inn Roslyn to provide our Long Island students with a safe, healthy, and accommodating residential experience for the fall semester. Our New York City residential students will continue to reside at the Manhattan School of Music and Riverside Residence Halls. At each location, we will follow requisite New York State protocols and recommendations for residential student housing. More information on residence halls can be found here.

Technology and Facilities Enhancements

In Long Island and New York City, we’ve continued to add technology enhancements to all of our classrooms to support remote teaching and learning. We have also created outdoor seating and classrooms; redesigned classrooms and indoor areas to ensure proper physical distancing; installed floor, elevator, seating, and directional signage; and prepared new dining options, including a food truck for the Long Island campus. In the “virtual” world, our online orientation is wrapping up, we’re finalizing virtual and in-person hours of operation for key services and departments, and the Canvas learning management system (LMS) implementation and training is in high gear. Canvas is considered the state-of-the-art LMS and is particularly effective for remote teaching and learning.

Agility and Advocacy

We not only continue to respond and react to the guidelines set forth by local, state, and national organizations, but to advocate for our students and institution. Out of concern for our students, we wrote to state legislators in response to the New York State Higher Education Service Corporation announcement that it will withhold 20 percent of student aid award payments, including TAP awards. The state is reporting a $14 billion revenue shortfall due to COVID-19, and the governor has said that if the federal government does not provide sufficient aid directly to states, such withholdings will not be reversed, but doing so will place an even higher burden on students and their families.

Looking Ahead

I appreciate all that has been done by the dedicated members of our community to get us to this point. I encourage you to continue to share your ideas with us on how we can continue to improve our approach to education in this unprecedented time. To do so, please submit your suggestion online via this link—and thanks to those who have contributed ideas thus far.

I look forward to connecting virtually with our faculty and staff at this Thursday’s online Convocation and with our new students next week at the New Student Academic Convocation…and truly hope to see you all in person in the not-too-distant future.


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

Copyright © 2020 New York Institute of Technology