COVID-19: University Communications

Update on Reopening Plans

June 30, 2020

Dear New York Tech Community:

I am pleased to share news that New York Tech is moving forward with reopening plans, following the June 19 announcement of New York State guidelines for higher education (considered a Phase 4 industry). As I shared in my May 20 email, plans for the fall will consist of a mixture of in-person and remote classes structured to reflect our commitment to ensuring the health and safety of the university community while fulfilling our mission of providing the highest-quality educational experience for our students.

Despite all the challenges we’re facing, I am very optimistic about the future. We’ve adjusted, we’ve adapted, and we’ve persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the countless efforts and dedication of so many in our community. I continue to be inspired by the “doer, maker, innovator” spirit of our students, faculty, and staff, and I am proud of our response to the global pandemic that has tested our resolve and adaptability and to the social discord that has reinforced a commitment to our institution’s principles of opportunity, equity, diversity, and community for all our students.

When do we reopen?

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is set to begin classes on August 6. While some labs were able to remain open during the pandemic, we have now received the go-ahead from the state to open all research labs on July 1.

The fall semester for all other New York Tech schools and colleges will begin on Sept. 9, and I urge you to save these dates for new academic year kick-off events: the Annual Faculty and Staff Convocation on Sept. 3 and New Student Academic Convocation on Sept. 8, both to be held virtually.

We have not yet received guidelines from the state regarding athletics, but we will provide updates as soon as they become available via the athletics website and social media channels. The current plan has fall sports student-athletes returning for practice on August 17. The NCAA did not make any changes to the legislated Division II fall sports calendar, and the ECC has set the first date for conference competition as September 19. In light of these developments, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation will be working closely with our Sports Medicine team to identify the safest course of action for preseason. The primary focus will be on the health and safety of our student-athletes. A comprehensive plan is also being developed for the safe return to practice and competition of winter and spring student athletes.

When will our reopening plan be ready? What does it entail?

We’ve actually been ahead of the curve since April. Staff and faculty have been working together in anticipation of reopening, taking into account external factors in our control while optimizing campus facilities, investing in new educational platforms and delivery methods, and other elements in response to the new normal we envision. I am happy to say now that we have the guidelines from the state, our reopening plan just needs further review before we move forward.

We expect to have conversations and further communications about the components of the reopening plan—all of which will be shared via various channels and posted on a dedicated reopening microsite (nyit.edu/reopening). This microsite will be continually updated to include revisions to our plans and policies; FAQs specific to students, faculty, and employees; and internal and external resources.

The reopening plan includes the four sections required by New York State: 1) reopening of the campus, 2) monitoring of health conditions, 3) containment of potential transmission of the virus, and, if necessary, 4) shutdown of in-person operations on the campus. Meanwhile, we will continue to prepare campus facilities and operations, restack classroom schedules, and attend to other necessary items to ensure our success. Here are a few details:

Campus Access and Experience

We have a much better idea of the “new normal” for the Long Island campus because of its layout. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing campus access and entry protocols as well as details about individual buildings, study and research spaces, dining, and more.

The New York City campus, because of its vertical nature, needs a different approach, but we are well on our way to finalizing plans for campus operations and are already undertaking facilities upgrades of our HVAC systems and elevators as well as the creation of adaptable learning spaces.

We expect similar approaches for student activities as those used for teaching and learning (blend of in-person and remote), with more technology-enabled events and meetings than in the past.

Health and Safety

We know that we will never be able to eliminate all risk, but our goal is to reduce it as much as possible. The measures we will take include introducing multiple layers of protection and asking each member of our community to remember their obligation to help protect the health of themselves and all members of our community.

In accord with guidance from the State of New York and the Centers for Disease Control, and based on our own guidelines, all faculty, staff, and students should expect the following when returning to campus:

  • Fabric facial coverings will be worn in all public areas and when in direct contact with others
  • Office space and classroom reconfigurations for social distancing and/or rotating schedules for remote and on-campus teaching, learning, and working.
  • Adherence to strict hygiene and sanitation guidelines, including regular hand washing, cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and regular disinfection schedules.
  • Reduction in number of shared/common spaces—and limited gatherings—to ensure physical distancing is provided in all locations.
  • Self-monitoring and online screenings before arrival to campus.
  • Introduction of additional outdoor seating areas to encourage the use of the outdoors when possible.
  • Availability of additional spaces for physically distanced study areas and instruction areas.

The fall semester will be different than anything we have seen before. We will continue to deploy educational technologies and refine our approaches to teaching and learning, such as augmenting training and development for faculty, to provide a top-notch virtual and in-person experience. Over the summer and throughout the fall semester, we look forward to transitioning from the Blackboard learning management system to the industry-leading platform, Canvas. We are also in the process of outfitting all of our campus teaching spaces with upgraded audio and video equipment to support the transmission of in-person activities if needed.

Although our campuses will look the same, for the most part, they will operate quite differently than in the past. We’ll be introducing new access policies specific to our campuses in New York City and Long Island, and we will institute many important measures to keep our community safe and healthy. We’re also scheduling frequent disinfection of all buildings and are in the process of upgrading our HVAC systems to allow for better ventilation and air filtration.

We are fortunate to have a College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Academic Health Care Center in our midst, under the guidance of Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs Jerry Balentine, D.O., and our Chief Medical Officer Brian Harper, M.D., M.P.H., who is an expert in preventive medicine and public health. Our overall campus plans will require the entire community to join in health and safety precautions that will embody our commitment to caring for one another, and we look forward to their guidance and recommendations.

Plan for College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Professions

New York State gave medical schools the go-ahead to reopen on June 22, and the medical school is scheduled to open for classes on August 6.

Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy students will also attend a few on campus sessions in August to catch up on some physical assessments and skills.

As one of the largest medical schools in the state, NYITCOM wants to ensure that we do what we can to help students fulfill their educational requirements to become physicians within the standard completion time; this will be even more important if there is a second wave of an outbreak. Toward that end, NYITCOM has developed a reopening plan so that students can safely resume their clinical rotations at affiliated health care institutions this summer and participate in hands-on clinical skills training on-campus in the 2020-21 academic year. The School of Health Professions, which includes Physician Assistant Studies; Nursing; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy; and Health and Wellness programs, will also begin supplementing online instruction with on-campus learning activities to build practical skills.

NYITCOM already delivers its curriculum online where possible; however, due to the nature of medical education, we must ensure our students get necessary hands-on practical clinical skills training. Much of our instruction will continue to be delivered online, especially to first- and second-year preclinical students. About every other week, students will come to campus to meet and learn in very small groups and to participate in labs. Only about 12.5% of the first- and second-year students will be on the Long Island campus on any given day. Classroom and lab space will be utilized at about 25% of the maximum occupancy. To further limit potential exposure, students will remain in the same room while faculty rotate between rooms to deliver instruction and conduct assessments.

Our third- and fourth-year students are scheduled to resume their rotations at affiliated health care sites. A new online research rotation is also being developed for rising third-year medical students that covers COVID-19 training. Clerkships for the Class of 2022 are scheduled to begin on July 27. In the event of a second wave of COVID-19, we are prepared to move core rotations back to a previously designed online format.

In the fall, the School of Health Professions will follow similar protocols to the medical school including a hybrid model of educational delivery.

There is much more to come, and I look forward to sharing additional information with you. In the meantime, make sure to check our microsite regularly: nyit.edu/reopening.

I know that together we can make this an extraordinary year.

I look forward to seeing you, in person or online, soon.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer: Novel Coronavirus Update

May 27, 2020

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It is difficult to believe that roughly six weeks ago, about 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths were recorded worldwide. As of today, there are over 98,000 recorded deaths in the U.S alone. The speed at which this public health threat has caused havoc and changed the entire world cannot be overstated. As scientists have rushed to research this disease, a record number of reports have been generated in a short period of time. For the average person, these studies can be very difficult to interpret and unfortunately, misinterpretation can lead to fatal outcomes. Therefore, we must be very careful about what action we take upon learning new information.

A most unfortunate example of this lack of understanding was the Arizona couple who ingested choroquine phosphate, an aquarium cleaner, which they confused with hydroxychloroquine being discussed at the national level. Sadly, this led to the husband dying and the wife being hospitalized. Aside from misunderstanding treatment-related issues, another area that can lead to illness and hospitalizations is the inappropriate use of nutritional supplements. Most recently with COVID-19, Vitamin D is one example. Based on reports that Vitamin D deficiency seemed to increase risk for respiratory illness and unverified reports that high doses of Vitamin D may prevent COVID-19 infection, a number of people have ingested large doses of Vitamin D. This has led to many patients arriving at hospitals in the United Kingdom with toxic levels of Vitamin D, again due to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of scientific reports.

The essential problem is that proving a cause-and-effect relationship is very difficult and requires time via an intense deliberative, academic process. To establish a "causal relationship" requires many vigorous research steps, including demonstrating a temporal relationship, determining the strength of an association, biologic plausibility, demonstrating a dose-response relationship, replication of findings, consistency with other existing knowledge, and many other criteria. One study alone simply cannot do all of the above. Particular caution should be taken when interpreting an anecdotal report of one (or a few) individual(s) who may have benefitted from some specific treatment.

Therefore, while medical scientists take us through this academic research maze, it is important that the New York Tech community continue following the established recommendations of hand-washing/sanitizing, social distancing, wearing face coverings as appropriate, and self-isolation when ill to reduce the spread of this virus. All of these are generally accepted by most public health and community medicine experts. This will be increasingly important as the nation begins to loosen restrictions in an effort to reopen our communities and improve the economy.

Our Resources for You

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer your questions. You can also schedule appointments to meet with our medical providers via "TeleHealth" (virtual medical appointments). Call us at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make a virtual appointment.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine


Update from President Foley

May 20, 2020

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Dear students,

We are now winding down the spring semester of 2020 at New York Tech, a semester unlike any other in our history, and it is a good time to take stock.

Let me begin by thanking everyone in our university community for their dedication, strength, and perseverance in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19. I would also like to congratulate our 2,200-student strong Class of 2020, made up of physicians, doctors, architects, nurses, health professionals, engineers, scientists, artists, designers, and business majors.

Looking back at February and March, our region was hit quite hard by the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, we decided in the second week of March that we could not return to in-class, person-to-person teaching for the week following spring break. As you know, our institution, like all others, moved swiftly to remote, synchronous, online teaching using Zoom in response to the emergency. At that point, we did not know if we would, or would not, be compelled to carry on remotely for the rest of the semester.

As it turned out the spread of the virus was fast, and the toll that it took on our region was heavy and hard. New York City and Long Island became national epicenters for COVID-19. Because of that, we had no choice other than to continue to use Zoom for over 1,200 courses and, because of fast action by our faculty and IT staff, we were ready when the governor asked every citizen to shelter in place. We also acted on important issues for you as they arose, such as instituting the pass/fail grade option, providing $1.2 million in room and board refunds to residential students, extending the semester to decrease stress, and delivering computers and other technology support to those of you who needed them. As this semester ends, we now need to look at where we are and the way ahead.

Current Status

The governor has specified seven criteria, based on CDC guidelines, that each region of the state must meet in order to do a Phase 1 reopening. Several regions in New York State have met these criteria and are in the process of reopening. However, at the time of this writing, Long Island and New York City have not satisfied all seven criteria and will not be reopening right now.

Because we are not in a region that is able to reopen yet, and because we will be offering summer sessions, courses over the summer will be taught using remote synchronous and other online modalities, as we have previously announced

What can you expect the fall to look like?

Looking further ahead–what do we anticipate for the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021? Once our regions (Long Island and New York City) meet the seven metrics, they will be allowed to reopen gradually in four phases, grouped by sector or industry. Please see this link for the phases: https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase.

We hope that both New York City and Long Island will have met all seven of the criteria required for reopening by late August or early September and that we will to be able to resume more normal campus operations, with regular academic classes and student life activities. However, in the event that this is not possible, we are also planning for scenarios in which there will be more limited access to our New York City and Long Island campuses. Whatever the situation, we are well under way with the rigorous and thorough planning needed to prepare for reopening the campuses, subject to what will no doubt be more restrictive public health guidelines. No matter what, our uppermost goal is to serve you and guide you on the way to your career.

The New York Tech Reopening Plan

Because your education and safety are paramount, and using guidance and research from the CDC, New York State, and essential business protocols, we have developed a four-point plan to be ready for the semesters ahead. This plan, called “LEAD” for Layouts, Equipment, Academic Scheduling, and Disinfection, addresses multiple aspects of campus re-engagement. The LEAD plan also identifies required health methodologies for contact tracing and virus spread monitoring for reopening. Our LEAD plan also includes a robust communication component to ensure that you are informed and able to prepare for the new circumstances as they arise.

When we say limited access, like others, we envision being able to open our campuses, but with appropriate social distancing and other recommended protective measures. You are probably well aware of some of these. For example, we anticipate having to screen for fever, conduct or review diagnostic testing for the coronavirus, recommend isolation and quarantine as necessary, and perform contact tracing. There will also be other new provisions and changes to the infrastructure that may have to be made. At its core, our plan is to assure the safety of all of you, and our staff and faculty.

Teaching and Learning

How will we teach? As I mentioned, our goal, if allowed, is to provide as much in-person instruction as possible, but classes will be probably be offered as a combination of online and in-person modalities. For planning purposes, we are grouping classes, as a start, into two broad categories of learning types: conceptual and experiential. Classes that are more conceptual and that involve conveying mostly factual information can have more online elements, whereas those that are experiential and involve you in hands-on learning and the development of know-how, such as labs and studios, may need to be in person. We are also identifying courses for new investments in upgrades to their technology-enabled engagement and online user experience.

Because we will likely need to keep numbers of people well below usual levels in our buildings, we may also need to adjust course scheduling in several ways. For example, we may need to be ready to offer weekday courses on weekend days, too.

Student Life and Athletics

Activities that are cocurricular and extracurricular will be reinstituted to the greatest extent possible. Student life, such as student government and clubs, will operate following the same guidelines as academic activities. It is likely that this will involve a mix of remote, online, and in-person meetings.

We have also considered those of you who will seek to reside with us in New York City and on Long Island. In New York City, we are sure we will be able to continue to accommodate students at the Riverside apartments and the Manhattan School of Music, but living arrangements may change. Public health restrictions may require that there be only one student in each apartment. Over 100 international students will remain in New York City this summer. At SUNY-Old Westbury, we expect to be able to provide residential accommodations for our students, but we may have many fewer rooms available if only one student per room is allowed. We expect to know what the regulations will be early enough in the summer for us to let you know so that you can plan accordingly.

In New York City, our students and faculty are very much dependent upon public mass transit. We expect that trains, subways, and buses will continue to operate throughout the fall semester, as they have through the pandemic until now. We also expect to operate shuttles to and from the Long Island campus as we have in the recent past.

Athletics guidance will be forthcoming from the NCAA and from our conference in the very near future. Until then, we do not know if fall sports teams will compete at all, or if they will have foreshortened schedules and/or play only against local and regional teams. Others have suggested that fall sports competitions could be postponed but then be rescheduled to run contemporaneously with the spring sports in 2021. We are currently planning potential options for team practices that will meet all public health expectations.

So, in summary, we expect to reopen our campuses in the fall, but probably in a new way, following more restrictive health and safety standards and recommendations. We will continue to track closely the region’s progress for reopening and anticipate that we will operate with a mix of in-person and online teaching, and we will seek to provide the highest-quality learning experience that we can in any scenario.

For spring 2021, it is much too soon to consider the details of how we will operate, because we cannot yet predict the course of the pandemic. However, by then, with the experience we have gained in spring, summer, and fall 2020, we will be even more adaptable and flexible; our educational approaches will be adapted to fit the circumstances that present themselves at the time.

As we approach the new academic year, as always, our first and foremost concern will be for your safety and well-being, even as we seek to fulfill our mission of providing you with career-oriented, professional education so that you can attain your goals. We are the home of doers, makers, and innovators and we seek to reinvent the future. The time is upon us to do so, to reinvent the future; so let’s work together to create a future in which learning continues and this kind of pandemic never happens again!

Sincerely,

Hank Foley's Signature

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer: Novel Coronavirus Update

April 15, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This phrase can be modified to say that a threat to public health anywhere is a threat to public health everywhere.

Diseases such as the MERS, SARS , Ebola, and now COVID-19 clearly demonstrate this principle. Roughly six weeks ago there were no reported cases in New York City or New York State. The statistics and numbers changed so quickly it was impossible to report them in real time. At present, as of April 13, we have recorded more than 116,000 deaths worldwide, with 23,078 deaths in the United States, 9,385 in New York State, 7,349 in New York City, 1,364 deaths on Long Island, 33 deaths in Arkansas, and 717 deaths in Canada, not to mention the nearly 1.9 million cases diagnosed worldwide. It is very likely that if you live in the New York area, you know of someone who may have been infected or perhaps someone who has died. And all of us have been impacted by this pandemic in innumerable, unforeseen, and mostly unfortunate ways.

As bad as this reality is, it is important to understand that our current situation could have been substantially worse if it were not for the drastic and important measures taken to increase physical distancing. As a community, we should all remain vigilant in preventing this disease from being transmitted. Our actions today determine the morbidity and mortality rates three to four weeks from now.

Everyone wonders when all this will end and when the world will return to a state of normalcy. A vaccine is the ultimate solution. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, optimistically this will be over a year and a half from now. However, things are more likely to improve in the near future with the widespread availability of COVID-19 testing. Thus, it is important that we all understand how these tests work and their importance in ending this pandemic.

There are essentially two broad categories of tests:

  • Diagnostic testing is also referred to as genomic tests, because they look for the genes found in the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If these genes are found in a specimen from a patient, that individual is considered positive, which means he or she has been infected and can potentially transmit the disease. This is why people found to be positive are generally isolated from others. Early in the pandemic, the availability of these tests was limited, and they targeted those who were hospitalized. Genomic tests are now more readily accessible at state-supported "drive- thru" locations, outpatient sites, and hospitals. Efforts are underway to make a rapid "point of care" test more readily available, allowing for instant results and eliminating the long 3- to 10-day waiting period for results.
  • Serological or antibody testing looks for "antibodies" to the coronavirus. Antibodies are proteins made by an infected individual to help fight off the disease. This test is not primarily used for diagnosis like genomic tests, but allows health care providers to know 1) what stage a person is at in mounting a defensive response to the virus, and 2) who may be immune to the virus. These tests are crucial from a public health perspective because they allow us to know who remains susceptible to the virus and who may be immune. It has major implications for the workforce, because those who are found to be immune can return back to work with no restrictions. This, of course, assumes that antibodies are found to be protective. Unfortunately, these tests are still not readily available for common use.

When all of these tests are in abundance, health care providers will be able to rapidly diagnose, isolate, treat, contact trace, and determine who can return to the general population without concerns of being infected. When we get to this point, this will go a long way in our journey back to normalcy!

Our Resources for You:

In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer your questions. You can also schedule appointments to meet with our medical providers via "TeleHealth" (virtual medical appointments). Call us at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make a virtual appointment.

Be safe, be well…and be distant, but stay connected to each other, to loved ones, and to information that will keep you healthy.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine


A Message from President Foley

April 8, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Students,

I am continually impressed by the resourcefulness, resiliency, and dedication of New York Tech students, more so than ever as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. On that note, I am delighted to share the latest digital editions of our student publications: The Slate (Long Island campus) and the Manhattan Globe (New York City campus). Please take a moment to review these outstanding publications that were produced by New York Tech students. Among the great stories you’ll read are updates on how the coronavirus is impacting academics and student life, and how to best cope in these challenging times.

I’d also like to share a personal message:

Thank you to all students for your outstanding work and dedication this semester!

Stay healthy and be well,

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


A Message from Provost Gonzales:
Pass/Fail Option for Spring/Cycle D Courses

March 25, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Students,

In recognition of the many challenges our students are facing this semester, we are allowing you to have your final grades for any Spring 2020 semester and Cycle D 2020 courses to be recorded as Pass (P) or Fail (F) in lieu of a letter grade.

You can make this decision AFTER you see your final letter grade, but must make the decision within 14 days of the posting of your grade. A Pass grade (P) will have no impact on your semester GPA or cumulative GPA. A Fail grade (F), just like an F, will have a negative impact on your GPA.

Depending on your major (particularly in the School of Health Professions) and your status (i.e., on probation, veteran students, Dean's or President's list), there might be other consequences for selecting a Pass/Fail grade. You are strongly encouraged to speak to your advisor, as well as staff in financial aid or international education or your athletic advisor, if applicable, prior to making the Pass/Fail choice.

The details of this policy can be viewed here.

Please stay safe and let us know how we can help if you are having any problems. Our Student FAQs page provides updated information and resources, and you can also submit your questions on our Online Student Help Form.

Sincerely,

Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


A Message from President Foley

March 21, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Students,

Welcome back! I hope you and your loved ones are well and that you’ve been able to get some rest over Spring Recess, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the last week we have adapted to the spread of this virus and made necessary changes. These changes are made both to protect your health and to keep you on track toward your degree. As much as this pandemic is an upset to normal life right now, eventually we will get back to normal, a new normal.

We are looking at both the short term and the long term, and we want you to do the same. In the coming weeks and months, you will need to switch rapidly back and forth between short-term, here-and-now issues, and future thinking, as the need arises. Why is this important for us to ask you to do? It is because we want you to be successful in the pursuit of your goals and ambitions (long term, future-oriented) while staying healthy and on track in the midst of this crisis (short term, here-and-now).

We think constantly about the student experience; improving it substantially is so important to us that it is at the core of our new strategic planning and our daily decision making. We know that the ultimate student experience is that of successfully obtaining your degree and starting on your professional career. That success is the reward for all your hard work here at Tech, and we remain resolutely committed to you achieving that goal. COVID-19 changes how we provide your education, but it does not change why we provide it. Our mission is clear, and we will sustain it, as we sustain you and our commitment to you.

While you have been on break, our staff and faculty have been working feverishly to prepare for the resumption of classes on Monday, March 23. Teaching everything remotely is exciting and challenging, but we are committed to doing it. Further, so that you can plan and not lose time, we will use remote teaching modalities through the remainder of this spring semester.

What follows are updates specifying how we have adapted to this point. Because the situation continues to evolve quickly, by that I mean the expectations of us from regional, state and the federal government change rapidly, further adaptations will be needed, and we will update you frequently.

Here is where things stand at present:

Academic Updates

BEGINNING MONDAY MARCH 23, all classes will be held remotely for the duration of the semester. As previously communicated, your instructors will be contacting you directly regarding schedules, coursework, and other course-related information. Please refer to our Academic FAQs (log-in required) for additional information.

Counseling and Wellness

Remote counseling and mental health services are available. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out for it. The Office of Student Life will provide more information on how to access these resources remotely.

International Student Updates

We know that this is a time of extra anxiety and stress for those of you who have come to Tech from other countries, and we empathize with you. Know that we care very much about you and we will do everything in our power to keep you safe, healthy, and learning. Please make sure to use our wellness and counseling services to the fullest.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS can find more information in our International Student FAQs (log-in required). We hope that your situation will remain stable, but if it evolves we will continuously update these FAQs as is necessary. PLEASE check the FAQs and social media daily.

Residence Halls Updates

A related area of concern is the disposition of the residence halls and our plans for them. Like almost every other school in the nation, we are seeking to reduce significantly the number of students in the residence halls. This is being done to reduce the density of the population so that community viral transfer rates will decrease. Therefore, only international students who cannot return to their countries and those domestic students who have no other viable living option will be allowed to remain in residence.

To initiate this process, the dean of students contacted residential students on Wednesday, March 19, and strongly encouraged all those who could vacate to do so by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. We also know that some students were not able to meet this first deadline. So, we are allowing a limited number of students to remain in residence until March 31, whereupon they too shall depart. After March 31, only those students who are not able to return to their home countries, or who have extenuating circumstances here in the U.S., will remain in residence. Student Life will provide information about prorated residency credits for students in their first, second, or third years and refunds for students who are finishing their studies this semester.

This information and updates will be posted in our Residential Students FAQs (log-in required).

Campus Access, Hours of Operations, and Food Services

The new campus access policy, shared on Thursday, March 19, and effective Monday, March 23, 2020 states that, as is consistent with state mandates, NO STUDENTS SHOULD COME TO THE CAMPUSES. This applies to those of you who are student workers. Just to be very clear, no students should plan to come to the New York campuses. We need you to stay home, to stay safe, and to stay healthy.

There is one exception and that is for students who need food. For example, there are students at the Old Westbury Campus who live off campus, but have a meal plan. For these students, boxed food will be available for grab-and-go at the Student Activities Building (SAC) on the Long Island campus. Grab-and-go food will also be provided at the Metro Café at the New York City campus.

Campus Events

All upcoming New York Tech-sponsored events have been postponed, canceled, or are being held remotely. We’ve posted information as it becomes available for each event on our online events calendar.

Our traditional commencement that is to take place on Sunday May 17, 2020, is most likely going to be postponed. In the likely event that should happen, please know we are studying ways to hold an alternative kind of virtual graduation ceremony or to hold the ceremony at a later date. We will update you on this in the near future.

A small version of a significant, virtual ceremony took place on March 20: Our fourth-year medical students celebrated during NYITCOM’s first-ever virtual residency match day via a livestream. We wish them much luck in their future endeavors.

For More Information

There is no doubt that more will be happening, and the situation will change in the upcoming weeks as authorities respond to the epidemic with new guidance, regulations, and plans. So, we need you to stay in contact with us in order to be sure you have the latest information.

We will use the following to get you that information:

  • Continuous updates will be provided daily on nyit.edu/alerts.
  • General health updates and other communications are available at nyit.edu/covid.
  • Helpful student resources, FAQs, and other information specific to students are available in the yellow Coronavirus Information tile on the NYIT app and web portal at my.nyit.edu (log-in required).

Thank you again. Our new interconnectivity offers great promise. Together, we will learn to cope with this new reality, continue to reach out to help and support each other, and ultimately, prevail. And, remember your goal is to get to your degree and to start your career. We are committed to getting you to that success, even in the midst of all this difficulty. So, stay healthy, optimistic, and most of all stay focused on your goals!

Sincerely,

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


A Message from President Foley:
New York Campuses Access Policy: Effective March 23

March 19, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Community:

To ensure the continued operations and the safety of our community, we are instituting the following campus access policy, effective March 23, 2020 and until further notice:

New York Campus Operations: All employees are strongly encouraged to work remotely. Students, including student workers, should NOT come to campus. While New York campuses are closed for classes, limited access between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m, Monday thru Friday, will be permitted only for necessary work.

Faculty: Faculty who can work remotely should NOT come to campus. Faculty members who cannot teach from home may have access to their office to facilitate the teaching of their class; when done, they should leave campus. If faculty members have ongoing experiments that require their attention, they may go to their labs and then should leave when done.

Staff: Employees who can work remotely should NOT come to campus. Those who must be on campus to do their work should check with their managers before they go to campus.

Students: Once again, students, including student workers, should NOT come to campus.

Any faculty or staff member whose work requires them to come to campus must check in with security. At the Long Island campus, you will need to enter via the Main Campus Road and proceed to the parking lot on the right. On the New York City campus, you will be met at the building entrance to check in. Please have your NYIT ID ready to display at both campuses.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation and support.

Sincerely,

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


A Message from President Foley:
Campus Entry Protocol: March 16-18

March 15, 2020

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Thank you for your continued patience as we respond to the ever-changing needs of our campus in order to ensure the safety and health of our entire New York Tech community. We have developed a method to assess access to the Long Island campus buildings to keep our campus community as healthy as possible. This method will be implemented for March 16, 17, and 18. The campus is closed for Spring Recess on March 19 and 20. As stated previously, all employees are encouraged to telecommute and work remotely, as is practical. We will update you as any new information becomes available.

Below is the approach for campus access on March 16-18:

  • West Road campus access will be closed.
  • Main Campus Road will be the only campus entry point. Main Campus Road will have a security checkpoint with two security guards. All staff, faculty, and students will be asked to provide the information on the check-in sheet below. All campus visitors, including clinic clients and vendors making deliveries, will also be asked to check in and provide the requested information.

Please note, after providing the check-in information:

  • Staff and faculty will have access to their spaces.
  • Students will only have access to Riland and Serota.
  • Clinic clients will have access to Riland.
  • Vendors will have access to the buildings necessary to make their required deliveries.

Below is the check-in sheet information that will be requested at the security checkpoint in Long Island at Main Campus Road:

For Access:

  • Date and time of sign-in
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Department, as applicable
  • Buildings and rooms to be used on visit

Upon Leaving:

  • Date and time of sign-out

Thank you again for your patience as we implement this necessary protocol.

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


A Message from Our Chief Medical Officer:
Novel Coronavirus Update

March 12, 2020

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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

New York Institute of Technology administration continues to monitor, meet, and plan for the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis. To date, we have not been informed of any COVID-19 cases on campus, and no faculty member, staff, or student has tested positive for the virus. We would expect to be contacted by local public health authorities should this occur.

We anticipate that the number of cases to increase as the nation's capacity to provide the test increases. Currently, this test cannot be given as a routine screening test. An individual must meet the criteria of being at high risk for contracting the disease (e.g. in contact with an actual case and having a fever/cough/shortness of breath) before the test will be approved. Simply having flu-like symptoms alone will not qualify for obtaining the COVID-19 test. This a rapidly evolving situation that changes on a daily basis, so please continue to follow the websites below to remain informed:



For those who are traveling:

We must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore, as the CDC recommends, "Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick."

Given that it is likely that we will eventually have more transmission within the U.S., we should all develop better personal hygiene habits. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus by:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding travelling and contact with others if you are sick.

The CDC also recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick and putting distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick (older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions). Where possible, follow the practice of social distancing (remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance of approximately six feet or two meters from others). Additional CDC guidelines for high-risk individuals can be found here.

Additional Resources

In addition to your local resources, the Academic Health Center is available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.

Sincerely

Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine


A Message from President Foley:
Campus Updates, March 10

March 10, 2020

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Dear Students:

Yesterday, we wrote to you regarding plans for the suspension of in-person classes, effective March 10. I wanted to follow up with some details and clarifications regarding our plans:

Before Spring Break (Wednesday, March 11 - Friday, March 13): All in-person classes at our Long Island and New York City campuses will be suspended. Existing online classes will continue as scheduled. Our New York campuses will be open and student employees are expected to report for work. Food services will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

After Spring Break: Beginning Monday, March 23, most suspended, in-person classes will resume in remote learning environments (such as online or video-conference classes). Your instructors will be in contact with you regarding additional details, so please check your emails throughout this week and next.

We will be providing additional information on academic resources in the coming days. Thank you for your patience as we continue to carefully follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and city and state health departments. We have also canceled or postponed major institutional events through the end of this month. And, in an abundance of caution, New York Tech has canceled all study abroad trips through August 30, 2020.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Please find additional updates at nyit.edu/covid for additional updates.

Regards,

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




A Message from President Foley:
Campus Updates #2, March 10

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Following the closure of campus today for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, we will be open to all on Wednesday, March 11. All employees (including student employees) are expected to report to work.

In addition, we wrote to you regarding the suspension of in-person classes, effective March 10. I wanted to follow up with some additional details and clarifications regarding our plans for the rest of this week (prior to Spring Recess) and after:

Wednesday, March 11 - Friday, March 13: All in-person classes at our Long Island and New York City campuses will be suspended. Existing online classes will continue as scheduled. Our New York campuses will be open for faculty and staff; food services will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, March 19 - Fridau, March 20: Spring Recess (as scheduled).

After Spring Break: Beginning Monday, March 23, most suspended in-person classes will resume in remote learning environments (such as online or video-conferencing classes), and we've let students know their faculty will reach out to them with details. We expect both campuses to be open to faculty and staff.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Please visit nyit.edu/covid for additional updates.

Regards,

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


A Message from President Foley:
Campus Closure: Tuesday, March 10

March 10, 2020

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To members of the New York Tech Community:

I am writing to notify you that in an abundance of caution, New York Institute of Technology will close our Long Island and New York City campuses all day on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all our spaces.

Thank you for your understanding and attention as we seek to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire community. We will continue to provide frequent updates as we have more information and recommendations, all of which can be found at nyit.edu/covid.

Regards,

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


A Message from Provost Gonzales:
Suspension of in-person classes on New York Campuses, effective March 10

March 10, 2020

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With the health and safety of everyone at New York Institute of Technology as our first priority, we are proactively moving to suspend all in-person classes for our New York City and Long Island campuses, effective Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Going forward, all classes on these two campuses will be taught online, via videoconferencing, or with some combination of digital techniques until further notice. Additional details include:

  • If you are in an online class, that class will continue with no changes except: if there are on-campus meetings that are a part of the online course, they will not be held. Your instructor will inform you about changes in the schedule or syllabus.
  • If you are in a blended/hybrid or face-to-face class or a class in a DL classroom (any class where you are physically in the same room with other students), those classes will be suspended, effective Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
  • We will provide instructors with details about remote teaching in short notice.
  • Beginning with the start of the day on Monday, March 23, 2020, we expect suspended in-person classes will resume as online classes or videoconference classes. Instructors will be in contact with students between March 10 and 22 with details about how the class will be held. We ask everyone to please monitor their New York Tech email during this time for important information.
  • We will provide more details about any missed classes and makeup times.
  • All student activities will be suspended on Tuesday, March 10 and remain suspended until further notice.
  • Updates on the athletic program will be forthcoming.

These measures are in force until further notice. It is our goal to restore normal campus operations as soon as possible; however, the health and safety of our community is paramount. We will be working with local health authorities to determine when we can return to face-to-face teaching. We will also keep the lines of communication open to let you know about commencement and other upcoming campus activities.

New York Tech is doing its part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We recognize the declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Cuomo and the interim guidance for higher education from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are asking everyone at New York Tech to do their part in helping to keep our community safe.

New York Tech realizes that this disruption in the semester is stressful on everyone. We thank you, in advance, for demonstrating that resiliency and can-do-it attitude of the makers, doers, and innovators at New York Institute of Technology.

Regards,

Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs



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