Parent Updates

A Message from President Foley

March 21, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. I am sharing a message I sent earlier today to our students with updates regarding our plans and responses to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. I also encourage you to visit our COVID-19 web page on a regular basis to stay informed of new developments.

In the coming days and weeks as we adjust to this new reality, we will remain committed to providing our students with academic continuity and support them toward their degree completion.

Thank you for entrusting the education of your daughters and sons to New York Tech. Please know we are doing everything possible to deliver a quality New York Tech education as we keep our community safe.

Regards,

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


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


Novel Coronavirus Update #2

March 11, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Parents,

Yesterday, we sent the message below to all New York Tech students. It was specific and replete with updates and precautions that we are taking to protect our community against the spread of Coronavirus. Most notably, we closed both New York campuses yesterday for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting. This was a precautionary measure; at this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 within the New York Tech community.

In an abundance of caution going forward, we have suspended all in-person classes at our Long Island and New York City campuses until further notice. After spring break, beginning on Monday March 23, we expect to be teaching remotely for the remainder of the semester. Our plan, at present, is for our campuses to remain open until the scheduled end of the semester. This will allow students to use facilities including the libraries, dining facilities, studios, and computer labs. We also plan to keep our residence halls open in New York City and Long Island. Additional details appear in the email below and at nyit.edu/covid. However, we must realize that these plans may change as this situation changes and as we receive advice from regional, state, and federal public health authorities.

Lastly, let me reassure you, all of us at New York Tech are as committed to safeguarding our students’ health and safety as we are to ensuring that they continue to progress toward their degrees.

We will be monitoring this situation closely and taking the steps needed to ensure the well-being of our students and the extended New York Tech community, and we will keep you fully informed as we go forward. So, please continue to remain connected to us and to look for further updates.

Sincerely,

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


Email Sent to Students on March 10, 2020:

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

Regards,

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


Novel Coronavirus Update #1

March 6, 2020

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Dear New York Tech Parents,

On Wednesday, I wrote to our students about COVID-19 with the assurance that their health and safety is always our top priority. I wanted to follow up with the same message to you today, and to share some updates and resources provided by our Academic Health Care Center.

COVID-19 is the topic of daily meetings held by senior administrators and our medical professionals to assess available information. Currently, there have been no reports of any New York Tech student, faculty, or staff member being infected with COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation and will be prepared to take immediate action should an outbreak occur within our community, whether the student lives in our residence halls or elsewhere.

Dr. Brian Harper, our chief medical officer, is the former Suffolk County Health Commissioner, and he is a recognized authority in preventive medicine and public health. As an expert, he has provided regular updates to our students and the community at large since January 24, including information on COVID-19, how it spreads, ways students can protect themselves, and where to find resources within our institution. These communications and an informational video can be found at nyit.edu/covid.

In the meantime, be assured that our facilities team has increased the cleaning frequency of all our facilities, has more than doubled the number of hand sanitizers on every floor throughout all campus buildings, and is adding signage across our campuses to remind us all to wash our hands thoroughly and often. We've also ensured that the disinfectant we are using is effective against coronaviruses and emerging viral pathogens.

To further protect students and faculty, we are also canceling study abroad trips for the spring and summer semesters. And just as we are committed to safeguarding your student's health, we are also committed to meeting our academic responsibilities and ensuring that our students continue to progress toward their degrees. We are preparing contingency plans for a wide variety of scenarios.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and take the steps needed to ensure the well-being of our students.

Sincerely,

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