A Message from Dean Raghu Sundaram and Vice Dean Robert Whitelaw
Dear Stern First-year Students and Parents:

First and foremost, we hope you are taking good care and that this email finds you and your
loved ones well.

It has been about four weeks since we last connected via Zoom regarding the start of the fall
2020 semester, so we are writing to share with you an interim update on Stern’s return-to-
campus planning. Please consider this email the first of several to come throughout the
summer. We will post this email along with future emails on our New Students Website for your
easy reference.

As we mentioned in our Zoom call of May 27, Stern created eight cross-functional transition
teams, each focused on high-priority return issues. Their sole charge has been to anticipate,
plan, and prepare extensively for multiple return-to-campus scenarios, in close collaboration
with NYU leadership and guided by CDC guidelines as well as New York State and University
policies as they are developed and announced.

As you know, NYU has announced that we intend to welcome students to campus in the fall
(including plans to offer classes in a combination of face-to-face, blended and remote formats)
pending the State’s determination that it is safe to do so and the University’s own satisfaction on that count. As Stern plans to return in the Fall, the health, safety, and well-being of each and
every member of the Stern community remain the foundation of all our planning. At this time some protocols are already in place and others are in progress based on the current public health standards and may be adjusted by forthcoming guidance from New York State. As such, we are currently and will continue to operate with a high level of flexibility. We appreciate your understanding and patience as guidance from health authorities and New York State continues to evolve in real time. The following are updates on our current plans.

Building Occupancy
Stern’s building occupancy will be limited in fall 2020. Specifically, the University has determined that this means:
  • Physical Distancing: Maintain six feet from other people at all times and avoid nonessential gatherings of any type (e.g., in break rooms, meeting rooms, lounges, etc.).
  • Reducing Density: Limit group sizes for meetings, gatherings, and classroom instruction to no more than 40 people per room, even for large rooms.
  • Stairwells: Signage will designate either up or down for most stairwells.
  • Cleaning: There will be enhanced cleaning schedules and hand-sanitizing stations will be located throughout the buildings.
Classroom Usage
  • All event spaces are being converted for classroom usage. Large scale Fall events will be held virtually or off-campus. Stern student organization meetings and events will likely be conducted primarily remotely.
  • All classrooms will be reconfigured to accommodate physical distancing and to allow for simultaneous in-person and virtual attendance.
  • Classroom schedules may be modified to optimize classroom usage.
Daily Health Questionnaire and Authorization to Report to Class
The NYU Restart Phase 1 included the launch of a Health App to enable the NYU community to self-report symptoms and to receive authorization to come to campus each day. Anyone coming to campus is required to complete a brief, daily health survey, accessible on smartphones via the NYU app or computer, regarding possible COVID-19 symptoms. Protocols for entering NYU buildings may be further revised based on the forthcoming NYS guidelines. 

It is possible that similar requirements may be extended to all NYU buildings. This protocol is still being finalized. We will keep you updated.

Face-covering Requirement
  • Members of the Stern community and visitors will be required to enter the buildings in accordance with the NYU Face Covering Policy.
Additional Protocols
In the coming weeks, we will share new updates and address topics such as:
  • Testing
  • Elevator occupancy
  • Ventilation / HVAC changes
  • Details on PPE as noted above, including procedures for non-compliance
What This Means for Stern First-Year Students Planning to Study in New York City
  • Unless public health guidance changes significantly, Stern Orientation will likely be in a remote format where you will:
  • Participate in real-time community-building activities with your Cohort,
  • Meet with your Orientation Leaders, Academic Advisers, and others, and
  • Complete Undergraduate College Pillars online learning modules on your own.
  • NOTE 1: If permitted by public health guidelines, we will bring first-year students in small groups to Stern’s Tisch Hall for an optional activity.
  • NOTE 2: If you are unable to or uncomfortable coming to New York City, you will be able to participate remotely in Stern Orientation.
  • Your fall classes, which you will register for on July 22, may take place in any of the following instructional modes with the mode related to, but not dictated by class size:
  • In-person, in accordance with health & safety guidelines
  • Blended in-person and remote, in which students may rotate between these different modes on different meeting days, and
  • Fully remote.
  • NOTE 1: If you are unable to or uncomfortable coming to New York City, you will be able to participate remotely in all classes.
  • NOTE 2: Classes listed on Albert will include information about instructional modes.
  • Instructional modes for Fall 2020 course sections are currently being reviewed and updated and will be finalized in July.
  • As such, there is a possibility that some course schedules may change during upcoming weeks, as we continue to plan for in-person and remote instruction.
  • Please note that any information on “Instruction Mode” found in Albert at this time was auto-generated by the University, and DOES NOT reflect a 
    final decision about instruction mode.
  • If you are taking part in Go Local in the fall, please be sure to refer to communications from NYU’s Office of Global Programs for the latest updates specific to your Go Local location.

Our deepest gratitude, as ever, for your and ongoing adaptability under trying circumstances.
We will continue to stay in close touch with you – expect another update toward the end of July
– and look forward to continued touchpoints.

Best wishes,

Raghu Sundaram
Dean, NYU Stern

Robert Whitelaw
Vice Dean, NYU Stern Undergraduate College
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