Messages to the Community

Update on Campus Reopening Plans: Fall 2021

A message from Stephanie Browner, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Tokumbo Shobowale, Executive Vice President for Business and Operations

As we shared recently, we are moving forward with plans to resume in-person instruction for the fall and are excited at the prospect of welcoming the community back to campus. The decision to reopen campus in August is based on current virus projections and the promise of widespread vaccination. With this in mind, our first priority will continue to be the health and safety of our community. We will need to remain practical and realistic about the limitations of our mostly vertical, urban campus and be ready to adapt based on the trajectory of the virus and evolving city, state and federal COVID-19 guidelines. 

While we don’t have all the answers yet about how our return to campus will unfold, following are some important details about what you can expect for the upcoming school year:

  • Classes in undergraduate and graduate degree programs will be predominantly in-person. Most classes designed for in-person instruction are expected to be held face-to-face on campus, and we are planning for students to have access to study and rehearsal spaces, the Making Center, specialized equipment, workshops and instruments. We know not all students will be able to attend in-person classes for reasons beyond their control. The university will work to accommodate those students who are unable to be on campus, however we cannot guarantee that all courses will be available for distance learning.
  • Faculty and some staff will resume their on-campus roles. Faculty will return to campus to teach in the fall, and staff whose roles regularly interface with students or faculty will return to campus in some capacity. Deans and supervisors will work with staff to identify by April 30 who will be on campus in the fall. Faculty and staff with disabilities may request an accommodation in accordance with university policies and procedures.
  • Residence halls will be open. We anticipate dorms being available to anyone who would like to reside on campus. Living arrangements and space usage will comply with social distancing and health protocols. Applications for fall housing are due April 1. Please visit the Housing page for more information.
  • Dining services will resume. We intend to operate dining services as close to normal as possible, including both in-person and grab-and-go options. It’s important to note that our dining services program is governed by New York City restaurant regulations, which beginning March 19 will allow for indoor dining at 50% capacity. We are hopeful that dining capacity will increase by the fall and will provide an update when more information is available.
  • Safety protocols will remain in place. We will continue to follow federal and local regulations regarding distancing in campus buildings and residence halls and are working on additional, necessary logistical adjustments. Mandatory face coverings, reduced building and classroom occupancy, reconfigured spaces to maintain appropriate physical distance, health monitoring, and virus screening are among the precautions that will continue to be in effect on campus.
  • COVID-19 testing will be mandatory for students, faculty, and staff who are on campus. The university’s testing program will be informed by guidance from public health officials. More details will be provided as we get closer to the start of the fall semester.

Our thriving Greenwich Village campus is an integral part of The New School experience, and we look forward to welcoming many of you back this fall. There will be a period of adjustment as we all adapt to the necessary safety measures—but by remaining diligent and taking a thoughtful and science-based approach, we look forward to the robust and enriching academic experience our return to campus will provide.

The university is establishing a dedicated COVID Coordination Group that will steer the planning process moving forward. More information about this group will be posted on the website by the end of the month.

We are committed to keeping the community informed as our plans progress, and we will be meeting with the faculty, staff and student senates in the weeks ahead as we refine our plans. Look for an update on our planning at the beginning of June, with further details to follow in July. In the meantime, you can stay informed by visiting the COVID-19 Community Guide, where we’ve posted an FAQ with additional information about our return to campus.

We look forward to being together in the fall.

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