COVID-19 Adjustments to Calendar -- November, 2020

As many infectious disease experts anticipated, as the weather is getting colder, we are beginning to see a second surge in positive COVID-19 cases. The Cooper Union has been analyzing how best to protect our students, faculty, and staff during the next few months to keep everyone safe. We are hopeful with additional testing we will be able to provide access to the campus after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend through to the end of the fall semester.  

For Students and Faculty

As planned, the winter recess for faculty and students will begin December 21 and end January 17.  

The campus will be closed on January 18 to allow us to celebrate the life and contribution of Martin Luther King Jr.  

The spring semester will be virtual and begin on January 19. 

The Foundation Building and 41 Cooper Square including labs, studios, and maker spaces will remain closed to students until February 1 based on guidance from State Department of Health (DOH) professionals. 

In addition, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to eliminate the week of spring recess scheduled for the week of March 15 through March 19.  This decision was made after considering advice from experts who are concerned that the virus will still not be under control in March. Traveling off campus may seriously prohibit those who wish to take advantage of returning to campus. Most colleges and universities around the state have chosen to make this decision.  

The Cooper Union recognizes the need for downtime during the rigorous challenges of the spring semester. We will therefore be replacing the week of spring recess with wellness days to allow students and faculty the opportunity to step away from the computer, classes, and other academic work. We recognize that wellness days are not a replacement for a week off, but in the face of the pandemic, we must balance the need to curtail the virus by limiting the traveling of students and faculty.  

Wellness Days for Faculty and Students: 

  • Monday, March 8 
  • Tuesday, March 16 
  • Wednesday, March 17 
  • Thursday, April 8 
  • Friday, April 16  

For Staff

The Cooper Union also recognizes that the effects of the pandemic have been no less challenging on our staff. Many of you have risked coming to campus to support the work of our students working remotely, in shops, maker spaces, and labs. In order to show our appreciation for your dedicated work on behalf of our Cooper community, we will be extending the paid staff winter holiday an additional week through January 10.  

The Foundation Building and 41CS will be closed from December 23 through January 10.  

With the exception of essential personnel, all staff should work virtually the week of January 11.   

Most staff will continue to work remotely through the spring semester. As with the fall semester, with approval from a Dean or Administrative Manager, staff may return to campus if their work is essential starting Monday, January 11.   

We will continue to follow our COVID-19 practices including the wearing of masks, testing, and daily screening.  

We should all recognize that this plan is based on the current guidelines from the CDC, state, and city officials. Should we be informed of new directives from government officials related to pandemic restrictions, we will keep you informed and adjust our practices accordingly.  

As promising information is released regarding the success of vaccines and therapeutics, we are hopeful that, someday soon, we will be able to take full advantage of being together on campus.  Until then, we move together as a Cooper Union community.  

Please stay safe, 

Natalie H. Brooks 
Chief Talent Officer

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.