Hurricane Sandy Update: Message from the President
TO: LIU Community
FROM: David J. Steinberg
DATE: November 5, 2012
SUBJECT: An Update from the President
The University is blessed that we have experienced no fatalities within our community. But too many of us were flooded, and a few burned out. Many, many more, including your president, have endured a miserable, cold and dark week or more. As I write this, gasoline is scarce and LIPA, ConEd and the New Jersey power authorities still have hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark. Of much greater and long lasting significance is the personal toll on our students, faculty and staff. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to those of you who remain under severe stress. We were all stunned by the brutal force of this storm.
Physically, Long Island University survived superstorm Sandy reasonably well. Brooklyn suffered little damage but was paralyzed from reopening by the flooding of the NYC subway system. Post suffered much more extensive damage, primarily from the wind toppling trees. Power to that campus, which has been out for more than a week, is now virtually restored. There is, alas, a price to pay for having a national arboretum at Post.
The central task for all of us now is to meet the needs of our students, ensuring they receive a full academic term and a robust educational experience. Over the next several days different constituencies will each receive more focused communications detailing the steps necessary to return to normal operations. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, who has already been in contact with several of our sister institutions and the New York State Education Department, will be reaching out to faculty and academic administrators. Each of the Provosts will communicate directly with our students and staff to address in detail the reopening of each campus. They will also provide information on financial aid matters. The Vice President for Human Resources will be reaching out to faculty and staff, especially those who have encountered storm-related difficulties. Independent of this first round of communications, the University is opening a hotline to establish contact with those in need.
I am privileged to salute the men and women who rallied to their University in need during an extremely trying period. From the engineers and groundskeepers to senior administrators, people came to darkened facilities to restore the physical plant; to meet payroll; to clear damaged trees; to send out important communications; to keep our information technology infrastructure functioning as a vital link to the world; and to feed, house and entertain the literally hundreds of students who remained in the residence halls. These women and men showed a professionalism and pride in LIU that offers an important lesson for us all. Some came to work even though their own homes were flooded or destroyed. There are lessons of life to be learned at times of adversity, and, as one of my colleagues noted, “many unknown heroes” showed their devotion to LIU this past week. We all have reason to be very proud of our University.