The COVID-19 pandemic has forced colleges and universities worldwide to rethink fundamental assumptions about higher education and has meant an immediate restructuring of faculty members’ professional lives. Faculty have transformed their classes into online learning experiences, reimagined global engagement opportunities, shifted their scholarship, and shown extraordinary leadership in response to the pandemic. These seismic shifts have left many feeling a range of emotions -- energized by new possibilities, overwhelmed with increased responsibilities at work and home, and/or distanced from normal scholarly pursuits. In the midst of this upheaval, one possible response is to focus on getting through this unusual time with the ultimate goal of returning to “normal”. But another possibility exists. What would happen if we viewed this massive disruption as an opportunity to imagine institutions of higher education that are more inclusive, more equitable, and more firmly grounded in our shared values?
With this in mind, we at SU ADVANCE are considering how we, as a Jesuit Catholic University, could better recognize the vibrant and vital diversity of faculty contributions in a way that will make our university stronger, more adaptable, and more equitable.