Faculty Resource Network

An academic partnership devoted to faculty development. Now in our fourth decade, we remain committed to this partnership, and to fostering connection, collaboration, and collegiality among our members.

Redesigning Higher Education After COVID-19

FRN National Symposium 2021 Virtual Redesigning Higher Education After COVID-19

A National Symposium

Fall 2021


1. Presentations

The abrupt transition to remote instruction was a learning experience for both professors and students. Many faculty members with no previous experience of online teaching have learned new tools and strategies for remote instruction. How did this shift to remote instruction change what and how we teach and how students learn? What features of online or asynchronous instruction should we retain after our return to the classroom?

Student mental health and wellness is a growing focus on college campuses, but the forced isolation of the pandemic exacerbated the personal challenges that many students are experiencing. What lessons have we learned from our COVID-19 experience about designing comprehensive and flexible wellness support for students?

The COVID-19 pandemic created enormous stresses in the lives of faculty members. Many professors had to multitask their teaching, research, and administrative obligations with caring for children at home who were displaced from school. In the post-pandemic academy, how can we support faculty work-life balance, encourage professional advancement, and prevent burnout?

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted higher education. The principal mission of colleges and universities–teaching and learning–was thrown into disarray by the sudden closure of campuses and the dislocation of faculty members and students. Classes were abruptly shifted online, which required both professors and students to quickly adjust to a new learning environment. Communication switched from in-person conversations to online Zoom meetings, which sustained connection but reinforced our sense of personal separation. The COVID-19 pandemic aimed a revealing spotlight on issues in higher education that were always present but were now brought more fully into view, such as concerns about student wellness and faculty work-life balance.

We are now approaching the two-year mark of this educational transformation. There are hopeful signs of declining COVID cases nationwide and an increase in the number of COVID vaccinations. But what will higher education look like after COVID-19? What lessons have we learned from our pandemic experience that can stimulate us to reshape higher education in a way that is better at fostering student learning and supporting faculty advancement? This FRN Symposium provides an opportunity to reflect on our COVID-19 experiences and chart a new course for redesigning higher education for our post-pandemic future.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also witnessed a global reckoning with racial injustice. Protests organized by Black Lives Matter highlighted the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against people of color. As higher education readjusts to life after COVID-19, how can colleges and universities foreground the importance of social justice in the curriculum?

The transformational experience of COVID-19 provides opportunities for faculty members to take a leadership role as change agents. How can we encourage and support the faculty at our institutions to engage with the vital mission of redesigning higher education for a post-pandemic world?

Colleges and universities are traditionally organized in academic departments that value and reward specialized disciplinary knowledge. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is a complex, interdisciplinary problem that requires the integration of insights from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Can COVID-19 provide a model for disrupting the traditional boundaries between disciplines and providing students with the tools to tackle complex, real-world challenges such as global pandemics, climate change, social justice, and many others?


Advancing Social Justice to Support LGBTQ+ Student Mental Health and Wellness on College Campuses in a Post Covid World
Presentation excerpts
Monique Earl-Lewis, Morehouse College
Sheila T. Gregory, Clark Atlanta University
Dezette C. Johnson, Johnson C. Smith University
Rosalee Martin, Huston-Tillotson University

Confronting Racial Injustice and the Politicization of Our Universities
Presentation excerpts
Beverly L. Kahn, Farmingdale State College, SUNY
Former Provost and Academic Vice President
Emeritus Professor of Political Science

Crisis Meets Opportunity: Retaining Online and Hybrid Successes When Returning to the Higher Education Classroom
Presentation excerpts
Renee Evans, University of Miami
Michael Finetti, Saint Peter’s University
Jay Garrels, Saint Peter’s University
Nicole Luongo, Saint Peter’s University

Fostering Imaginative Inter-Disciplinary Interventions for Higher Education Learning in a Post Pandemic Paradigm
Presentation excerpts
James Lawler, Pace University
Anthony Joseph, Pace University
Sayali Sunil Tandel, Pace University

Opportunities and perspectives in the Post-COVID Era: The case of Latino Students and Outstanding Afro-Latinos
Presentation excerpts
Katrina Watterson, Johnson C. Smith University
Lillian E. Agosto-Maldonado, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

STePPer: A Planning Tool for Co-Teaching
Presentation excerpts
Iliana Ballester-Panelli, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
Alba Brugueras-Fabre, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

Teaching Through Trauma: Takeaways from a Year of Remote Teaching
Presentation excerpts
Corinne Donovan, St. Joseph’s College, New York
Jo Anne Durovich, St. Joseph’s College, New York
Rachel Schwartz, St. Joseph’s College, New York
Dr. Jesse Zarley, St. Joseph’s College, New York