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?


A collaboration across chemistry and the health sciences to enhance forensic science interdisciplinary learning
Presentation excerpts
Amanda S. Harper-Leatherman, Fairfield University
Linda N. Roney, Fairfield University

Changing Strategies in Teaching for a Transformative Learning
Presentation excerpts
Iliana Ballester-Panelli, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
Alba Brugueras-Fabre, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

Connecting Content to the World outside the Classroom in Hybrid Classes
Presentation excerpts
Chiara De Santi, Farmingdale State College

Cura Personalis within Service Learning Curriculum Innovation for Transformative Learning
Presentation excerpts
Michael Finetti, Saint Peter’s University
Jay Garrels, Saint Peter’s University

Curriculum Innovative for Transformative Learning: Transforming a Social Justice and Diversity Course Through Critical Action Research in a Creative Learning Community
Presentation excerpts
Sheila T. Gregory, Clark Atlanta University

Facilitating Cross-disciplinary Learning From Entrepreneurial Inter-disciplinary Projects
Presentation excerpts
Anthony Joseph, Pace University
James P. Lawler, , Pace University
Arun Yegnaseshan, Pace University student

Mapping, Marking, Modernizing: Teaching Goethe in the Modern Classroom
Presentation excerpts
Sven-Ole Andersen, University of Puerto Rico

STEM Into STEAM: Using Object-Based Learning to Develop Critical & Creative Thinking Among Students
Presentation excerpts
Renee Evans, University of Miami
Amanda Valdespino, University of Miami

Teaching Students in the Era of the COVID-19: We Are in this Together
Presentation excerpts
Alice E. Stephens, Clark Atlanta University
Rosalee Martin, Huston-Tillotson University

Transformative Learning through Curriculum Innovation, Mentored Research, and Inclusive Community-Building at Farmingdale State College
Presentation excerpts
Erwin Cabrera, Farmingdale State College
Lisa Cullington, Farmingdale State College
Beverly Kahn, Farmingdale State College
Kate Winter, Farmingdale State College

Transforming the Classroom in Response to the Covid-19 Emergency
Presentation excerpts
Jeff Gaab, Farmingdale State College
Richard Vogel, Farmingdale State College

Transitioning from the Face-to-Face (F2F) Environment to Remote Learning & Forward Again: Tips from an Instructional Designer
Presentation excerpts
Rhonda N. McCoy, Paine College