This semester will be remembered, if outlived. Educators are resilient people—if nothing else, intrepid. Even in the midst of our fatigue and frustration with Zoom, the sadness we feel for the students who, despite being our purpose, had such a diminished experience this year, and the wrenching uncertainties that define these times, we long for the return of the familiar.
This pandemic and its consequences has uncovered a lot about ourselves, our students, and our institutions. We must learn from these discoveries.
The current culture of teaching and learning in academia is not powerful enough to support true higher learning for students. We must put students first.
There will be no going back to normal for higher education institutions post-Covid-19 pandemic. How will we support students—all students—and make it possible for them to take full advantage of what our colleges and universities can provide?
Data and analytics often help senior leadership at higher education institutions understand students better. But to truly put students first, leadership must go beyond data and uncover student stories.
As ethical practitioners and educators, we must leave no student’s confusion to themselves; we work, and work hard, to discover ourselves, academic credit or no, tenure or no, quantifiable results or no.
The idea of higher education as a public good is challenged. We must cultivate humanity at the senior leadership levels at colleges and universities to engage, support, and advance student learning.