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How the Coronavirus Will Change Faculty Life Forever

As the pandemic wears on, expect heavier teaching loads, more service requirements, and more time online

By Bryan Alexander | May 11, 2020

It is January 2021, and you are getting ready to begin the new semester.

Fall term was a wild ride, as Covid-19 continued to rack the nation. The pandemic roared through and receded in repeated cycles of infection, relative safety, and reinfection as death tolls rose. During viral lulls, campuses welcomed back students and faculty and staff members, then sent them off campus again as infections and death rates soared. HyFlex term, some called it, a blending over time of face-to-face and digital-learning experiences. Meanwhile, colleges froze or cut spending while the economy staggered through on-again, off-again recessions.

Fall was also your first semester teaching at Tweed College. After winning that rarest thing over the summer, a job offer, you gladly moved cross-country. You coped with the problems of taking such a complex step in an era of temperature checks at roadblocks and social distancing with movers. It was a whirlwind of unpacking and teaching, committees and departmental meetings. You learned a thousand operational details while trying to keep your research going, your family afloat, and your sanity intact … and all with the novel coronavirus gnawing at our lives.

At last, the winter break gave you a welcome respite, badly needed downtime, and some hours to plan ahead. You are starting the spring semester afresh and with new perspective. What will the new year hold for you?

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