Navigating the return to “normal”: Opinion

July 30, 2021
As postsecondary institutions recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they should recognize that “returning to normal” may be difficult or impossible for some people, write Brandy L Simula and Kate Willink. The authors explain that faculty are facing psychological issues, including trauma, grief, and exhaustion as a result of the pandemic, and that conversations about transitioning back to “normal” can cause stress and erase the reality of the situation. Simula and Willink describe a variety of ways that leadership can support faculty, including naming and normalizing pandemic-related psychological issues, creating spaces for sharing positive emotions, recognizing long-term COVID-19-related effects while planning, and providing opportunities for reflection. The authors also encourage reviewing the benefits of remote and hybrid work and allowing people to choose their own timeline for returning. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)