As the Provost’s Speaker Series continued with two speakers in May, faculty engaged COVID questions at the ground level, through a series of “Think and Drink” events connected to cutting-edge literature in the field. Professor and Associate Dean Jenn Bellamy hosted a Think and Drink to consider next steps for COVID accommodations and workload equity more broadly. She posed a set of provocative questions to seed our collective imagination: 

  • How are existing policies (e.g., COVID statements) being supported in your unit? What do people need or want guidance on? How are external reviewers guided in reviewing COVID policies, and what happens if they ignore them?
  • There is a great variety of experience in coaching and comfort in saying “no.” Where do we learn this? How should we be advising people around this issue?
  • What is the role of leadership, not just among deans and directors, but senior facultyparticularly Full Professors in mentoring, coaching, and supporting others? How do you get these non-admin leaders to step up and support colleagues?
  • Do all groups want or value the same types of rewards, such as merit pay, recognition, or adjusted duties? Should rewards be the same or can they be personalized?
  • What are current workload assignment practices in your unit? How equitable do you think they are? Do you have any “equity” tools you are trying? Are they working?
  • Do faculty feel there is transparency in workload assignments and decision-making, or is it mysterious? Could it be made clearer?