B.O.G. meeting recap: Innovation and Online Committee discusses the future of college in a post-pandemic world

Darvin Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

The Board of Governors (B.O.G.) met to get the ball rolling on a plan for college in a post-COVID world. What will be considered the new normal for the college learning experience? 

Officials will consider a variety of issues that impact students and faculty such as mental and economic health. They will consider the pros and cons of online learning and on-campus learning. Officials also plan to seek input from student affair initiatives, Student Government and public health officials to effectively deliberate their decisions. 

The BOG presented the following “Key questions”:

  • “Is the SUS [State University System] response going to be a return to status quo or adapting to sustained change? How do we build excellence and greater resilience for the future?”
  • “What potential opportunities has the global pandemic revealed across the SUS and how successful have we been in addressing them over the past nine months?”
  • “What are the most significant ‘lessons learned’ with relevance to higher education? What ‘best practices’ have emerged across the SUS that we may wish to share and adopt?”
  • “What might the post-COVID ‘new normal’ look like for higher education in Florida, and what innovations are most likely going to gain traction and sustain in the mid-to long-term?”
  • “How can the 12 SUS institutions collaborate most effectively in anticipation of a potential paradigm shift in higher education?”


Almost one year into the pandemic, it’s important to reflect on the online learning systems and procedures that universities have put in place to see what’s working, what isn’t working, and what can be improved. 

One member stated:  

“In recent months some employees have reached new levels of productivity leading many of us to reflect on the benefits of flexible employee assignments and whether we really need as many offices and workspaces on-campus as before.”

This pandemic could be a “game changer” in terms of the future of education. Although we were forced into remote instruction because of the pandemic, we were also introduced to the benefits and flexibility of online learning. It will be interesting to see what conclusion the B.O.G. comes to, and whether or not universities will be sticking with some aspects of online instruction in future years.

“I look forward to continuing this discussion throughout the year as we look towards the future in the State University System,” said Kent Stermon, chair of the Innovation and Online Committee.


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