Twenty years from now, as a result of this pandemic, we may realize that some of the spaces we coveted so much—large offices, large conference rooms, large classrooms—weren’t the optimal way to conduct business. Online versions of meetings with 10 or 20 people may be found to be more efficient and more effective to engage everyone equally in the discussion. Still, we have to get better about creating space online for that spur-of-the-moment conversation after the conclusion of a large meeting.
And we also need to recognize that as COVID-19 has shifted much of our work to a primarily online environment, we are exacerbating an already difficult issue in today’s society where interactions are less personal—and a person can feel less important or even lost in the online world.
As a large public university, it is our responsibility to reach out to the communities we are part of, and to use the research and service that the taxpayers have funded to help make sure that no one is left behind.