Navigating Uncertainty Together: Positionality, Power, and the Pandemic: The differences between faculty and staff as we Navigate Uncertainty

We learn best when we learn from one another, because the expertise resides in our system.

Over the course of the pandemic, faculty and staff across the CSU system have come together virtually to learn from one another and process their remote work experiences. We have explored strategies for increasing equitable remote learning and engagement, approaches for building community in a virtual space, and strategies for navigating an uncertain professional environment.  We are pleased to continue to offer these sessions to support our collective learning and problem-solving as we launch another semester in transition. Our September session focused on personal experiences and practices in the pandemic environment.

Our November session builds on our September one by exploring ways that staff, administrators, and faculty navigate, or wield, the power structures on our campuses to continue to sustain ourselves and support our students. It aims to break the barrier between faculty and staff and explore how the expectations and requirements for both roles differed during the pandemic, and what can be done to share power to ensure equitable support going forward. 

Navigating Uncertainty sessions are self-moderated. We provide you with guiding questions in advance of the session, as well as a suggested structure for your small group conversation, but each group will meet without a formal facilitator in order to take the conversation in directions that are most meaningful for them. We will provide opportunities for collective-notetaking and large-group share out in order to spread learnings across all participants. 

Navigating Uncertainty sessions do not require a team. Individuals can register for the November 12th event HERE.

Past Conversations from our Winter and Spring 2021 Series

The spring sessions were structured as small group, cross-campus conversations with people in similar roles. Participants had the opportunity to share experiences over the past year, reflecting on what was challenging and successful. We spent time to sharing ideas and discussing collective challenges.

The small group conversations were self-moderated. We provided participants with guiding questions in advance of the session and encouraged small group conversation in directions that are most meaningful.

Past Conversations from our Summer 2020 Series

Conversation #1: Addressing teaching and learning online (July 22)

Come together to prepare for continued remote instruction and an increased imperative to address structural inequality in the classroom. Based on your remote classroom experiences this spring, reflect with your colleagues about what worked, what didn’t, and for whom. Share ideas for building remote courses, lift up equity-minded practices and pedagogies, and explore resources on your campus and throughout the CSU to support instruction and student success next fall.

Conversation #2: Supporting students’ needs this fall (August 5)

Connect with colleagues to explore ways to support students outside of the classroom. Reflect on the urgent challenges students are experiencing and strategies to address their employment, advising, socioemotional, housing, food, and other needs. Share ideas for embedding a racial-justice lens into student supports, communicating across campus departments, and brainstorming strategies to address technology access and remote delivery of student support services.

Conversation #3: Student engagement in a remote teaching and learning environment (August 19)

Providing engaging environments for students in and out of the classroom can be challenging in a remote environment. Come together to explore equity-minded strategies to support student engagement during the fall semester. Share ideas for connecting with entering first-time and transfer students, supporting students’ connection to affinity and social justice peer groups, and creating a sense of belonging across academics, student support service, and extra-curricular activities.


Contact: Dylan Lohmeyer, Interim Operations Director