Moving forward at UF: Reflections and possibilities

Just one year ago, while discussions of travel restrictions and concerns about cruise ships bubbled vaguely in our awareness, it’s unlikely anyone could have predicted how our lives and our work would change so dramatically in just a few weeks’ time. Since then, we’ve learned about the possibilities that technology now affords us to connect with one another remotely as well as the many things we deeply value about being together in person.

We’re all craving normality, but what does that mean for all of us working together at UF, now that we know what’s possible? How can we capitalize on what we’ve learned in a thoughtful way without losing the opportunities for collaboration and connection that come from being physically present together?

Throughout this month, we’ll be wrestling with questions like these alongside you, through a series of articles that will explore topics including:

  • What lessons have we learned related to our complexity, including being a Research I university with a vibrant residential student community?
  • Why are in-person collision spaces important, and what’s the trade-off when we are without them?
  • For those who may work remotely or in a hybrid fashion, what are some ways we can do so without sacrificing engagement and connection?
  • What can we anticipate next fall, and how can we begin to plan for that now?

While we can’t promise we will have all of the answers, we can begin the conversation of how best to navigate this new chapter gracefully. And moving forward, we can begin to co-create a new way of working together and an even brighter future for our university.

Jodi D. Gentry
Vice President for Human Resources