#POD21: Evolving Beyond Crisis–Connecting to the Future

46th Annual POD Network Conference

November 8–17, 2021

After a difficult year, we are tired, stressed, and worried about making mistakes—and that’s just our personal lives. We’ve also been working beyond our usual comfort zone by helping our institutions navigate transitions and pivots in response to current health, social, and political crises. Big or small, colleges and universities have always had to respond to unforeseen situations, fast-moving challenges, and unexpected opportunities. So, if change is constant, how do we formulate our responses? How do we leverage our strengths during difficult transitions while still building capacity for the future of our campuses?

Donna Ellis

A Message from President Donna Ellis, May 14

In February, I wrote to you about being optimistic, but then I fell silent. I’ll admit I’ve struggled the past couple of months to keep up my positive outlook. In Ontario, we are under a full stay-at-home order until June 2 due to the continued rise in COVID cases. Vaccine roll-out has been slow here (I finally got my first shot on May 1!), and it’s unclear when our students will get their turn. Nonetheless, Fall planning has begun for a return to campus despite all the uncertainties like building occupancy limits and variants. I can’t quite believe it, but I think I was busier at work this March and April than during the same timeframe last year.

Donna Ellis

A Message from President Donna Ellis, February 9

While many of us seemed ready to say good-bye to 2020, this new year has had a somewhat variable start. We have continued to see protests and riots around the world and pandemic lockdown measures (Ontario, where I live, declared another state of emergency until mid-Feb). It’s hard not to feel anxious, drained, and angry. And yet, there are also signs of positive change: a momentous inauguration in the United States with Kamala Harris being sworn in as Vice President, the start of promising vaccination campaigns, and increasing daylight hours in North America (this last one always boosts my energy).