In Every issue
The year 2020 will no doubt be remembered as one that brought devastating impact to society, with the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, social and political upheaval, and natural disasters causing sweeping changes in day-to-day life. But even with the unquestionable challenges that 2020 has presented, through a more positive and hopeful lens, the year can also be seen as one that required individuals and organizations to innovate, create and find ways to stay connected.
When COVID-19 forced educational institutions to close their doors in March 2020, the University of Houston moved all courses to a remote format, and Bauer College leadership, faculty and staff quickly adapted to the immediate change in just a couple of weeks. Even more impressive, over the subsequent weeks and months, the Bauer community embraced the online format, not only using the latest technology to teach and learn but also to stay connected, through online happy hours and team meetings, Zoom coffee chats, and even virtual exercise classes and trivia nights.
This year also further divided the nation on political issues and discussions about social injustice and racism. With protests happening in cities across the United States in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless Black Americans, Bauer College has served as a venue for conversation and change. Faculty research explores how institutional injustice and systemic racism has shaped corporate America, and what organizations and leaders must now do to provide a more fair, equitable workplace. The college’s Inclusive Leadership Initiative is also entering a new phase as a key step toward Bauer’s 2020-25 strategic goal to “set the standard for promoting diversity and inclusion.” Again, with circumstances that could have proven divisive, the Bauer community instead sought connection and used that connection to make progress.
As we collectively cap off a year that could be pegged as one of the worst in history, we are choosing instead to focus on the bright spots of 2020 in this issue of Inside Bauer, highlighting the idea that “Bauer Connects,” whether that is through person-to-person connection, the college’s innate connection to the city of Houston, or the emerging global connection that the college is building through collaborative outreach, research, and programming.
(BA ‘07, MA ‘12)
Executive Director of Communications