ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Faculty Burnout Is Institutional Not Individual

Post-Covid burnout, disengagement, and demoralization have become widespread throughout academia as in the broader workforce. We highlight two recent review essays in the Chronicle of Higher Education. In her essay, Rebecca Pope-Ruark explains burnout as “a collection of related symptoms, under the umbrellas of (1) exhaustion, (2) cynicism or depersonalization, and (3) feelings of reduced professional efficacy.” She calls for institutional transformations that reorient goals toward core educational values, humane policies, and balanced relationships.

In another Chronicle of Higher Education essay, Kevin R. McClure reports that current faculty burnout is precipitated by unfair treatment and excessive workloads, among other factors. Underrepresented faculty have long been disadvantaged by such conditions; this is an opportunity to improve higher education’s workplace conditions for everyone. College leaders, he warns, need to think beyond quick fixes and superficial tokens of appreciation and revisit meaningful “supports, flexibility, and grace” that many enacted during the Covid pandemic.

The ADVANCE Academy for Responsive Leadership (ARL) supports university leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to change university culture, policies, and practices in support of an inclusive, humane, and sustainable institution.

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