Professors say faculty burnout is always a real threat, but especially now, and that institutions should act before it’s too late. Pexels.com As a frequent commentator on all things higher ed, Kevin McClure likes his predictions to be right. But in the case of a recent article he wrote […]
“Faculty burnout — exacerbated by pandemic-related stressors, absent childcare and school, and unrelenting or even accelerating work expectations from colleagues — poses real and serious risk for mental health challenges of unprecedented scope,” said June Gruber, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[…]
What Is Burnout?
According to the World Health Organization, which includes the occupational phenomenon in its International Classification of Diseases, burnout is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The primary symptoms are feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental “distance” from or cynicism and negativity toward one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy.[…]
Jaremka and others describe burnout as feeling “at the end of one’s rope.” Recalling her first experience with burnout, when she was trying to finish her dissertation, Jaremka wrote that her “to-do list was getting longer each day rather than shorter. I started an unhealthy sleeping pattern in an effort to catch up; I would nap from about 9 to 11 p.m., get back up to work from about 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., and then sleep again from about 3 to 8 a.m.”[…]