Five Campus Hot Spots: Why Higher Education Institutions Need to Adapt to Reduce Burnout

Credit: Horkova

This article first appeared in The Best of the 2022 Leadership in Higher Education Conference (Magna Publications, 2023).

Today’s professionals use the term “burnout” to describe how a person might feel about their personal and professional obligations and responsibilities—or the overwhelming, pervasive nature of such. When we converse about burnout, we are commonly describing how tired, buried, or overburdened we are on account of our daily responsibilities. The World Health Organization (2019) has recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon or a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Higher education is not immune to faculty and staff mental wellness challenges, additionally, as college presidents report these as prominent problems on their campuses (Taylor et al., 2021). Furthermore, Gallup discovered that three out of four employees feel burned out on the job at least some of the time (Hemphill, 2022). With this in mind, it is imperative that leaders in higher education consider their role in creating a culture that supports the well-being of those who serve the campus daily. While burnout tends to be an employee issue, campus leaders can create the conditions and atmosphere to notice, moderate, and prevent burnout conditions. It goes without saying that a campus filled with faculty, staff, and students suffering from burnout is probably not functioning at its prime. Below, we identify five hot spots, or reasons, where burnout shows up on today’s campuses. We also set forth suggestions on how to best change our typical response strategies to promote healthier, more productive learning and working environments for all.

To continue reading, you must be a Academic Leader Subscriber. Please log in or sign up for full access.

Related Articles

Are you signed up for free bi-weekly Academic Leader updates?

You'll get notified of the newest articles.