What I Learned about Faculty from 15 Burnout Workshops

A row of five burnt-down matches
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

As I’ve written elsewhere in this newsletter, burnout is a serious problem in higher education—not only for faculty but also for students and staff. Defined by the World Health Organization as a “syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” burnout manifests as exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy and can lead to mental, physical, and emotional health problems in the long term. And while burnout dramatically affects the individuals experiencing it and those they work with, its origins are cultural, in terms of both Western capitalist culture and the culture of our workplaces, which prioritize productivity over all else.

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