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Unraveling Faculty Burnout

Pathways to Reckoning and Renewal

Rebecca Pope-Ruark, PhD

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A timely book about assessing, coping with, and mitigating burnout in higher education.

Faculty often talk about how busy, overwhelmed, and stressed they are. These qualities are seen as badges of honor in a capitalist culture that values productivity above all else. But for many women in higher education, exhaustion and stress go far deeper than end-of-the-semester malaise. 

Burnout, a mental health syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress, is endemic to higher education in a patriarchal, productivity-obsessed culture. In this unique book for women in higher education, Rebecca Pope-Ruark…

A timely book about assessing, coping with, and mitigating burnout in higher education.

Faculty often talk about how busy, overwhelmed, and stressed they are. These qualities are seen as badges of honor in a capitalist culture that values productivity above all else. But for many women in higher education, exhaustion and stress go far deeper than end-of-the-semester malaise. 

Burnout, a mental health syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress, is endemic to higher education in a patriarchal, productivity-obsessed culture. In this unique book for women in higher education, Rebecca Pope-Ruark, PhD, draws from her own burnout experience, as well as collected stories of faculty in various roles and career stages, interviews with coaches and educational developers, and extensive secondary research to address and mitigate burnout. Pope-Ruark lays out four pillars of burnout resilience for faculty members: purpose, compassion, connection, and balance. Each chapter contains relatable stories, reflective opportunities and exercises, and advice from women in higher education.

Blending memoir, key research, and reflection opportunities, Pope-Ruark helps faculty not only address burnout personally but also use the tools in this book to eradicate the systemic conditions that cause it in the first place. As burnout becomes more visible, we can destigmatize it by acknowledging that women are not unraveling; instead, women in higher education are reckoning with the productivity cult embedded in our institutions, recognizing how it shapes their understanding and approach to faculty work, and learning how they can remedy it for themselves, their peers, and women faculty in the future.

Contributors: Lee Skallerup Bessette, Cynthia Ganote, Emily O. Gravett, Hillary Hutchinson, Tiffany D. Johnson, Bridget Lepore, Jennifer Marlow, Sharon Michler, Marie Moeller, Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier, Catherine Ross, Kristi Rudenga, Katherine Segal, Kryss Shane, Jennifer Snodgrass, Lindsay Steiner, Kristi Verbeke

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Unraveling Faculty Burnout

Rebecca Pope-Ruark, PhD

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Reviews

Reviews

Pope-Ruark introduces burnout as a common experience in academia, offers ways to understand and assess burnout levels, and provides pathways out of burnout. Given the pandemic and the late stage of academic capitalism, this is a timely and significant topic.

Unraveling Faculty Burnout couldn't have arrived at a more crucial time in higher education. This book is essential reading not only for current and future members of the faculty but also for all of us in the academy who work with them and care deeply about their well-being.

In the wake of the 'Great Disengagement,' a book on how to combat burnout in higher education could not be more necessary. Thankfully, Rebecca Pope-Ruark is here with a carefully researched, thoughtfully written, and compassionate guide to regaining our vitality and purpose.

Pope-Ruark captures the essence of burnout in higher education, its root causes and solutions. More importantly, she provides a pathway out of the darkness.

A must-read for those within and adjacent to academia that might convince us to build more humane workplaces. This book gives me hope that this is possible.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
256
ISBN
9781421445120
Illustration Description
3 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Burnout: An Unraveling or A Reckoning?
Chapter 1. Culture
Chapter 2. Academic Identity
Chapter 3. Purpose
Chapter 4. Compassion
Chapter 5. Connection
Chapter 6. Balance
Coda
Acknowledgments
Appendix 1. Special

Burnout: An Unraveling or A Reckoning?
Chapter 1. Culture
Chapter 2. Academic Identity
Chapter 3. Purpose
Chapter 4. Compassion
Chapter 5. Connection
Chapter 6. Balance
Coda
Acknowledgments
Appendix 1. Special Advice For Educational Developers
Appendix 2. Bonus Interviews
Appendix 3. Additional Activities For Self-Exploration
Appendix 4. Reflecting On Your Relationship With Work And Burnout
References
Index

Author Bio
Rebecca Pope-Ruark
Featured Contributor

Rebecca Pope-Ruark, PhD

Rebecca Pope-Ruark, PhD (ATLANTA, GA), is director of the Office of Faculty Professional Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is the author of Agile Faculty: Practical Strategies for Managing Research, Service, and Teaching and coeditor of Redesigning Liberal Education: Innovative Design for a Twenty-First-Century Undergraduate Education.