Unraveling Faculty Burnout: Pathways to Reckoning and Renewal by Rebecca Pope-Ruark
Johns Hopkins University Press, September 20,2022
Rebecca Pope-Ruark's Unraveling Faculty Burnout: Pathways to Reckoning and Renewal, is a mixture of memoirs and reflections from women in higher education positions within independent, public, and university settings who speak to the reasons for career burnout in academia and how to combat this phenomenon. The author defines burnout as chronic, unrelenting stress from the workplace that is not handled well. She also addresses three identifying factors: mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion; desensitization of people; and ongoing malaise due to women wondering if what they are accomplishing daily means anything. To successfully combat faculty burnout, and from a personal perspective, Pope-Ruark recommends identifying your purpose, feeling compassion for others, reconnecting to your work, and finding work-life balance. From a leadership perspective, the author notes that administrators need to look at the equalized goals and responsibilities among employees within a group. Other steps could include setting aside ten minutes at the beginning of each faculty meeting to address burnout and offering resources to help combat feelings of being overwhelmed. Pope-Ruark states that all factors of faculty burnout are stress-driven, and workplace culture must be adjusted in most cases for sufficient change to occur.