How Can Campus Leaders Address Employee Burnout?
October 17, 2022

Register now for Nov. 2 webinar on how to support employees

A new ACE brief gives college and university leaders an overview of what is causing increased faculty and staff burnout and offers suggestions for how they can create a supportive environment to allow faculty and staff to thrive.

The brief, “Addressing Burnout Through Cultural Change: How Leaders Can Stem Attrition and Support Employees," was authored by Margaret W. Sallee, associate professor of higher education at the University of Buffalo. Sallee, along with other panelists, will be part of a webinar on Nov. 2 to talk more about the brief and discuss ways to assess, cope, and mitigate burnout in higher education for both faculty and staff. Click here to learn more and to register.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought a slew of changes to higher education. Through a rapid pivot to virtual learning and in-person concerns about masks and vaccinations, many of these changes came at great costs to faculty and staff, who reported increased feelings of exhaustion and burnout," writes Sallee. “The most effective solutions rest not at the individual level, but at the organizational level."

Some of the main concerns higher education employees report with their jobs are related to pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, a need for remote work and flexible schedules, technology overload, lack of meaningful work, and increasing workload.

Some solutions offered include:

  • Be forthright in advertising the salary ranges for positions
  • Identify career paths for advancement
  • Create hybrid schedules to allow staff to work both in-person and remotely
  • Reduce the use of chat programs in the office
  • Build jobs around the strengths of an employee
  • Limit communication during non-working hours

Sallee says addressing the burnout must include a “radical cultural shift and a committed effort on the part of institutions."

The brief and webinar are part of the “Mental Health in Higher Education" series that ACE is presenting throughout fall 2022 and spring 2023. The series will highlight and discuss critical issues around mental health for faculty, staff, and students.

Each brief will be accompanied by a webinar designed to unpack the key themes. Topics include faculty and staff burnout, critical questions to ask before contracting with a teletherapy provider, evidence-based practices that support mental health, and insights from counseling center directors on what they want leaders to know and what they should do about mental health.

If you have questions regarding the series, please reach out to Hollie Chessman, director of research and practice, at

Addressing Burnout Through Cultural Change: How Leaders Can Stem Attrition and Support Employees