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On the Verge of Burnout: Covid 19's Impact on Faculty Well-Being and Career Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust higher education into uncharted waters with challenges impacting all facets of the institution. While all employees have had to adjust how they live and work, faculty members in particular have experienced significant disruption. Fidelity commissioned The Chronicle of Higher Education to conduct this research to gain insights into how the pandemic has affected faculty from a mental and emotional perspective and if it may alter career decisions.* Among the more noteworthy findings:

  • The majority of faculty are experiencing elevated levels of frustration, anxiety, and stress

  • More than two-thirds of survey respondents are struggling with increased workloads and a deterioration of work-life balance—particularly female faculty members

  • More than half of all faculty are considering retiring or changing careers and leaving higher education, with tenured faculty members even more likely to retire than others.

*“On the Verge of Burnout: COVID-19’s impact on faculty wellbeing and career plans” is based on a nationwide survey of 1,122 professors at colleges and universities, conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The data collection took place in October 2020.