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Inside Higher Ed is the free daily news website for people who care about higher education. News, opinion, jobs and more.

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Faculty members struggle with burnout

"Faculty burnout -- exacerbated by pandemic-related stressors, absent childcare and school, and unrelenting or even accelerating work expectations from colleagues -- poses real and serious risk for mental health challenges of unprecedented scope," said June Gruber, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Elsewhere, Gruber has described flattening the "mental health curve" as the "next big coronavirus challenge." Lisa Jaremka, assistant professor of social-health psychology at the University of Delaware, and co-author of a recent paper on "common academic experiences no one talks about" -- including burnout -- also said that the main consequences of burnout include mental health issues. It’s literally not possible for people to complete this amount of work in a 24-hour day,” McClure said of faculty responsibilities right now, especially for those professors caring for others stuck at home. Misra said tracking one’s workload may feel like more work and that “ideally, what we would be doing is hiring more faculty, rather than laying off faculty, providing more resources.

Crafting a Post-Pandemic Strategy for Your College and University

We might consider starting the summer term earlier to make sure that it’s compatible with summer internships and traditional study abroad or its more recent variant: faculty-led overseas research trips. Let’s help our students build more career-relevant connections, with alumni or potential employers or mentors, and give them more opportunities to undertake virtual internships and complete digital projects, which students can include in an electronic portfolio. It’s about creating an integrated system of academic, personal, and technical support that can identify barriers to student success, respond proactively to early signs of trouble, and reach out electronically or in person with emergency aid, nudges, coaching, or more intrusive interventions when necessary. To overcome the academic and non-academic barriers to student success, a coordinated system of support must bring together academic advising, career and pre-professional counseling, disabilities services, financial aid, academic tutoring and other learning support services.

Low-income and students of color in greatest need of pandemic relief

About 36 percent of these students also said their families experienced a loss or reduction in income since the pandemic began, and 21.7 percent of graduate and professional students said a family member had reduced income, the survey results said. Both undergraduate (34.3 percent) and graduate and professional students (26.9 percent) said they had unexpected living expenses during the pandemic, survey results said. One of the most important and concerning takeaways from the data was the heightened impact that the pandemic has had on students of color, Indigenous, low-income and working-class students compared to their white and wealthier peers in most areas of the survey, said Soria, who is also director of student affairs assessment for the University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research and Office of Student Affairs. Nearly two-thirds of low-income students and 54 percent of working-class students also had a family member that experienced a loss of income, compared to 36 percent of middle-class and 24 percent of upper-middle-class students, according to a survey report based on an analysis of students' socioeconomic status.

Execution: The Main Course of the Social Media Sandwich

In the planning phase, you should clarify why you want to share your research on social media, who you want to reach, and what you want your message to be. Here’s what a clickable preview image looks like: Including a couple of hashtags relevant to your message can help people find your tweet and connect it to a larger conversation about an issue. Typically, people don’t want to read a long post; they want the punch line so they can decide whether it’s worth their time to click on your link or share your post. You can use hashtags, but they aren’t necessary or helpful the way they are on Twitter or LinkedIn, because people don’t tend to search by hashtags on Facebook.

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