Thank you again for your responses to our March 8 Questionnaire on the costs of remote work. As we have detailed elsewhere, the results are devastating: 70% of respondents are responsible for additional caregiving at home and just over half (51%) report that a loved one has fallen ill. Our work conditions over the past year remain challenging: 58% of respondents report spending more time with students, 47% report more service obligations, and 55% express frustration with the current status of research.
The narrative comments are perhaps even more devastating. Our colleagues report significant fatigue and frustration with the lack of support from the upper administration, a deficit that only highlights how many of us are in fact overcompensating during this pandemic to maintain a strong commitment to our students. Here in GWUFA we frequently repeat that “our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions,” but the survey shows how faculty are refusing to allow our abysmal working conditions to harm our students, and how we are going to great lengths to place our students’ needs above our own. And as we all know, “recognition” of this reality from the upper administration has taken the form of pay cuts and layoffs at worst, emails filled with empty platitudes at best.
We write to you today to ask for your participation in a brief follow-up questionnaire, this time on faculty mental health. As we are all acutely aware, faculty across the nation are suffering from record levels of burnout, and a majority are considering either a career change or early retirement.
President LeBlanc appears to have no inkling what many of us are experiencing day to day, so let’s tell him and the Board of Trustees just how thin they have stretched us this year.
GWUFA is preparing a report that will include results from both of our surveys and that will be distributed to our members along with a direct appeal to the upper administration. We are always careful to protect identities in our reports, and given the sensitivity of the data we are gathering, we are reducing even further the demographic data collected in this survey in order to protect participants. We will not share any narrative comments from your responses without your explicit permission.
Thank you again for all you do, and in solidarity,
GWUFA Steering Committee