Student Affairs staff resign due to burnout and low pay

According to a new report from NASPA, an association of student affairs professionals, which examines key issues and post-pandemic trends in the field, 84% of student affairs professionals said that stress and crisis management responsibilities of their work led to burnout.

Nearly nine in 10 respondents said salaries and compensation plans are not competitive enough given the level of experience and education required for the position. Eight out of 10 said they felt undervalued by their institution.

“When we look at senior student affairs leaders, they work 80 hours a week. They seem outdated. They seem overtaxed, while at the same time they seem undervalued and undervalued at their home institutions,” said a dean of students at NASPA during a focus group. “I don’t think it’s appealing to our early career student affairs professionals. »

Still, about six in 10 student affairs professionals plan to stay in the field for the next five years, and more than half (57%) would recommend the profession to someone else, according to the report.

The majority of student affairs employees expect some flexibility in remote working in the future, and 43% expect their institutions to offer more flexibility in work hours.

NASPA suggests that transparent salary information, fair promotion policies, flexible work options, and regular two-way feedback could help keep more student affairs employees in their jobs.

Other notable findings of the report include:

  • About six in 10 respondents agree that they work in an institution with a welcoming and inclusive environment that values ​​social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • A third of respondents agree that their institution adequately addresses racial justice and campus climate concerns.
  • Sixty-eight percent believe their colleagues leave the field due to hidden job responsibilities that are not discussed in advance.
  • Almost all survey respondents believe their responsibilities will increase over the next five years.
  • Ninety-four percent of student affairs professionals believe they make a positive difference for students.

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