Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Faculty burnout is a phenomenon of growing proportions in higher education. The results of a 1985 study of full-time faculty at Evergreen Valley College (EVC) indicated a significant burnout problem, making it imperative to identify the contributing factors and to create interventions for alleviating it. The purposes of this study were to: identify major contributors to EVC full-time faculty burnout; discover what is being done to reduce full-time faculty burnout in other California community colleges that are organizationally similar to EVC; and, devise directions to assist EVC to alleviate its full -time faculty burnout. The research questions for this study were: Why are EVC full- time faculty experiencing burnout? What degree of full-time faculty burnout is being experienced by other community colleges with similar organizational structures? How can faculty burnout be reduced? The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was used to assess the level of burnout of EVC full-time faculty, administrators, and classified staff, and San Jose City College full-time f acuity. Additionally, respondents completed a demographic data sheet indicating their sex, age, ethnic background, and length of service in community college education. T-tests at the .05 level of significance were used to analyze the MBI results and to determine the relationship between burnout and the variables of organizational system, gender, ethnicity, and length of service. Presidents, deans, academic senate presidents and o er personnel of community colleges referred to in the literature as having a cluster system (Cypress College, Indian Valley College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Medanos College, Northampton Area Community College, Oakton Community College, and College of DuPage) were interviewed to see if they are still using the cluster system, to determine the system's effect on burnout, and to identify methods that were being used to reduce burnout. The literature was reviewed to identify methods of alleviating burnout. Additionally, follow-up interviews were conducted with twenty-four EVC instructors whose MBI scores indicated that they were experiencing burnout to elicit additional suggestions for reducing burnout. The conclusions of the study were that full-time faculty burnout continues to be a problem for Evergreen Valley College. The use of the cluster system contributes to burnout, but gender ethnicity, and length of service are not significantly related. Burnout is contagious and is now being experienced by EVC faculty who previously (1985) did not have it. EVC administrators, and EVC classified staff. San Jose City College's full-time faculty are experiencing burnout. Community colleges that have previously used a cluster system have discontinued it and have returned to division-department systems. Major contributors to EVC's full-time faculty burnout were identified as treatment of faculty, budget concerns, administrative style, the cluster system, communication problems, and environmental problems. Based on the results and conclusions of this study, it was recommended that the EVC administration recognize that there is full-time faculty burnout at EVC and accept responsibility for alleviating it. The cluster-center system should be replaced with a division-department system to better incorporate faculty into the decision-making of the college. Class sizes should be reduced to assist in creating an educational focus for the college rather than a budget focus. Comfortable work environments need to be created. Leadership training should be provided for administrators and they should be required to use humanistic leadership styles. A health promotion program should be developed for faculty. It was recommended that the EVC Academic Senate assist with the implementation of these recommendations. Further study of EVC administrator and classified staff burnout was recommended. Additionally, the SJCC Academic Senate should be encouraged to identify causes of their burnout and to take steps to reduce it. It was recommended that annual assessment be conducted of EVC faculty, administrators, and classified staff's burnout and appropriate interventions formulated.

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