Journal of Educational Research and Practice




Burnout among faculty members impacts physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning and has negative socioeconomic consequences downstream. Prior to the pandemic, faculty members were already reporting high levels of burnout, which is characterized by depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and a lack of personal accomplishment. Previous research reported that value incongruence functions as one of the strongest predictors of depersonalization (and subsequently) turnover intention. This study provides a snapshot of the value alignment and burnout of faculty at a regional public university in the months following the pandemic-induced pivot to remote learning. Results from our survey of faculty members (N = 58) suggest a concerning trend for a subset of faculty members who greatly identify with the values of their workplace and are severely impacted by COVID-19 related stressors. For these people, higher alignment with values predicts higher depersonalization. These results raise the possibility of moral injury among educators, who may experience a value conflict between maintaining the rigor they previously required and demonstrating radical empathy to students living through a pandemic. These results have implications for college administrators, instructors, and educational researchers.