A Footnote to the Adjunct Files

17 Jul

You doubtless recall (I’m kidding – trust me) my post of September 21, the one in which I simpered in abject capitulation to the data gauntlet flung my way by Josh Boldt’s adjunct instructor, crowd-sourced Google-doc spreadsheet, the one in which Professor Boldt sought to enshrine the salaries, courseload and other incriminating particulars about the part-timer’s no less abject vocational lot. It was a good idea, as I remember it, but one beleaguered by data inconsistencies and text entries that simply couldn’t be taken further.

But I come with good news. It probably checked into its server some while ago, but only the other day did I come upon

http://adjunct.chronicle.com/about/

 a Chronicles of Higher Education annex that’s shed the spreadsheet persona to be sure , donning instead a multi-filtered, search-engined data base , e.g:

 adj1

It’s pretty easy to get around, and its findings could spur a few second thoughts about any back-door entry into the life of the mind.

I’m taking absolutely no credit for this new improved rollout, nor should I, but I would allow that my September 21 critique marked some manner of anticipation of the upgrade. The current site announces:

This site, which is intended to pull together that [adjunct] information and make it publicly available, represents the evolution of a simple spreadsheet created in 2012 by Joshua Boldt, a composition instructor in Athens, Ga.

The eye catcher is “evolution of a simple spreadsheet”, an obeisance to the data-managing difficulties subverting that formative sheet. What the Chronicles take brings to the table – perhaps literally – is a standardized, more-or-less forced-choice set of questions put to respondents, promoting in turn a more orderly codification and aggregation of the data (click this link to see what I mean). Bleat all you want about the McDonaldization of the world, but sometimes a salubrious drop-down menu delivers the goods – with or without the pickles.

Note: I’m taking the following week off in New York for a family celebration. Hope to get back to you shortly.

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