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Considering Surveys

This week I’d like to touch on a two surveys related to adjuncts (and writing).

The first is a recent survey done by The Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s dated October 18, 2009, and it reviews data gathered from April through July of the same year. Robin Wilson’s article discussing the survey is careful to point out its qualifications and limitations it only focuses on adjuncts in the Chicago area, it makes no claims about those who didn’t reply, and so on.

I have to say, I was surprised by a number of the results. Given the number of schools in Chicago and adjunct working conditions/the cost of living there, I was surprised to see that two thirds of those surveyed taught for just one school. I figured that more would be scrambling from school to school. I was also surprised by the low percentage (30 percent) who report they are adjuncts because they can’t find full-time positions. Here too I thought the number would be higher. But more central to our purposes are these numbers: 34 percent report that they “almost always” pursue their own research and writing, while 38 percent report that they “sometimes” do. That’s 72 

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