Friday, December 19, 2014

Ethos for the Tenured: A Christmas Carol

The Compositionist
December 18th, 2014

Tenured and tenure-track faculty keep writing anti-adjunct essays, and The Chronicle keeps publishing them. I won't comment on the choices of that particular news source. Instead, I'll recommend you check out the #ChronicleFail hashtag on twitter. The latest in these attempts to get adjuncts activists to just shut up and accept their working conditions comes from Rob Jenkins. He actually writes, “For one thing, adjunct teaching provides jobs for thousands of people. Not the best jobs with the best pay, true, but paying jobs nonetheless.” This, hot on the heels of Arizona State's English department deciding to increase adjunct faculty loads from 4/4 to 5/5 with no change in pay. (Have you signed the petition rallying against that move?) Administrators and tenured faculty alike regularly defend actions and attitudes like these, citing everything from budget constraints to “meritocracy.” I find the “but it's a job” argument particularly offensive, as it suggests that workers have no right to question the workplace. Without critique of working conditions, we'd have no weekend, no safety regulations, and no child labor laws.

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