May 12, 2003

And you can tell a lot about institutions by how they distribute their office space...

"Working our way up and down the halls of one faculty office building, checking out the office-hour schedules posted below the nameplates, and observing the work and leisure habits of these specimens through their half-opened doors, we have been able to classify, according to their office-hour behavior, some subspecies of the North American professor."

-- James M. Lang, "Putting in the Hours"

"You can tell a lot about faculty members," writes Lang, "by how they set up their office hours." Based on findings which he describes as "early and exploratory," Lang has identified 5 subspecies of the North American professor: The Early Bird, the Door Closer, the Counselor, the Chatterer, and the Fugitive. I'd probably be somewhere between a Fugitive and a Counselor, except that...

Lang notes that his research is still in a preliminary stage:

"Given the early and exploratory nature of these observations, we would welcome notes from fellow field researchers who have studied the office-hour habits of the North American professor, and have observed other forms of both common and unusual behaviors."

Well, since he asked: there's another subspecies that is everywhere to be found though nowhere to be seen: the Adjunct who does not have an office.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at May 12, 2003 01:06 PM

Another addition would be the multitude of Rotating Adjuncts who share one office (actually one-half; the other half was mine as a "Visiting Assistant Professor" -- at least when I was there). I remember three bookshelves for six of us, two desks, three chairs, weird art and two phones. I can't remember if there was no computer or simply an awful one. It was also amazing how much bitterness and despair and apathy permeated the permanent "adjunct" side of the room... I was glad to leave!

Posted by: Rana at May 12, 2003 06:23 PM