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Promise and Perils of Writing Program Administration, The


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Combining formal quantitative research with narrative-based scholarship, THE PROMISE AND PERILS OF WRITING PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION represents multiple voices from faculty balancing between the demands of teaching, writing, and administering writing programs in professional, ethical ways-often under circumstances that can be defined, at best, as difficult. In these pages, junior faculty tell their stories of triumph and trauma, while more firmly established composition scholars reflect upon the changing and challenging profession we all share.



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Published 26 January 2008
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EAN13 9781602350526
Language English
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Promise and Perils of Writing Program Administration
Theresa Enos RHéOîc Révîéw
péDîà OF RHéOîc àND COMpOSîîON THé WîîN POàM ADMîNîSàO’S RéSOucé: A GuîDé O RéFLécîvé INSîuîONàL Pàcîcé Shane Borrowman
RHéOîc Révîéw, COLLéé ENLîSH, Jillian Skeffington
WPA: WîîN POàM ADMîNîSàîON
The Promise and Perils of
Writing Program Administration
1. Average University Save
Average University is accepting applications for an assistant profes-sor, tenure-track, to begin as WPA and WC Director on or before August 1. Minimum qualifications: PhD in rhetoric and composition and extensive, exemplary teaching experience. Administrative experience desired. Other welcome specializations include but are not limited to writing center theory and practice, writing intensive/writing across the curriculum, rhetorical theory, composition theory and pedagogy, visual rhetoric, technology studies, business writing, technical writing, basic writing, large-scale assessment, history of rhetoric, narrative studies, and/or postmodern rhetoric.
In addition to teaching a 4/3 load the first-year and advanced compo-sition courses (including one-course release for administrative duties), the successful applicant will hire, supervise, and mentor adjuncts; train and supervise teaching assistants; hire, train, and supervise writing center tutors; serve on department- and university-wide committees, including both the WAC and WID efforts; administer and score place-ment exams, rising-junior exams, and exit exams from English 098, 101, and 102; and fulfill all other assigned duties.
Nine-month contract offered annually. Excellent teaching and ongo-ing, significant scholarly contributions to national profile of Average University expected. Starting salary: $28,000-$32,000, depending on qualifications.
Edited by Theresa Enos Shane Borrowman
Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition Series Editors, Patricia Sullivan, Caterine Hobbs, Tomas Rickert, and Jennifer Bay
L S  R C Series Editors, Patricia Sullivan, Caterine Hobbs, Tomas Rickert, and Jennifer Bay
Te Lauer Series in Retoric and Compositiononors te contri-butions Janice Lauer Hutton as made to te emergence of Retoric and Composition as a disciplinary study. It publises scolarsip tat carries on Professor Lauer’s varied work in te istory of written reto-ric, disciplinarity in composition studies, contemporary pedagogical teory, and written literacy teory and researc.
Oter Books in te Series
Untenured Faculty as Writing Program Administrators: Institutional Practices and Politics, edited by Debra Frank Dew and Alice Horning (007)
1977: A Cultural Moment in Compositionby Brent Henze, Jack Selzer, and Wendy Sarer (008)
Networked Process: Dissolving Boundaries of Process and PostProcess, by Helen Foster (007)
Composing a Community: A History of Writing Across the Curriculum, edited by Susan H. McLeod and Margot Soven (00)
Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline,edited by Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo (00).
Rhetorics, Poetics, and Cultures: Refiguring College English Studies (Expanded Edition) by James A. Berlin (00)
he Promise and Perils of Writing Program Administration
Edited by heresa Enos and Sane Borrowman Jillian Skeffington, Assistant Editor
Parlor Press West Lafayette, Indiana www.parlorpress.com
Parlor Press LLC, West Lafayette, Indiana 790
© 008 by Parlor Press All rigts reserved. Printed in te United States of America “Te Portland Resolution” (© 99) “Evaluating te Intellectual Work of Writing Administration” (© 998), and “Te WPA Outcomes Statement” (© 000) are reproduced ere by permission of te Council of Writing Pro-gram Administrators.
S A N:    - 8 8 7 9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Te promise and perils of writing program administration / edited by Te-resa Enos and Sane Borrowman ; Jillian Skeffington , assistant editor .  p. cm. -- (Lauer series in retoric and composition)  Includes bibliograpical references and index.  ISBN 978--0-00- (pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978--0-0-9 (ardcover : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978--0-0- (adobe ebook) . Englis language--Retoric--Study and teacing--United States. . Report writing--Study and teacing (Higer)--United States. . Writing centers--Administration. I. Enos, Teresa. II. Borrowman, Sane. III. Skeffington, Jillian.  PE0.UP7 008  808’.007--dc  0080007
Cover design by David Blakesley. Printed on acid-free paper.
Parlor Press, LLC is an independent publiser of scolarly and trade titles in print and multimedia formats. Tis book is available in paper, clot and Adobe eBook formats from Parlor Press on te World Wide Web at ttp://www.parlorpress.com or troug online and brick-and-mortar book-stores. For submission information or to find out about Parlor Press pub-lications, write to Parlor Press, 8 Robinson St., West Lafayette, Indiana, 790, or e-mail editor@parlorpress.com.
Forewordix John Trimbur Living in te Spaces Between: Profiling te Writing Program Administrator5 Jillian Skeffington, Shane Borrowman, and Theresa Enos “Creating a Context”: Te Institutional Logic of te Council of Writing Program Administrators’ Development of te Consultant-Evaluator Service21 Shirley K Rose Credibility, Disciplinary Bias, and te WPA49 Saring WPA Perils as Pearls of Wisdom49 Ernest J. Enchelmayer Two Tings57 Patti J. Kurtz Rocking te Boat: Asserting Autority and Cange in a Writing Program64 Richard McNabb Irreconcilable Differences: One Former WPD’s Cautionary Tale72 Erin O’Neill Portraits of a Field79 Chris Anson, Jeanne Gunner, and Thomas P. Miller Tenure-Track Faculty as WPAs92 Notes from a New WPA92 Megan Fulwiler An Army of One: Te Possibilities and Pitfalls of WPA Work for te Lone Compositionist102 Randall McClure v
Wy I Won’t Keep My Head Down or Follow Oter Bad Advice for te Junior Faculty WPA109 Stephanie Roach Writing Program Administration at te Small University117 Matt Smith Location and te WPA126 Stuart C. Brown, Andrea A. Lunsford, and Edward M. White Nontenure-Track Faculty as WPAs135 Witout Title: One NTT’s Struggle in te TT Society135 Nita Danko Skeletons in te Closet, Gosts, and Oter Invisible Creatures139 Suellynn Duffey Neiter Fis Nor Fowl: Te Promise and Peril of Directing a Program on an Administrative Line146 Claire C. Lamonica One Wite Girl’s Failed Attempt to Unsilence te Dialogue152 Cynthia Nearman Tree Reflections and an Observation164 Susan H. McLeod, Victor Villanueva, and Douglas Hesse Tenure, Promotion, and te WPA175 Wat Is Researc and Writing?175 Emily Isaacs A New WPA at a Small Private Scool wit Large Public(ation) Expectations182 Camille Langston Fit for an Unfit Fittedness: National Writing Project Site Directors as WPAs190 Chere L. Peguesse Will Administrate for Tenure, or, Be Careful Wat You Ask For203 E. Shelley Reid
A Prologue and Tree Responses212 Duane Roen, Kathleen Blake Yancey, and David Schwalm 7 Understanding Ourselves, Our Work, and Our Working Conditions225 At te Pleasure of te Cair: A Cautionary Tale from te Private Side of te Public Story225 Elizabeth Hodges Diversity Work and te WPA: Feminist Writing Center Work Prior to Tenure237 Ann E. Green “Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t”: Te Etical and Professional Dilemmas of WPA Work for Tose Wo Know Better244 Melissa Nicolas Exploitation, Opportunity, and Writing Program Administration250 Christine Norris Tree Responses and a Prologue255 Martha A. Townsend, Art Young, and Louise Wetherbee Phelps 8 Identity Teft of a Writing Center Director: Te New Art of Academic Punisment273 Margaret E. Weaver 9 From Adjunct Wrangler to Autonomous WPA: Te Surprising Benefits of Pretenure Writing Program Administration290 Lauren Sewell Ingraham
Appendix A: WPA Survey Appendix B: Te Portland Resolution Appendix C: Council of Writing Program Administrators Statement on Intellectual Work Appendix D: Te WPA Outcomes Statement Contributors Index
301 309
316 335 339 349
John Trimbur
No matter teir academic rank, terms of employment, or conditions of work, WPAs are bureaucrats wo manage larger or smaller cunks of curricular real estate in te political economy of iger education. To make sense, in te first instance, of te experiences recounted in tis book and to ope, in turn, to improve te work of writing programs, asPromises and Perils certainly wises to do, you’ve got to start by putting WPAs in te material circumstances of teir work lives. Te metapors used to capture te dexterity of WPAs—“kitcen cooks, plate twirlers, troubadours” (George)—give a sense of te eterogene-ity of work in te mid levels of management: te meetings, e-mail, mentoring, pone calls, public relations, networking, annual reports, and daily multitasking tat determine te lived experience of WPAs, caugt in te middle, as mid-level managers always are, between te staff tey manage and te superiors tey report to. Josep Harris is correct to distinguis between “questions of disci-plinary status and working conditions” (7) and to recognize tat in-creasing te academic legitimacy of composition and retoric as a field of study (wic as been more or less accomplised) is not necessarily equivalent to improving te material conditions of te people wo teac writing. Te two terms—disciplinary statusandworking condi tions—are related, but not causally. Rater, te crux of te matter, as many of te following WPA narratives give witness, is on te ground, in struggles over te managerial prerogative to control te conditions of work in contemporary postsecondary education. I do not mean to be accusatory in calling WPAs managers—or to suggest tat teir class interests are necessarily tied to te structural adjustments tat ave been taking place over te past several decades in colleges and universities. If WPAs are “bosses,” teir position and