Untenured Faculty as Writing Program Administrators

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English
317 Pages
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Contributors examine the politics of untenured writing program administrator appointments given the demands of writing program administration, and reconciles the tension between WPA position statements and current institutional practice.

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Published 06 August 2007
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EAN13 9781602350182
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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UNTeNuRe FàculTy àS WRîTîNG PROGRàM AMîNîSTRàTORS INSTîTuTîONàl PRàcTîceS àN POlîTîcS
jWPA
EîTe by DebRà FRàNk Dew Alîce HORNîNG
Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition Series Editors, Caterine Hobbs and Patricia Sullivan
L S  R C Series Editors, Caterine Hobbs and Patricia Sullivan
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
1977: A Cultural Moment in Compositionby Brent Henze, Jack Selzer, and Wendy Sarer (2007)
Networked Process: Dissolving Boundaries of Process and PostProcess, by Helen Foster (2007)
Composing a Community: A History of Writing Across the Curriculum, edited by Susan H. McLeod and Margot Soven (2006)
Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline,edited by Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo (2004).
Rhetorics, Poetics, and Cultures: Refiguring College English Studies (Expanded Edition) by James A. Berlin (2003)
Untenured Faculty as Writing Program Administrators
Institutional Practices and Politics
Editors Debra Frank Dew Alice Horning
Parlor Press West Lafayette, Indiana www.parlorpress.com
Parlor Press LLC, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
© 2007 by Parlor Press All rigts reserved. Printed in te United States of America
S A N: 2 5 4 - 8 8 7 9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Untenured faculty as writing program administrators : institutional prac-tices and politics / editors : Debra Frank Dew ; Alice Horning.  p. cm. -- (Lauer series in retoric and composition)  Includes bibliograpical references and index.  ISBN 978-1-60235-016-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-60235-017-5 (alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-60235-018-2 (adobe ebook) 1. Englis language--Retoric--Study and teacing--United States. 2. Report writing--Study and teacing (Higer)--United States. 3. Aca-demic writing--Study and teacing--United States. 4. Universities and colleges--United States--Administration. 5. Writing centers--Ad-ministration. I. Dew, Debra Frank, 1955- II. Horning, Alice S.  PE1405.U6U58 2007  808’.0420711--dc22  2007026762
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 bookstores. For submission information or to find out about Parlor Press publications, write to Parlor Press, 816 Robinson St., West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906, or e-mail editor@parlorpress.com.
Contents
Prefacevii Edward M. White Acknowledgmentsxi Introduction: Wat is Wrong wit THIS Picture?3 Alice Horning 1  Te Importance of Untenured Writing Administrators to Composition and to Englis Studies15 Richard C. Gebhardt 2  Etics and te jWPA40 Alice Horning 3  Defining Junior58 Suellynn Duffey 4  Negotiating te Risks and Reaping te Rewards: Reflections and Advice from a Former jWPA72 Martha A. Townsend 5  jWPAs and te Call to Serve97 Ruth Mirtz and Roxanne Cullen 6  Labor Relations: Collaring jWPA Desire110 Debra Frank Dew 7  Te Center Will Not Hold: Redefining Professionalism in te Academy137 Martha D. Patton and Jo Ann Vogt
v
vi Contents 8  Demystifying te Asian-American WPA: Locations in Writing, Teacing, and Program Administration153 Joseph Eng 9  Graduate Students Hearing Voices: (Mis)Recognition and (Re)Definition of te jWPA Identity172 Brenda M. Helmbrecht with Connie Kendall 10  Redefining Our Retorical Situations: jWPAs in te Small College Context191 Rebecca Taylor Fremo 11  Administering Writing Programs in te “Betweens”: A jWPA Narrative219 Sandee K. McGlaun 12  Fitness for te Occasion: How Context Matters for jWPAs249 Paul Ranieri and Jackie Grutsch McKinney Conclusion: Etical Options for Disciplinary Progress on te Issue of jWPA Appointments279 Debra Frank Dew
Contributors Index
293 297
Preface
Edward M. White
Te most interesting professional books are tose tat take a fres look at wat “everyone” knows to be true. I ave frequently spoken for “everyone” on te subject of wo sould and sould not become a writing program administrator; as a number of te contributors to tis book point out, I ave argued for many years tat nobody sould take on te job of WPA until acieving tenure. Te argument is simple: te job is so sensitive and so demanding tat, as one Englis department cair put it in a 1989 interview, it will ruin te career of any young faculty member. A, but times ave canged and old truts may not old under new conditions. Wit 65 PD programs in retoric and composition, some of tem (like my own) offering courses in writing program ad-ministration (wic I sometimes teac), our field as matured and gained respect. Te triving job market for faculty wit te doctorate in various areas of retoric and composition testifies to te value even traditional Englis departments now place on scolarly leadersip in a field long te domain of amateurs. Some of tese attractive jobs are for new PDs interested in becoming WPAs. On a few campuses, writing programs ave left indifferent or ostile Englis departments and establised new omes in more friendly territory for teacers and administrators. Are te old trut and te advice it contains simply out of date? Not entirely. A number of te contributors to tis volume reiter-ate te dangers for untenured faculty in becoming administrators too early in teir careers. I know one potential contributor to tis book wo witdrew is capter because is situation as an untenured WPA at a small private college was just too dire to describe witout, e felt, jeopardizing is career. But enoug oter voices ere suggest tat some
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viii
Edward M. Wite
newer faculty migt well find te WPA post just wat tey are look-ing for, in te rigt institution. Is it reasonable and sensible to tell a new PD wit a special interest in administration and wide experience to wait six years or more before taking te job e or se really wants? Maybe not. For te first time now we ave a book wit a variety of perspec-tives on te subject, enriced by muc experience at different kinds of institutions. It introduces a new set of initials for junior faculty, wo ave become writing program administrators (jWPAs) and makes special claims for te position. Wile it remains a risky one—an ad-ministrative job wit muc more responsibility tan autority—it of-fers young faculty unusual opportunities for wide influence, creative pedagogies, applied researc, and even iger salaries. Even more important, tis book offers new ways of tinking about te job itself, its place witin institutions, and te traits needed to be effective on te job. Te WPA is traditionally a mature manager, keeping tings on track, speaking judicially for all writing activities on campus, solving problems wit TAs, adjuncts, students, and parents, and protecting te finances tat allow te writing program in all of its parts to continue, if not to trive. But wen a jWPA takes te job, te center of gravity sifts somewat. Te traditional tasks remain, but te younger faculty member as less stake in tradition, in keeping tings running as tey ave been, in exerting autority over te pro-gram. Now te primary goal is likely to be, as Suellynn Duffey puts it in er capter, to establis “someting very close to te teacer-scolar atmospere tat many in academe consider ideal.” Wit training in management, often, and a career aead in retoric and composition, te jWPA may be more interested in callenging tan maintaining te way tings are done. Researc will play a larger part tan eretofore, since articles and books are part of te new agenda, and collaboration rater tan control become te modus operandi. Tus Ricard Gebardt proposes te novel idea tat te rigt jWPA in te rigt Englis department will add ealty vigor to te entire enterprise. It may be a roug ride for te individual but Englis departments set in teir ways will profit from some saking up by an up-to-date scolar in retoric and composition. Te most poignant experiences in—and out of—tis book come from tose wo were ired to maintain a writing program and were forced to leave because tey sougt to improve it. But we also can now point to major uni-
Preface
ix
versity administrators wo not only began teir careers as jWPAs but proclaim tat teir training and experience as jWPAs taugt tem all tey needed to know to succeed as provosts, presidents, and iger education coordinators. Tere is a idden moral beind suc tales: Englis departments unwilling to listen to te new ideas of te new jWPA migt well be on te way to relinquising teir old on te campus writing program, wile tose expanding teir vision and pros-pects under te leadersip of te rigt jWPA are muc more likely to trive. Anyone wit an interest in college writing programs will find tis collection a stimulating and callenging volume. It sould be required reading for tose seeking to work in and peraps lead writing pro-grams in American colleges and universities, as well as for senior facul-ty teacing graduate courses in retoric and composition. At te same time, tose on iring committees need to consider te issues brougt up ere, particularly if tey are asking new and vulnerable members of te profession to take on te administration of a writing program.