2008-09 Election for WPA Executive Board Members and Vice President
UPDATE: The election was over on December 11, 2008.
WPA is holding elections for three Executive Board members and a Vice President. We will say thank you and goodbye to Executive Board members Joe Hardin, Rita Malenczyk, and Carol Rutz as well as Past President Shirley Rose, whose terms end in July 2009.
Voting tokens for the election will be distributed electronically to current WPA members in early December. Only current members are eligible to vote. Voting will take place for one week, and results will be announced in mid-December.
The Executive Board oversees WPA's events and activities, creates policies and procedures for its management, and engages in special projects and initiatives. The new Executive Board members will serve for three years, with terms beginning in July of 2009 and ending in June 2012. The new Vice President will serve for two years, then succeed to President (2 years) and Past President (2 years).
Continuing Executive Board members are Joe Janangelo (President, will become Past President); Linda Adler-Kassner (Vice President, will become President); Linda Bergmann (Secretary); Rick Johnson-Sheehan (Treasurer); Jeff Andelora; Eli Goldblatt; Barbara L'Eplattenier; Melissa Ianetta; Brian Huot; Susan Thomas; Deborah Holdstein and Charles Schuster (ex-officio, Consultant Evaluator Service); Deirdre Pettipiece and Timothy Ray (ex-officio, WPA Journal editors) and Charlie Lowe (ex officio, Digital WPA).
Members will vote for one candidate in each of the four pairings below.
DOMINIC DELLI CARPINI, Associate Professor of English, is the Writing Program Administrator at York College of Pennsylvania. In that position, he has directed the first-year writing program (a two-course sequence) for twelve years; he also planned, implemented, and now directs, a thriving major in Professional Writing that is in its seventh year. A WPA member since 1997, and an WPA Executive Board member from 2005-2008, DelliCarpini has served the organization through initiatives such as the Network for Media Action (co-director), the National Conversation on Writing (co-director), WPA at MLA Committee (Chair for 2 years), WPA summer conference planning committee (member), and other subcommittees. His research focuses upon the intersection of writing, civic engagement, and Deweyan theories of experience-based education. In addition to two composition textbooks based in civic rhetoric, he has published recent articles on WPA work at small colleges, on the effect of writing majors upon college English Departments, and on library/writing program collaborations in preparing informed citizens. He has forthcoming book chapters on the often-neglected “middle sisters” of the rhetorical canons—style and memory—and on the role of academic research in developing a deliberative citizenry. He presents regularly at WPA and CCCC, as well as at NCTE, the National Writing Project, and MLA. DelliCarpini has had further administrative at York College, serving in positions such as Academic Senate President and Chair of the College’s General Education Review Committee.
VISION STATEMENT:The journey into my current WPA position informs the vision I would hope to bring to my service as Vice President of the organization. I was originally hired to direct a first-year writing program at a college where writing instruction was seen purely as “service” and something that was almost wholly relegated to adjunct faculty. But my attendance at a WPA workshop the summer before I began my current position opened my eyes to the larger vision of the work of writing programs advocated by this organization. Because of WPA, I came to this job with an idealistic perspective on what writing programs can be and how they can change an institution; I also brought with me first-hand understanding of the time, effort, and negotiations that are required to approach those ideals, taught to me by my WPA colleagues. Over the years, with the nurturing help of WPA, we now have a first-year writing program that has its own physical classroom spaces designed specifically for the teaching of writing; we have a thriving peer writing fellows program; we have a very successful Professional Writing Major of about 90 students, the largest program in our English and Humanities Department; and we have a professional writing studio outfitted with hardware and software that helps to prepare our students to thrive as 21st century writers. This growth also prompted the college to hire more full-time faculty in writing; the program now has six full-time faculty in the program, four of which are tenure-line, in an undergraduate institution of only 4,500 students. Most recently, we have hired two tenure-line faculty to expand our teaching of digital media.
None of this would have been possible at our small college without the community I found in WPA; this community has given me consistent and well-reasoned advice on what can and cannot be accomplished. Put most cogently, it has given me are arguments—arguments that have the ethos of a national organization but which can be used locally to promote best practices as more than just one person’s opinion. To me, that is what this organization does best. It supplies program administrators with the opportunity to share scholarship and in-the-trenches experience, to discuss theory and weigh it against practice, to balance our scholarly attachment to the life of the mind with the often-trying, and quite corporeal, experience that is administration.
As Vice-President, then, I would feel a deep obligation to keep this vision of the WPA as a pragmatic, helpful, and grounded organization alive. My consistent measure of the value of new and existing initiatives would be how well they will serve the needs that current and potential members of the organization face at their home institutions. I would also hope to continue current efforts to diversify and internationalize this organization in several ways—not only by outreach to individuals and institutions that serve underrepresented groups (which is crucial), but also by reminding ourselves that Doug Hesse’s question, “Who owns writing?” also applies to writing program administration. That is, the organization should consistently ask “Who owns writing program administration?”—if for no other reason than to remind ourselves that we do not. As I see it, what we do is support writing program administration at as diverse a body of institutions as we can. And my own history as a program administrator reminds me that here are many individuals who function as WPAs at their institution without the title or the support that some of us now enjoy. I believe that our council should continue to make its invaluable pool of scholarship and experience available to those individuals; we should remember that the more diverse the institutional types that are represented in this organization, the closer we will come to truly understanding the variety of ways that writing is taught and the ways programs are administered.
In short, I believe that the primary goal of this organization is to work, both directly and indirectly, to bring about the conditions under which writing instruction can flourish. Directly, the organization has an obligation to continue recent efforts to act as advocates for our important work, lobbying government bodies for the resources to do our important work and speaking directly to the public through media outlets about why resources spent on writing instruction are spent well—why, as our WPA Network for Media Action campaign proclaimed, “Writing Makes Democracy Happen.” Indirectly, WPA must also recall that we are a community of scholars, whose national organization should prompt, stimulate, and support the development of new knowledge about the work of writing instruction—and to be sure that that knowledge is circulated to those who can use that knowledge on the local level. Those goals would act as my barometer should I be given the opportunity to serve this organization as Vice-President.
DUANE ROEN is Professor of English at Arizona State University, where he serves as Head of Humanities and Arts in the School of Applied Arts and Sciences. At Arizona State University he served as Director of Composition for four years before directing ASU's Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence. Prior to that, he directed the Writing Program at Syracuse University, as well as the graduate program in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. Early in his career, he taught high school English in New Richmond, Wisconsin, before deciding to complete a doctorate at the University of Minnesota.
Duane’s professional commitments have included the following: WPA Executive Board; Co-editor, Writing Program Adminstration; WPA Conference Program Committee; WPA Conference Siting Committee; WPA Graduate Writing Awards Committee; CCCC Secretary; CCCC Committee on Issues in Higher Education; CCCC Executive Committee; NCTE Task Force to Support and Advance Members of Color; Chair, CCCC Ad Hoc Committee to Design Writing Program Awards; CCCC Ad Hoc Committee on Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Writing Digitally; CCCC Local Arrangements Chair, 1997; NCTE Nominating Committee; Chair, NCTE College Section Nominating Committee; NCTE Ohmann Award Committee; Treasurer, Arizona English Teachers Association (AETA); conference co-chair, AETA.
In addition to more than 160 articles, chapters, and conference papers, Duane has published the following books: Composing Our Lives in Rhetoric and Composition: Stories About the Growth of a Discipline (with Theresa Enos and Stuart Brown); The Writer’s Toolbox (with Stuart Brown and Bob Mittan); A Sense of Audience in Written Discourse (with Gesa Kirsch); Becoming Expert: Writing and Learning Across the Disciplines (with Stuart Brown and Bob Mittan); Richness in Writing: Empowering ESL Students (with the late Donna Johnson); Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition (with Lauren Yena, Susan K. Miller, Veronica Pantoja, and Eric Waggoner); Views from the Center: The CCCC Chairs’ Addresses, 1977-2005; and Writing for College, Writing for Life (with Greg Glau and Barry Maid), a guide to first-year composition.
For those with inquiring minds, Duane’s CV can be found at www.public.asu.edu/~dhroen.
Statement: When I served as a member of WPA’s Executive Board, I gained a stronger sense of the organization’s diverse efforts to enhance the effectiveness and status of the work that WPAs do on a daily basis. While WPA has done much to professionalize the field, I'd like to explore ways for the organization to invite even more colleagues to benefit from the organization’s many programs. For example, WPA has helped to establish so state and regional affiliates, but the organization might consider ways to encourage even more affiliates to achieve the greatest possible participation among faculty and graduate students who have not been active nationally. Involving graduate students offers the mutual benefits of bringing fresh perspectives to the organization and of establishing some life-long professional commitments.
Although WPA has collaborated effectively with CCCC and NCTE, I’d also like to see us consider possible collaborations with other professional organizations with similar struggles and goals (for example, mathematics and languages). In working with those units at my university, I've come to appreciate how much we have in common and how much we could benefit from collaborating on a larger scale to achieve our mutual goals.
Similarly, I'd like to see us build on the highly succcessful WPA Network for Media Action to tell our stories to colleagues in other disciplines, to the general public, and to legislators. We have compelling narratives, and we're pretty good at telling them. Adapting our stories to these other audiences can yield wonderful dividends.
Members of this organization have moved to other administrative positions in higher education—department chairs, associate deans, deans, vice provosts, provosts, presidents. As an organization, we might find systematic ways to support colleagues so that they feel even better prepared to make such transitions. One possibility, of course, would be to develop a summer experience analogous to the the existing summer workshop for new WPAs or the one-day institutes. With the critical mass of experienced college-level and university-level administrators in the organization, we could certainly draw on that pool of talent to offer a workshop or institute just as invigorating, insightful, and practical as the current ones.
It’s fun to imagine the possibilities.
Executive Board Members
Vote for one candidate in each pairing below.
Board member #1: Vote for Doug Downs or Jeffrey Klausman
DOUG DOWNS is assistant professor of Rhetoric & Composition and serves on the Composition Committee in the Department of English at Montana State University, and was previously chair of the Writing Program at Utah Valley State College. He has been a member of WPA since 2001 and has participated in a number of projects in the organization, including managing the annual workshop in 2002, serving on the WPA Network for Media Action steering committee since 2004, helping establish and chairing the Assistant Professor Administrator SIG, and serving on the Task Force on Students’ Research and Human Subjects Issues 2006-2007. Doug’s research interests center on cultural and personal conceptions of writing—how they influence writers’ processes and shape writing instruction, and the ways writing curricula might shape them in turn. This core interest leads to scholarship of many shapes: numerous conference presentations on FYC curricula, instructor preparation, disciplinary writing instruction, and undergraduate research; publications including the 2007 CCC article with Elizabeth Wardle, “Teaching About Writing, Righting Misconceptions: (Re)Envisioning FYC as Intro to Writing Studies” as well as book chapters on mentoring and on bringing students of religious faith into university discourses of inquiry; facilitation of numerous instructor-development workshops at WPA, CCCC, and elsewhere; and textbooks including the tutorial CD-ROM i-Cite: Visualizing Sources and the forthcoming Writing Inquiry. His current focus on the influence of undergraduate research experiences on students’ conceptions of writing has him working toward a book as well as co-editing Young Scholars in Writing’s Feature on First-year Research.
Position Statement: Since Raul Sanchez introduced me to WPA-L and WPA-L introduced me to WPA in 2000, this organization has been my professional home. WPA embodies an amazing and unique blend of support, development, advocacy, mentoring, resources, scholarship, and identity for writing program administrators and composition instructors. I am excited to serve on the Executive Board for the same reason I have so valued WPA itself: the chance to work with excellent people on a shared passion, that of making present the research and teaching of writing, not only to university stakeholders but, increasingly, among other publics. The initiatives of the past several years have done groundbreaking ambassadorial work: the Network for Media Action and the National Conversation on Writing, NSSE collaboration, and Digital WPA have all helped advocate for high quality writing instruction based on high quality writing research. We should continue such movement: in the digital realm, for example, by further coordinating Digital WPA with other top web resources in the field (e.g., CompPile, Kairos, the WAC Clearinghouse); in institutional realms, by increasing the attention WPA pays to vertical programs (e.g., CAC or WID); in public realms, by increasing advocacy with policy makers and other education systems. Also importantly, in light of increased interest among rhet/comp grad students in wpa-ing and the continuing strength in this job market, it is time to reassess current possibilities for administrating without tenure to ensure that CWPA is positioned to mentor, support, and advocate for this growing group of WPAs.
JEFFREY KLAUSMAN is Senior Faculty in English at Whatcom Community College, in Bellingham, Washington, where he has been serving since 2006 as his department’s first WPA and since 1998 as his college’s second WAC coordinator. He has served as both President and Chief Negotiator for his AFT local, lobbying and negotiating on behalf of all faculty with special emphasis on equity pay and just treatment for adjunct faculty. His research focuses on WPA work in two-year colleges, specifically on working with and for large contingents of non-tenure track faculty; and on collaborative program development, including assessment, faculty development, and curriculum design. He chaired a pre-conference workshop on WPAs in two-year and small colleges at CCCC ‘08 as well as presented research results on adjunct faculty attitudes toward WPAs in two-year colleges; he will present follow-up research at CCCC ’09. He is a member of IWCA and is working with his colleague and wife, Sherri Winans, an IWCA Board member, on the intersection of writing-center theory and composition pedagogy. He has published articles on WPA work, writing assessment, hybrid and online course environments, and writing-center theory and pedagogy, including “Mapping the Terrain: The Two-Year College Writing Program Administrator” (TETYC March 2008). He is currently working with Joe Janangelo and Jeff Andelora on an ad-hoc committee to enhance the CWPA role in two-year colleges. On his campus, he is building a program collaboratively with adjunct and tenured or tenure-track faculty, heading up faculty teams on curriculum design, assessment, and faculty development.
Statement: Having worked at a community college for over a dozen years, I have become acutely aware of the need for program development at two-year and small four-year colleges. I have seen colleagues burn out from excessive workloads and the pedagogy of many lose touch with current research and practice. The two issues are not unrelated. What can CWPA do? It can act on what we know about program administration at two-year colleges (following research by Helen Howell Raines of nearly twenty years ago, Tim N. Taylor in 2007, and my own recent research) to forge an alliance with TYCA to promote the creation of a program administrator position or equivalent at every two-year college. It can work to promote reducing workload while increasing faculty development opportunities and professionalism, especially for adjunct faculty, who teach the majority of writing classes. And it can do so through its journal, its conference, and its standing in the field. As we know, half of all undergraduates in the United States—and traditionally the most marginalized—take writing courses at two-year colleges; they deserve the best educational opportunities we can provide. I have seen first-hand what a WPA position can do at a two-year college and believe more students should benefit. Since I have for many years considered my intellectual home the WPA community (via the WPA listserve and at conferences), I would be honored to have the opportunity to work with board members of the CWPA.
Board member #2: Vote for Dennis Lynch or Chuck Paine
DENNIS LYNCH is director of composition at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and has been a member of the WPA for 10 years. Prior to moving to Milwaukee, he was at Michigan Technological University where he served as director of the writing program for 9 years and graduate director for 3 years. While at MTU, he also was co-editor of the WPA journal from 1998 to 2004 and co-organizer of the 1997 WPA conference at MTU. He has co-authored two textbooks with Anne F. Wysocki, compose/design/advocate: a rhetoric for integrating written, visual, and oral communication, and The DK Handbook. He co-authored a Braddock Award winning article with Marilyn Cooper and Diana George, and has published articles in College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, and WPA: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Admistrators. His areas of study are argumentation theory, rhetorical ethics, the history of relations between composition and communication studies, and the rhetorical study of emotion. Dennis teaches courses in composition studies, modern rhetorical theory, and civic rhetorics.
Statement: The WPA has been and is a strong presence in my professional life: it offers us the opportunity to engage with others who deeply care about the conditions that make possible the teaching of writing. Having recently moved from one college and writing program to another, I especially appreciate the ways the WPA encourages its members to attend to the institutional and philosophical differences among writing programs across the country and around the world. The shape and location of writing instruction—the very notion of composition—has been changing, and it reflects well on the WPA that it so thoughtfully embraces and considers these changes. If elected, I would continue to support the WPA’s ongoing efforts to make sure everyone involved with the teaching of writing feels a part of the organization: lecturers graduate students, and professors; two-year and four-year colleges; writing centers and WAC programs; creative writing and professional and technical communication programs; general education programs; and ESL and international writing programs. The issues that occupy us are scholarly, practical, and political—and I will work to keep all three of these emphases equally balanced.
CHUCK PAINE is a teacher and administrator at the University of New Mexico, where since 1998 he has served as director/co-director of rhetoric and writing, associate dean of the University College, and, currently, assessment coordinator for Arts & Sciences. His earlier work focused on the history of rhetoric and composition history, but he currently focuses most of his efforts on assessment, program administration, and teaching writing. He has published in College English, Rhetoric Review, and Technical Communication Quarterly and has published a book, The Resistant Writer. Currently he is co-editing a collection with the provisional title “Teaching with Student Texts” and co-authoring a rhetoric textbook. Working with WPA and many WPA members, he heads the WPA collaboration with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and coordinates the NSSE-based Consortium for the Study of Writing in College.
Statement: I think I would be a good board member. I’m like most of the people I meet through WPA. I’d rather work with others than work alone, and I like projects that return tangible benefits and help solve problems faced by students, teachers, and administrators. At my school I have a reputation for being, as one of my colleagues put it, a “harmonizer,” someone who fosters connections across groups and who helps groups work together effectively and enjoyably. Like most of the WPAs I know, I work hard at being a good colleague.
These inclinations are shown, I think, in the way I’ve headed up the WPA/NSSE collaboration. Working with WPA members and the researchers at NSSE, we’re getting some interesting things done. Early analyses of the responses from over 23,000 students affirm that many of our best practices for teaching writing do in fact lead to enhanced engagement and learning. Soon, we hope to have some answers about what precisely drives these results and which practices are most significant. But the work has just begun. In the months and years ahead, more WPAs and other researchers can and should get involved. The collaboration succeeds in part because WPA and NSSE benefit mutually. NSSE benefits when we in WPA combine our expertise and resources with theirs to enhance their surveys and produce and analyze data through the consortium. NSSE’s reputation and mission are advanced when we WPAs use their instruments to help answer our local research questions. We benefit from this powerful assessment tool that helps us prove and improve at the national, institutional, and program levels. We benefit because NSSE (especially its Senior Scholar and Director George Kuh) has a “big microphone” that gets bigger every year. NSSE’s findings are heard and heeded by administrators, faculty, legislators, and the general public.
I would work to broaden and systematize WPA’s and WPA members’ connections to NSSE and other organizations with which we can combine expertise and resources. We want to share microphones, but we also want to work with other groups so that everyone (us included) gains a better understanding for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to writing.
Board member #3: Vote for Darsie Bowden or Jeanne Rose
DARSIE BOWDEN began her WPA work in the late1980s as a graduate student at the University of Southern California’s First-Year Writing Program where she served as a program coordinator. In 1992, one year after taking her first job at DePaul University, she became director of DePaul’s Writing Center, then subsequently worked as co-director of DePaul’s first WAC program (with David Jolliffe) and Director of the MA in Writing at DePaul. She is currently director of First-Year Writing, a post she has held intermittently since 1994. She also served as Director of Composition at Western Washington University (2000-1). She is a member of the steering committee for the WPA’s Network for Media Action, served on the local arrangements committee for CCCC in Chicago in 2006 and also on the WPA breakfast committee that same year. She collaborated on two video projects, Writing as Writing Program Administrators (with Peter Vandenberg, 2006) about the WPA conference in Anchorage and Who is a Writer? What Writers Tell Us (2007), produced with Peter Vandenberg, Linda Adler-Kassner and Dominic Delli Carpini, as part of the WPA’s National Conversation on Writing initiative (NCoW). She received an MFA in cinema, worked for eight years as a screenwriter, then obtained a PhD from the University of Southern California in Rhetoric, Linguistics and Literature. She currently specializes in the teaching of composition, composition theory and literacy with articles published in WPA, CCC, Rhetoric Review, and WCJ. She has completed two books, The Mythology of Voice (1999, Heinemann), a critique of the voice metaphor, and Writing for Film (2006, Erlbaum), a screenwriting textbook.
Statement: Like most writing teachers and WPAs, I have struggled to do my job in the face of institutionalized lack of funding, status, and power. As most of us are all too aware, many of the challenges we face stem from a general and often profound lack of knowledge about writing, writers, and the teaching of writing among people outside our field. Public ignorance, compounded by myth and misinformation, contribute, I believe, to the enactment of such dubious projects as NCLB and the popularity of commercial models of assessment that assess very little. The WPA, working in conjunction with CCCC and NCTE, has done much to call into question the development of these programs and practices. My work with the Network for Media Action has provided ways for me to contribute to this project. I believe that WPA needs to continue our fast growing and energetic media campaign—compellingly making the case for the connection between writing, power, and democracy through the diverse media at our disposal. Over the past few years, I have found a professional home in the WPA and have benefited enormously from support, advice, and professional development that mark this organization. I would be honored to be given the chance to give back.
JEANNE MARIE ROSE has been an active member of the Council of Writing Program Administrators since 2002, when she became Composition Coordinator at Penn State Berks, a campus college within the Penn State University System. Currently Associate Professor of English, Rose teaches courses in a range of areas, including rhetorical theory, peer tutoring, business and professional writing, first-year composition, and American Literature. Her research focuses on the institutional and pedagogical intersections between composition and literature, and her most recent work has appeared in Computers and Composition, Composition Forum, and the edited collections Integrating Literature and Writing Instruction: First-Year English, Humanities Core Courses, Seminars (MLA, 2007) and Collaborating(,) Literature (,) and Composition: An Anthology for Teachers and Writers of English (Hampton, 2007). Her scholarly work has also addressed business and professional writing and theories of administration, and her article “Coming of Age as a WPA: From Personal to Personnel” appeared in WPA Journal in 2005. Rose sees service to the profession as an integral part of her professional identity. From 2006-2007, she served as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Writing Program Administrators, a regional affiliate of WPA. She currently serves as one of two Book Reviews Editors for WPA Journal and has recently joined the Network for Media Action.
Statement: Election to the WPA Executive Board would be an extension of my longstanding interest in the intellectual work of writing program administration. Energized by my own early-career involvement in WPA, I am committed to working to sustain WPA’s commitment to mentoring its members through both formal channels, like the Summer Workshop and Assistant Professor Administrators Special Interest Group, both of which I’ve participated in and benefited from, and the informal networking that routinely takes place through our conferences, listservs, and friendships. If elected, I hope to foster WPA’s emphasis on professional development for its members, all of whom face increasing challenges in light of recent trends in educational policy. I see WPA as a locus of outreach and activism, work already underway thanks to the efforts of the Network for Media Action (NMA) and the National Conversation on Writing (NCoW). I am interested in creating opportunities to bring even greater awareness of national concerns to WPAs’ work at their local institutions, specifically as legislative calls for accountability position WPAs in new and demanding situations. To that end, I am committed to sustaining WPA’s efforts to recruit new members and provide resources that enable them to succeed at their home institutions. Finally, as a WPA at an institution that is at once a small college and a part of a large research university, I will bring a unique perspective that enables me to maintain WPA’s commitment to working on behalf of WPAs at diverse colleges and universities.