Full/Associate Professor and Director of Sweetland Center for Writing, University of Michigan

Director, Sweetland Center for Writing

The University of Michigan is searching for a new faculty director of the Sweetland Center for Writing. The new director should be an outstanding scholar and teacher who qualifies for a tenured faculty appointment in a relevant department at the rank of associate or full professor. Candidates should possess a distinguished record of research excellence and teaching in writing studies, rhetoric, digital and multimodal composition, or a related field, as well as a record of successful administrative experience. The directorship is a five-year renewable appointment; like other chairs and directors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), the Sweetland director has reduced teaching in the home academic department(s) during the period of the appointment.

Application review will begin December 6, 2017 for an expected start date of July 1, 2018. Applicants should send a detailed letter describing their qualifications for and interest in the position, a curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three references. Applications should be submitted at https://webapps.lsa.umich.edu/Apply/1100. The University of Michigan is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, supportive of the needs of dual career couples. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.

The University of Michigan Sweetland Center for Writing

The Sweetland Center for Writing, a comprehensive writing center and an independent academic unit in LSA, exists to support student writing at all levels and in all forms and modes. To accomplish this mission, Sweetland oversees the College of LSA’s First-Year and Upper-Level writing requirements, offers one-to-one tutoring for undergraduate and graduate students in its faculty-led Writing Workshop and undergraduate Peer Writing Center, and teaches writing courses from the 100 to the graduate level. Sweetland provides support for multilingual and international undergraduate students; it also assists faculty who are teaching multilingual students with resources and seminars. In addition, Sweetland offers the Sweetland Minor in Writing, teaches and supports digital media and multimodal forms of writing, and runs the invitational Dissertation Writing Institute, Sweetland Fellows Seminar, and M-Write Seminar.

The Sweetland Center for Writing also serves as a vibrant hub of research on writing. The Center has just completed a five-year longitudinal study of student writing development focused on students in the Minor in Writing Program. It has also launched the nationally recognized Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, a digital book series with UM Press and a popular website created by and for the computers and writing community. Another large-scale research initiative focuses on the role of writing in STEM courses. Sweetland has hosted two major writing conferences over the past six years and continues to pursue research-based interventions into Directed Self-Placement, support for transfer students, the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR), peer tutoring, digital rhetoric, and support for international and multilingual students.


The primary duties and responsibilities of the director include:

  • Provide vision, leadership, and strategic direction for Sweetland to fulfill its teaching and service mission.  
  • Plan and direct the development, implementation, and administration of all teaching programs, services, research, and other initiatives for the Sweetland Center for Writing. Cultivate approaches to program development and implementation in collaboration with Sweetland faculty and staff.
  • Oversee all First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) and ULWR courses, including approving courses, training instructors, and consulting about curriculum with faculty across the disciplines.
  • Develop and manage the Sweetland budget. Lead ongoing efforts to strengthen financial resources of the Center.  
  • Supervise Sweetland staff, oversee faculty reviews, and promote professional development for Sweetland faculty.
  • Recruit outstanding faculty who, through their pedagogical expertise, further Sweetland’s pedagogical and outreach mission.
  • Lead the Sweetland Fellows Seminar, helping faculty from multiple disciplines build expertise in the teaching of writing.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with departments, programs, and faculty in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the College of Engineering, and other schools and colleges across campus, and promote knowledge about writing in the disciplines across campus.
  • Monitor the higher education environments for opportunities for Sweetland to provide national—and international—leadership in writing studies.
  • Regularly review and assess Sweetland’s programs and curriculum to measure their effectiveness.

Desired Qualifications

PhD required, in writing studies, rhetoric, or a related discipline. Candidates should possess a distinguished record of research and teaching excellence, as well as significant program administration experience in a complex academic environment. Candidates should also demonstrate: ability to relate effectively to a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures; a proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; a commitment to advocacy for non-tenure track faculty; knowledge of writing programs and/or writing centers, as well as WAC/WID; experience with budgeting, research design, and faculty mentoring.

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