The Promise and Perils of Writing Program Administration

SKU: 978-1-60235-050-2

Edited by Theresa Enos and Shane Borrowman

Jillian Skeffington, Assistant Editor

Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition
Edited by Patricia Sullivan, Catherine Hobbs, Thomas Rickert, and Jennifer Bay

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978-1-60235-050-2 (paperback; $32.00; £17.00; €22.00); © 2008 by Parlor Press. 372 pages, with index, notes, and bibliography

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978-1-60235-051-9 (hardcover; $65.00; £35.00; €45.00); 978-1-60235-052-6 (Adobe eBook; $18.00; £10.00; €13.00)

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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.


Chris Anson, Shane Borrowman, Stuart C. Brown, Nita Danko, Suellynn Duffey, Ernest J. Enchelmayer, Theresa Enos, Megan Fulwiler, Ann E. Green, Jeanne Gunner, Douglas Hesse, Elizabeth Hodges, Lauren Sewell Ingraham, Emily Isaacs, Patti J. Kurtz, Claire C. Lamonica, Camille Langston, Andrea A. Lunsford, Randall McClure, Susan H. McLeod, Richard McNabb, Thomas P. Miller, Cynthia Nearman, Erin O’Neill, Melissa Nicolas, Christine Norris, Chere L. Peguesse, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, E. Shelley Reid, Stephanie Roach, Duane Roen, Shirley K Rose, David Schwalm, Jillian Skeffington, Matt Smith, Martha A. Townsend, John Trimbur, Victor Villanueva, Margaret E. Weaver, Edward M. White, Kathleen Blake Yancey, and Art Young.

About the Editors

Theresa Enos is Professor of English at the University of Arizona, the founder and editor of Rhetoric Review, and a past president of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. She has edited or coedited twelve books, including the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition and The Writing Program Administrator’s Resource: A Guide to Reflective Institutional Practice.

Shane Borrowman is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, a former writing program administrator, and the author of articles appearing in Rhetoric Review, College Teaching, and WPA: Writing Program Administration.

Jillian Skeffington is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona.


Foreword, John Trimbur

1 Living in the Spaces Between: Profiling the Writing Program Administrator, Jillian Skeffington, Shane Borrowman, and Theresa Enos

2 “Creating a Context”: The Institutional Logic of the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ Development of the Consultant-Evaluator Service, Shirley K Rose

3 Credibility, Disciplinary Bias, and the WPA

Sharing WPA Perils as Pearls of Wisdom, Ernest J. Enchelmayer
Two Things, Patti J. Kurtz
Rocking the Boat: Asserting Authority and Change in a Writing Program, Richard McNabb
Irreconcilable Differences: One Former WPD’s, Cautionary Tale, Erin O’Neill
Portraits of a Field, Chris Anson, Jeanne Gunner, and Thomas P. Miller

4 Tenure-Track Faculty as WPAs

Notes from a New WPA, Megan Fulwiler
An Army of One: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of WPA Work for the Lone Compositionist, Randall McClure
Why I Won’t Keep My Head Down or Follow Other Bad Advice for the Junior Faculty WPA, Stephanie Roach
Writing Program Administration at the Small University, Matt Smith
Location and the WPA, Stuart C. Brown, Andrea A. Lunsford, and Edward M. White

5 Nontenure-Track Faculty as WPAs

Without Title: One NTT’s Struggle in the TT Society, Nita Danko
Skeletons in the Closet, Ghosts, and Other Invisible Creatures, Suellynn Duffey
Neither Fish Nor Fowl: The Promise and Peril of Directing a Program on an Administrative Line, Claire C. Lamonica
One White Girl’s Failed Attempt to Unsilence the Dialogue, Cynthia Nearman
Three Reflections and an Observation, Susan H. McLeod, Victor Villanueva, and Douglas Hesse

6 Tenure, Promotion, and the WPA

What Is Research and Writing? Emily Isaacs
A New WPA at a Small Private School with Large Public(ation) Expectations, Camille Langston
Fit for an Unfit Fittedness: National Writing Project Site Directors as WPAs, Chere L. Peguesse
Will Administrate for Tenure, or, Be Careful What You Ask For, E. Shelley Reid
A Prologue and Three Responses, Duane Roen, Kathleen Blake Yancey, and David Schwalm

7 Understanding Ourselves, Our Work, and Our Working Conditions

At the Pleasure of the Chair: A Cautionary Tale from the Private Side of the Public Story, Elizabeth Hodges
Diversity Work and the WPA: Feminist Writing Center Work Prior to Tenure, Ann E. Green
“Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t”: The Ethical and Professional Dilemmas of WPA Work for Those Who Know Better, Melissa Nicolas
Exploitation, Opportunity, and Writing Program Administration, Christine Norris
Three Responses and a Prologue, Martha A. Townsend, Art Young, and Louise Wetherbee Phelps

8 Identity Theft of a Writing Center Director: The New Art of Academic Punishment, Margaret E. Weaver

9 From Adjunct Wrangler to Autonomous WPA: The Surprising Benefits of Pretenure Writing Program Administration, Lauren Sewell Ingraham

Appendix A: WPA Survey
Appendix B: The Portland Resolution
Appendix C: Council of Writing Program Administrators Statement on Intellectual Work
Appendix D: The WPA Outcomes Statement

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