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Writing program coordinator sought

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 28 - April 13, 1995

"Synergy and Collaboration: Innovative Writing Techniques in HR Courses" (Marshall-Baker, Lytton, Benson, Blieszner, Buffer, Giddings, Parsons, and Thye); "An Integrated Writing and Communications Program for Materials Engineers" (Hendricks and Pappas); "Integrating Writing Across the Curriculum and Experiential Exercises to Teach about Addiction" (Buikema), classroom experiments with journals (Holzer), writing-to-learn (Parker), multi-media (Lee); a new consortium of K-16 teachers (Smith, Lewis, Ariew).

This array of article submissions, workshops, successful grants and grant proposals, and other curricular innovations represents the commitment of Virginia Tech faculty members to undergraduate written and oral communication skills--a commitment which is the more striking in these hard economic conditions, when so many demands are being placed on faculty time. This year 17 Virginia Tech faculty members were selected to present their work at the International Writing Across the Curriculum conference (the largest number from any institution), 20 writing-intensive courses have now been approved, and many departments across campus are experimenting with student portfolios and computer applications of writing instruction.

For the second successive year, 30 faculty members from across the university will convene for May seminars to write, talk, and share ideas about "Assigning Writing to Improve Teaching and Learning."

Nancy Metz has completed her two-year term as founding coordinator of the University Writing Program, and will be returning to full-time responsibilities in the English Department at the end of the semester. A call for faculty members interested in filling the position of coordinator follows. The coordinator will provide leadership for writing in all the disciplines and majors of the university; faculty members in all departments are encouraged to apply. Interests in writing improvement and writing as a method of learning are essential, but faculty members need not define themselves as "experts" in writing to provide coordination and leadership in this effort.

Coordinator of the University Writing Program.

The Provost's Office invites nominations and applications for the position of coordinator of the University Writing Program. The University Writing Program, an associated program with the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, is the resource and coordination center for the university's efforts in improving the written communication skills of students. Candidates must be tenured faculty members at Virginia Tech. The coordinator will serve half-time in the program, and continue to serve as a half-time faculty member in his or her home department. The coordinator works closely with the director of the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and reports to the associate provost for undergraduate programs. The appointment is for a two-year period.

The coordinator will act as an advocate and facilitator for the new University Core Curriculum's Area 1 requirements, which call for an expanded role for writing in the undergraduate experience. The coordinator chairs an interdisciplinary advisory committee, and serves as a liaison between this committee and the University Core Curriculum Committee.

The coordinator is responsible for promoting writing throughout the curricula of the university's programs, and will organize a team of workshop leaders to offer a varied program of faculty development (brown bags, seminars, teleconferences, outside speakers, etc.) The program publishes a newsletter under the direction of the coordinator. The program office is located in Hillcrest Hall, and the coordinator will work closely not only with the CEUT, but also with the University Honors Program, the Office of Academic Enrichment Programs, and the Academic Assessment Program on a variety of projects related to the improvement and assessment of undergraduate education.

Secretarial support and assistance with desktop publishing and publicity are provided. Applicants outside the English department are especially invited to apply for this rotating position.

Review of letters of application with an accompanying vita will begin April 24. Applications should include names of three references. Virginia Tech is committed to diversity among its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. The position will be available Aug. 16, 1995. Nominations and applications should be sent to Dr. Susan R. Brooker-Gross, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs, 201 Burruss Hall Campus 0132. Phone: 231-6122 FAX: 231-7211 email: srb144@vt.edu.