Finding writing where it lives: Departmental relationships and relationships in departments

In this chapter, Robert Scafe and Michele Eodice argue that, for many years, their approach to writing center and WAC program administration “would hardly be classified as systemic or sustainable” (Cox, Galin, & Melzer, 2018). They reflect that their approach relied too heavily on “micro-level, decentralized pedagogical work” (p. 236), the kind of approach to writing program administration Cox, Galin, and Melzer characterized as not promoting program longevity. However, Scafe and Eodice argue for the value of the relationships with faculty formed by this kind of micro-level work, and in this chapter, they develop a conceptual framework informed by WEC’s focus on collaborative labor, mutual respect, and relational work and supported with a case study from a WEC initiative in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

Introduction. WEC and the strength of the commons

In this introduction to an edited collection, Chris Anson refers to Cox, Galin, & Melzer (2018) to discuss features of unsustainable WAC programs and argues that writing-enriched curriculum (WEC) initiatives offer one approach that addresses problems that have led to failure of WAC programs for decades. As argued by Anson, in contrast to many WAC programs, WEC programs feature agency of departments to determine how best writing is integrated into their curricula, position WEC leaders as intermediators between the department and administration (rather than enforcer of the administration’s mandates), and is designed to promote sustainability by scaling gradually and using assessment practices.

The new grass roots: Faculty responses to the writing-enriched curriculum

Early in the chapter, Chris Anson refers to Cox, Galin, and Melzer (2018) to state that “sustainability is the lifeblood of WAC programs” (p. 46) and argues that what happens during the early stages of implementation is especially key to program sustainability. This chapter draws on interviews from WEC initiatives in several departments to report on how faculty attitudes toward writing were impacted during the implementation of WEC.

Writing-enriched curriculum: A model for making and sustaining change

In this analysis of how she developed the writing-enriched curriculum model of the University of Minnesota, Pamela Flash draws on Cox, Galin and Melzer (2018) to argue that the model’s “durability and portability rely on it’s conscientious consideration of components and heuristics helpful to sustainable program development” (p. 20). Further, consideration of Cox, Galin and Melzer’s (2018) move to theorize WAC program administration led her to do the same in this chapter: “In Sustainable WAC, Cox et al. suggest that people interested in establishing durable writing initiatives find less value in narrative accounts of individual, contextually idiosyncratic programs and observation-based analyses than in analytic frameworks and tested administrative heuristics. I agree” (p. 20).

Piloting WEC as a context-responsive writing research initiative

In this chapter on the transition from a WAC to a WEC initiative at Moravian University, Crystal Fodrey and Chris Hassay describe how Fodrey used a whole systems approach (Cox, Galin, and Melzer, 2018) to make Fodrey’s administrative position more manageable. For example, she advocated within the English department to revise their scholarship statement so that “administrative contributions that promote intellectual growth” would now count as scholarly production toward tenure and promotion (p. 170). She was then able to frame WEC as research, for which she applied for and received two summer research grants (p. 170).

Theorizing the WEC model with the whole systems approach to WAC program sustainability

In this chapter, Jeffrey Galin draws on data from the WAC program he directs at Florida Atlantic University, arguably the first program to use a whole systems approach (Cox, Galin, and Melzer, 2018) in conjunction with a QEP initiative, he began a WEC initiative in order to revitalize a longstanding WAC program, and in this chapter, he traces how he used collaborative and consensus building to develop a program mission, goals, and sustainability indicators (drawing also on Cox & Galin, 2019). Included in this chapter are useful sample materials: a slide from a meeting with the political science department laying out the writing plan (p. 184), the mission he developed with his colleagues (p. 192), sustainability indicator ranges (193-196), resulting data (p.196), and that data presenting visually (pp. 198-199). This chapter would be fruitful to read alongside Cox and Galin (2019) and Peters (2019).

Something larger than imagined: Developing a theory, building an organization, sustaining a movement

In this interview with Cox, Melzer, and Galin, Thomas Polks asks the authors of Sustainable WAC about the formation of AWAC, how they developed the Whole Systems Theory for sustainable WAC programs, their current thinking about WAC leadership, and what is next for the WAC movement and AWAC.

“Something invisible … has been made visible for me”: An expertise-based WAC seminar model grounded in theory and (cross) disciplinary dialogue

In this chapter, Angela Glotfelter, Ann Updike, and Elizabeth Wardle refer to Cox, Galin, and Melzer (2018) to argue that many WAC programs seek long-term, sustainable change to a campus writing culture, one-time faculty development workshops rarely achieve this goal. To address this problem, they propose the faculty learning community model, a model found successful at the Howe Center for Writing Excellence at Miami University. This chapter reports on preliminary data.

The formation of a professional organization for writing across the curriculum

This chapter describes the development of the first professional organization for the field of writing across the curriculum: the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC). As discussed in this chapter, one impetus for the development of this organization was the sustainability of the field. While the field was comprised of a number of initiatives and groups, such as a biennial conference (IWAC), a listserv (WAC-L), a website that published open-source journals and books (the WAC Clearinghouse), Chris Basgier et al. point to Cox, Galin and Melzer (2018) to argue that the lack of a central hub has “limited what this collection of WAC groups has been able to accomplish” (p. 36).

Introduction. On connection, diversity, and resilience in writing across the curriculum

In the introduction to their edited collection, Diverse approaches to teaching, learning, and writing across the curriculum: IWAC at 25, Leslie Bartlett, Sandra Tarabochia, Andrea Olinger, and Margaret Marshall describe their volume as one that complements Cox, Galin, and Melzer (2018) Sustainable WAC, as it demonstrates the sustainability of WAC as a movement of the chapters included in the collection focus on themes only touched on in Cox et al., namely “individual teacher’s classroom practices” and the “preparation of future WAC scholars” (p. 5).