Hi, Pat, and welcome to the list!
My experience at Toronto and what I've observed elsewhere makes me answer
strongly that your appointment should be in the academic category -- in
fact, as a full faculty member. Your work is teaching, after all, and if
it's to be more than a service operation, it should let you work along with
the other people who are teaching students. If you can talk collegially
with course instructors, you can learn more about what's expected from your
students and start to influence course and assignment design. Serving on
faculty committees (hiring, budget, curriculum) also gives you a better
view of the university structure so you can stake out the position of the
writing centre within it.
To answer your factual question, all the people teaching in the 13 or so
writing centres at the University of Toronto are in faculty positions (or
occasionally teaching assistants, the junior version). We're nearly all in
the teaching stream rather than the tenure stream, which does mean that we
don't always have access to the research opportunities some of us want. At
U of T, however, these positions can gain continuing status (equivalent to
tenure) after a rigorous review at the five-year mark. Many of us do manage
to conduct some research too, and we sit on the types of committees I
mentioned, including also the Executive of the Faculty Association. Our
faculty status is essential to positioning our programs as part of the
academic work of the university. It's still not easy -- but being academics
ourselves definitely helps.
All the best,
(Dr.) Margaret Procter
University of Toronto
Coordinator, Writing Support
15 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7
(416) 978-8109; FAX (416) 971-2027
Pat Saunders wrote:
> Hello All,
> I am new to the list and to CASLL. Last July I became Director of
> the new Writing Centre at St.Mary's.Previously I was at Dalhousie for
> three years where I introduced a retention credit-based courses--
> "Foundations for Learning" and "Foundations for Science Learning" and
> before that taught for a number of years in the Writing Program at
> Rutgers University.
> I am writing today with a request for information concerning the
> types of appointments held by other Writing Centre Directors. My
> position is an administrative professional appointment reporting
> directly to the VP Academic&Research. The Faculty Union here has
> challenged the nature of
> the position arguing that it should be an Academic ( not a faculty
> one--something more like our University Librarians hold) appointment,
> and thus covered under the collective agreement.
> There appear to be advantages for each type of appointment, and it is
> not yet clear what the result of Union's challenge will be.
> I am wondering if there is any consistency in the types of
> appointments Directors at other institutions hold, and would appreciate
> any information or reflections on the issue you might be
> willing to share.
> Thanks and I hope to meet many of you at Inkshed in May.
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To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
[log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
For the list archives and information about the organization,
its newsletter, and the annual conference, go to