As part of the Inkshed 2015 conference, I would like to issue a broad call for volunteers to contribute (words, comments, ideas, support of all kinds) to the following document:

Draft Position Statement on Writing Centres

This document will be a statement we would like to bring to the academic writing-related associations in Canada (CWCA, CASLL/Inkshed, CASDW, ACWCA, CAWS, WSSO) for input and, eventually, approval. I hope that this will be a concise statement of principles that we all, more or less, agree on. It is my experience that some kind of authoritative statement would be useful in administrative decision-making. 

The reason or motivation for working on this document comes from the recent (2014) closing of the University of the Fraser Valley writing centre and the move of the University of Calgary writing centre into student services (2012?). The dismissal of Boba Samuels, director of the writing centre at Wilfrid Laurier, pointed to the problematic classification and hiring of academics (writing specialists) into non-academic positions (management) where they are not protected by union membership or as academics. We need to proactively and clearly announce and publicize how we feel writing specialists of all kinds should be treated as employees, beginning with a statement of principles. Let's begin working on this now, with a draft of this document.


If you are interested in helping to write this document or in offering comments on it, email [log in to unmask] and let me know.

I'll add you to the website so that you can read and comment on the document as it evolves. If you can attend the one-day in-person part of the conference (details here:, that would be great. But even if you can't, I would value your participation and comments.


Roger Graves

Roger Graves
Director, Writing Across the Curriculum
Interim Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning
University of Alberta
5-02 Cameron
Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8
University of Alberta
(780) 492-4704

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