And thus ends my duties as the Emperor of Writing

Along with my colleague Cheryl Cassidy, I had a couple of advising oriented meeting with some students about our MA program this afternoon– this while also trying to wrap up my spring teaching, too.  A couple hours after that, I had the pleasure of forwarding an email inquiry from a student directly to Cheryl, who is taking over as the new writing program coordinator starting, well, now.

And thus ends my era as the Emperor of Writing here at EMU.

Much of my thoughts on all this are more “insider politics” than is probably appropriate here, but basically, I am passing the torch on my position as the writing program coordinator.  I’ve been in this quasi-academic administrative position for two and a half years.  In exchange for a couple of course releases a year, I have been advising undergraduate and graduate students in all kinds of different ways, chaired the program’s committee, and done a bunch of other paperwork/dirty-work kinds of things.  On the whole, I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s time for someone else to have a turn and it’s time for me to step back a bit.

It ought to be interesting.  In the ten years I’ve been at EMU, I think I have “just taught” (that is, not have release time to do some kind of quasi-administrative thing) only two or three school years.  These releases are a mixed bag.  On the one hand, the responsibilities are typically too great to do them without release time.  On the other hand, because program coordinators receive release time, the general vibe of other faculty has been “hey, you get release time– you do it.”  I don’t have a particularly good solution to this, but there ought to be a system that gives faculty credit for doing this “extra” work while simultaneously encouraging a wider variety of faculty both “chip in” and to “buy in” to this quasi-administrative work.

In any event, I’ll be doing my part to chip in and help Cheryl out as much as I can.  At the same time, I’m looking forward to going to a while lot fewer meetings this fall.

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2 Responses to And thus ends my duties as the Emperor of Writing

  1. cheryl says:

    As the new Empress of writing, I must say I underestimated the amount of work this position requires. Steve, you are going to be a hard act to follow. Just in the past week (remember, this is summer term) I have spent over 12 hours meeting with students and doing the grinding bureaucratic nonsense that we are required to do. If this is summer term and I’ve spent that many hours, what will the fall and winter terms bring? I must say that the enormous work load required for a paltry one class release time is probably why no one wants to take on these quasi administrative positions. I, for one, avoided this sort of thing like the plague because I knew that doing the job would suck up vast amounts of time and effort, leaving little for my classes.
    However, I am going to give the job my best effort for at least a year. I’m also going to keep track of the hours I spend so I can make a case for more release time or so I can whine about the job. Interestingly, I don’t remember these sort of positions being all that onerous in the past. In the last 10 years or so (more likely since the corporate world in the semblance of former (fired) Kirkpatrick entered the EMU scene ) more and more administrative work has landed on faculty. And I might add, less and less work seems to be done by higher administrative types.

  2. cheryl says:

    Ok. I’m done whining and I’m not going to keep track of the hours I spend as Empress of Writing. I just had to get that last comment off my chest. Now I can move on.

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