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.