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Speaking of Change

barclay_barrios
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Change is very much in the air here at Florida Atlantic University.  Our president resigned, we’re starting a national search for a dean for our college, and we’re moving to a new chair in the department. Change, of course, can be exciting: a time for new growth, new hope, and new directions.  It can also be terrifying: a time of uncertainty, instability, shifting lines of institutional power. I tend to remain optimistic in the face of change.  It’s not that hard to do when you run a writing program.  As my mentor Richard E. Miller once remarked (I may be slightly paraphrasing), writing programs have one fundamental asset—we have all the students. For sure our program is the economic engine of our college, thanks to the role we play in the core curriculum.  That is, of course, a double-edged sword, since it risks turning our courses into “service courses” and thus devaluing the program, the department, and the college.  Perhaps so.  But having weathered many changes already I will say this much: service or not, there is some measure of security when you are vital to the basic functioning of the university.
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.