Additional information on Writing Center Director search (2018-2019)

We are seeking a new Director for our Writing Center, as Mary Ellen Bertolini will be retiring in Summer 2019. The ad for this position can be found at 

Below are some additional details about application materials, the search timeline, and expectations for teaching, scholarly activity, and institutional service in this position.

Additional Application Details:

Writing Sample- Please share with us a piece of writing written for a scholarly and/or professional audience. This could be an article or book chapter from your research or a pedagogical/theoretical essay about an issue in the field.  A piece of published or in-progress work related to writing centers would be particularly welcomed, but we are open to work on other topics as well.

Teaching Philosophy- In 1-2 pages, please tell us more about your vision for teaching in a liberal arts environment. Include examples of what this vision looks like in practice.You may also wish to discuss how your teaching philosophy informs (or would inform) your work in faculty development.

Statement of Approach to Writing Center Administration- Please tell us more about your knowledge and experience working with writing centers, and how you might envision your role as the Director of the Writing Center at Middlebury College. Questions you might address include:

  • What do you see as the role of a college writing center, particularly at an institution like Middlebury?
  • What do you see as “best practices” for writing center administration, pedagogy, and assessment?
  • How would you go about assessing needs and evaluating effectiveness of a writing center such as ours?

Search Timeline 

October 19th through mid-November: Review of applications.

Mid-November through early-December: Phone/Skype interviews (30 min. each with approximately 10 candidates).

Mid-January through early-February 2019: Campus visits for two candidates.
     These visits will include:

  • A class simulation with Middlebury students
  • A presentation or workshop for Middlebury faculty and staff
  • Individual meetings with all Writing and Rhetoric Program faculty, as well as with some administrators, including informational (non-evaluative) meetings with the retiring Writing Center Director (Mary Ellen Bertolini) and Chief Diversity Officer (Miguel Fernández)
  • Additional meetings with colleagues in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research (CTLR), the First-Year Seminar (FYS) Program, and other offices
  • A campus tour, tailored to meet the interests and needs of the candidate

Position Expectations:

Teaching: The Writing Center Director receives a course release in Fall and Spring for administrative work; thus, the annual teaching load for our new colleague will be 2 or 3 courses (since a typical faculty teaching load in our program is 4-5 courses per year, which usually includes teaching Winter term for two years with one year off). In fall and spring semesters, the Director will do individual tutoring with students as part of their teaching load.  The courses taught will include thematic, writing-intensive seminars for first-year students, 100-level “Writing in Academic Contexts” courses for emergent writers, and (ideally) a new course in Writing about Quantitative Data. There may be opportunities to teach occasional upper-level electives as well, such as a course on Writing Pedagogy or a related topic of interest.

Scholarly and professional engagement:  We expect that much of the scholarly and professional activity from this new colleague will be related to writing studies, likely including writing center administration. This includes conference presentations and other involvement with professional organizations, as well as professional and/or scholarly publications. Creative work, public writing, and work in non-traditional formats (multimedia, open access, etc.) are also recognized as scholarship for the purposes of review and promotion. Middlebury College offers many resources to support scholarly and professional engagement, including:

  • Start-up funds (negotiated individually with each new hire)
  • Generous funding allocations for conference travel and other professional development needs
  • A robust undergraduate research assistant program
  • Opportunities for faculty-to-faculty mentoring, peer review, and presentation

Institutional Service: We recognize that directorship of the writing center entails a great deal of collaboration with faculty, staff, administration, and students. We expect that writing center advocacy, training, and assessment will be the main form of institutional service for this new colleague. We will also invite this colleague to join faculty development initiatives, including our annual Writing and Teaching Retreat in August and the various faculty discussions and workshops offered throughout the academic year.