Pomona College’s Search Committee for the Director of College Writing has narrowed its search to four candidates and is seeking student input on the finalists.
The Director will oversee Pomona’s Writing Center, train faculty on how to teach writing, and teach two writing-intensive courses each semester. The director will also oversee the ID001 Critical Inquiry Program, a writing and discussion-based program Pomona first-years are required to take in their first semester. ID001 courses range in subject matter but are all intended to familiarize first-years with the college writing process.
The position was previously held by Dara Regaignon, now an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Expository Writing Program at New York University. After she officially left the Pomona faculty in Fall 2015, the Search Committee began the process of finding a new candidate.
“An academic search process takes a year, because there is a particular cycle, and so if all goes well we’ll have a new [director] starting in the new school year,” Anne Dwyer, ID001 Coordinator and chair of the Search Committee, said.
As part of the final selection process, the candidates have given sample lessons and research talks throughout late January and early February and students and faculty have had the opportunity to provide feedback on the finalists.
ASPC Commissioner of Academic Affairs Christina Tong PO ‘17 said that students are already getting involved in improving Pomona’s writing program by participating in the search process for the new director.
“We first began speaking with Professor Anne Dwyer … and she was really helpful and gave us some good information,” Tong said. “And then we have those teaching demos for those students at the final stage. So we have been getting quite a bit of student input in the process.”
Dwyer said that she has been working with the search committee and Assistant Director of College Writing Pam Bromley to “step in and plug the holes, and keep the program afloat until we find a new good person for the job.”
The director will also be involved in planning Pomona's new general education requirement in writing, which will take effect in the 2016-2017 school year. A variety of classes will be eligible to fulfill the writing requirement, and the director will be involved in the process of deciding which courses qualify. The director will work with the Writing and Critical Thinking Committee, which will be composed of faculty members and two students, to plan the writing requirement and strengthen Pomona’s writing program.
Both Tong and Dwyer stated that they are looking for a director who will be able to serve Pomona’s diverse student body.
“We want someone … who will really be able to talk to students and faculty, and we want somebody with a really inclusive vision,” Dwyer said. “One of the important things about this job is to really be able to mentor a diverse student body and to teach about writing … We want someone who has the capacity to really assess what’s going on and to suggest interesting innovations.”