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Associate/Full Professor (Open Rank) of Rhetoric and Composition and First-Year Composition

Northern Illinois University
Illinois, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 14, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Other Communications, Speech & Rhetoric, Humanities, English & Literature, Other Humanities, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Other Academic Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Description Summary

The Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University ( NIU ) welcomes applicants who qualify for a short-track or tenurable position as Associate or Full Professor of Rhetoric and Composition and Director of First-Year Composition ( FYC ).

The FYC Program’s 40 graduate assistants (GAs) and 15 instructors teach over 2,300 students per semester in approximately 200 sections per year. A sequence of two FYC Foundational Studies classes are required for graduation. FYC pioneered and remains at the forefront of electronic portfolio assessment on campus. GAs and instructors actively participate as leaders in professional-development events such as the monthly “FYComp Fridays” and the annual Showcase of Student Writing. FYC and its Writers’ Workshop play a prominent role in the university’s 50-year-old CHANCE Program to retain under-prepared students. FYC also works closely with the University Writing Center, the NIU Honors Program, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The FYC Program garners the support of a vibrant English department that confers a Master’s and Ph.D. in several areas of specialization and a writing track in the undergraduate major. GAs prominently represent FYC in the department’s annual Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media.

NIU’s commitment to diversity includes a thriving Office of Academic, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 6 cultural resource centers, and 6 academic diversity centers. FYC has actively participated in diversity/inclusion efforts since its 1974 role in College Composition and Communication’s position statement on Students’ Right to Their Own Language. NIU is a 2021 recipient of Insight into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award and an AACU Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus. NIU draws its predominately first-generation students and transfers from the cities of Chicago and Rockford, their suburbs, and the rural areas of the region. Students and faculty enjoy easy access to urban cultural life while taking advantage of the region’s many excellent parks and wildlife preserves.

Northern Illinois University seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce to maintain the excellence of the University, and to offer students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning. In accordance with OFCCP regulations, Northern Illinois University encourages applications regardless of race/color, sex, gender, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected category.

Position Summary
The Director’s 1-1 teaching load includes a practicum for newly admitted graduate assistants teaching FYC and another course (e.g., Traditions in Written Rhetoric; Rhetoric of Prose Composition; Methods of Research in Professional Writing; Technical Writing and Editing; Writing for Digital Media; and seminars on topics in Rhetorical Studies such as Latinx/Black/Asian/Cultural Rhetorics; Anti-racist Pedagogies and Assessment; Intercultural Communication). The Director will collaborate with a designated office-support staff member and two full-time assistant directors who have extensive practice with instructional technology, e-portfolios, professional development of GAs/instructors, and FYC’s role in the university’s CHANCE Program for supporting under-prepared first-year students. The Director’s duties include maintaining the FYC curriculum with sensitivity to an increasingly diverse student population; supervising GAs and experienced instructors; directing or serving on exam, thesis, and dissertation committees; and reporting on the FYC program to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a university that is becoming an Hispanic-serving institution.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Prepare English GAs in the annual practicum to teach introductory courses in academic writing, based on methods current to the discipline of Rhetoric and Composition as represented in the English department’s practicum on College Teaching of English
  • Teach another course annually in rhetoric, technical writing, or digital writing
  • Conduct a week-long preparatory session for new GAs in teaching ENGL 103 before the start of fall-semester courses and a one-day preparatory session in teaching ENGL 203 before the start of spring-semester courses
  • Develop and update the FYC curriculum
  • Maintain a roster of well-qualified FYC instructors in accordance with the university’s collective bargaining agreement for NIU instructors
  • Assign GAs and instructors to the fall, spring, and summer schedules of courses for FYC, in collaboration with the Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Oversee the continued professional development of GAs and instructors
  • Oversee electronic portfolio assessment at the end of the fall and spring semesters and provide results for the Director of Undergraduate Studies’ annual report to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Collaborate closely with assistant directors of FYC on GA training, programmatic policies, and improvements
  • Work closely with designated FYC office support staff to conduct the program’s day-to-day operations, communications, and meeting of important deadlines
  • Prepare cyclical course-review documents on FYC to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and supply the department Chair with programmatic information during cyclical department program reviews
  • Serve on the department’s standing Directors’ committee and Department Council meetings; attend CHANCE committee meetings; chair FYC committee meetings re: textbook decisions, professional development, assessment, and programmatic policies
  • Conduct annual reviews for FYC instructors and convene annual update meetings according to the instructors’ collective bargaining agreement
  • Conduct at least one course observation and follow-up report for new GAs during fall and spring semesters, and oversee assistant directors’ observations/reports on reappointed GAs
  • Meet with GAs, instructors, and FYC students, regarding grade appeals and other programmatic concerns
  • Represent or oversee appointment of an FYC representative to the Illinois Articulation Initiative
  • Direct or serve on relevant exam, thesis, and dissertation committees
  • Evaluate student requests for FYC transfer credit
Required Qualifications

Minimum/Basic Required Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition or Writing Studies
  • Two years’ minimum relevant administrative experience. Three to five-year commitment to the FYC directorship.
  • Experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • A substantive record of publication in Rhetoric and Composition and/or Writing Program Administration plus documentation of a strong, relevant research agenda
  • Demonstrated potential to work with various constituencies in a Master’s and Ph.D.-granting department with a writing track in the undergraduate major
  • A commitment to social justice, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, as demonstrated in writing-program design and policies, scholarship, and/or course syllabi.
Additional Requirements
  • Demonstrated potential to work with various constituencies in a Masters’ and Ph.D.-conferring English department
  • Demonstrated potential to work with various constituencies in related campus programs and upper-level administration
Preferred Qualifications
  • Relevant participation in national organizations as part of research agenda.
  • A research agenda that can complement the department’s existent studies and scholarship in diversity
  • Participation in planning of regional FYC -related conferences, as part of research agenda.
  • Participation in relevant campus initiatives.
Hiring Rate/Range

Commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity; position includes a robust benefits package to eligible applicants.

Working Hours


Posting Date


Closing Date

Priority Review Date


Special Instructions for Applicants

Application Procedures

For full consideration, applicants must submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, an article-length sample of published scholarship, a statement of WPA philosophy, a diversity statement, unofficial transcripts, and three letters of recommendation to by January 16, 2022 . Applications received after this date are welcomed, but will be considered as needed.

Letters of recommendation may also be sent directly to the search chair, Bradley Peters at .

Link to Department Homepage

Physical Demands


Background Check Required


EEO Statement

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Ethics and Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Health Services 230

Visa Policy

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

ADA Accommodation

NIU remains committed to ensuring that its recruitment and application procedures include full opportunities for applicants with disabilities. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make accommodations for a person’s disability during either the application or interview process. An applicant who believes they require an accommodation to participate in the employment process due to a disability may request that accommodation through the Accommodation Request Form . For further assistance, please contact the office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education ( AAEOE ) at .

Safety Information

NIU provides information regarding campus security, personal and fire safety, including topics such as: crime prevention, emergency response procedures and crime reporting policies, in addition to crime and fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. The Annual Security Report containing security and safety information is available at or by contacting the University Police Department and Public Safety Department at 815-753-9628 to receive a hard copy. The Annual Fire Safety Report is available at or by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 815-753-0404 to receive a hard copy.

Quick Link

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)
  4. Sample Publications
  5. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  6. Other
  7. Diversity Statement
Optional Documents

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