The following resolutions were passed at the CCCC Annual Business Meeting held on Saturday, March 22, 2003, in New York:
Resolution 1: Honoring Kathleen Blake Yancey
Whereas Kathleen Blake Yancey has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to ensuring valid and reliable assessment of students’ writing, whether teachers are assessing a single paper or a portfolio, a handwritten essay or an online test, an English theme or a physics report; and
Whereas she has taken our conference “digital” by providing LCDs and Internet connections for presenters and by scheduling sessions on site and on a simulcast; and
Whereas she has urged us not only to teach our students but also to learn with and from them-in our classrooms and, for the first time, in featured sessions; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the 2003 Conference on College Composition and Communication thank Kathleen Blake Yancey for offering us the “transforming possibilities” of a conference that compels us to reflect on our past and our present so that we can rewrite our future.
Resolution 2: Applauding Sandra Jamieson and the Local Arrangements Committee
Whereas Sandra Jamieson and the Local Arrangements Committee have guided us to the theater, music, dance, art, and diverse neighborhoods of New York City; and
Whereas they have also brought the city to us through an emerging writers’ series and a night of “Big Apple” humor; and
Whereas they have supported literacy in New York by organizing the “Send Supplies” project for literacy programs and by continuing the “Buy the Book” project for children at community centers; and
Whereas they have invited us to celebrate New York’s resilience in the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the 2003 Conference on College Composition and Communication applaud Sandra Jamieson and the Local Arrangements Committee for their hard work, enthusiasm, and hospitality.
Resolution 3: Encouraging Communication About the War
Whereas in our best moments we have relied on the power of rhetoric to mediate disputes, and in our college classrooms we teach students to understand one another, respect their differences, and resolve their disputes through discourse.
BE IT RESOLVED that we encourage teachers of writing and communication at colleges and universities across the country to engage students and others in learning and debate about the issues and implications of the Iraqi war and any other acts of war perpetrated by the United States of America.
Resolution 4: Tribal College Fellowship Resolution
Whereas the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) has a long and distinguished record of supporting literacy instruction in all kinds of institutions, especially grassroots efforts like those in community colleges, open admissions universities, and basic writing programs; and
Whereas CCCC has long promoted multiculturalism and diversity in terms of professional research, an expanded knowledge base in the field, broad language use in teaching, and wider access to education for those groups historically excluded; and
Whereas CCCC has enacted its commitment to grassroots literacy and diversity by providing monetary support to attend its conference for those writing teachers lacking financial resources or coming from underrepresented groups, through such programs as PEP and Scholars for the Dream; and
Whereas while very successful, these efforts have nonetheless failed to reach writing teachers at the 35 tribally-controlled community colleges in the nation; and
Whereas tribal colleges are currently teaching the vast majority of American Indian students in higher education who belong to a group systematically excluded from educational institutions as well as mistreated historically in such venues as Indian boarding schools which assimilated students through corporal violence as well as through the symbolic violence of punitive English classes; and
Whereas since the incorporation of Navajo Community College in 1968, tribal colleges have sought to counter this colonial history by operating from educational missions different from those of mainstream institutions, validating American Indian heritage by promoting traditional languages and cultures, while also providing mainstream communicative literacy in English, humanities, and technologies; and
Whereas tribal college writing teachers typically work for wages much lower than those found at comparable community colleges; and
Whereas most tribal colleges do not have the financial resources to support travel and conference costs for the professional development of their faculty; and
Whereas tribal colleges are both sites of grassroots education and locations of minority cultures, yet have not benefited from the presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities offered by CCCC; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Executive Committee produce a program called the CCCC Tribal College Fellowships that would fund up to five tribal college writing teachers to attend CCCC each year, under the following provisions:
- Each fellowship will provide a convention registration and a $750 award.
- Fellows will be notified in December preceding the upcoming spring convention to allow sufficient time to plan their attendance.
- Fellowships will be granted to writing instructors currently working in tribal colleges on the basis of an application letter and personal statement.
- The Tribal College Fellowship will be advertised in CCC, College English, TETYC, Tribal College Journal, and Indian Country Today.
- Fellowship applications will be evaluated and awarded by a committee jointly appointed by the Executive Committee in consultation with the American Indian Caucus.
Resolution 5: On Professional Standards for Instruction
Whereas the educational conditions for college writing instruction have been deteriorating in the past few decades; and
Whereas the writing of college students recently received unfavorable national attention in The Chronicle of Higher Education; and
Whereas promoting the best teaching conditions will enhance literacy instruction; and
Whereas in its mission to promote higher literacy, CCCC took note of declining learning conditions at its annual business meeting 16 years ago by unanimously approving the Wyoming Resolution, which declared that “the salaries and working conditions of post-secondary writing teachers with primary responsibility for the teaching of writing are fundamentally unfair as judged by any reasonable professional standards,” and called for CCCC to formulate “professional standards and expectations for salary levels and working conditions of post-secondary teachers of writing”; and
Whereas the concerns of the Wyoming Resolution were reiterated in 1989 as the “Statement of Principles and Standards for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing,” which declared that “every institution should extend to teachers of writing the same opportunities for professional advancement (e.g., support for research and reasonable teaching responsibilities) that they extend to all other faculty” and which observed that declining learning conditions have created a situation in which “the quality of writing instruction is today seriously compromised”; and
Whereas the NCTE Conference on the Growing Use of Part-Time and Adjunct Faculty repeated these concerns in its 1997 statement, which found that “the proportion of part-time and adjunct faculty in relation to all faculty appointments has increased substantially, from 22 percent in 1970 to more than 40 percent in 1993” with “64 percent of community-college faculty holding part-time appointments” while “200,000 graduate assistants at four-year institutions actually exceed the 184,999 part-time faculty” and that “. . . the majority of part-time faculty teach under emphatically substandard conditions, . . . are far less likely to receive regular evaluation and feedback, . . . lack job security” and are typically paid from “$1,000 to $3,000” per course, and that “part-time and adjunct positions are disproportionately occupied by women”; and
Whereas the Two-Year College English Association–Southwest on October 21, 2000, asserted in a position statement that “A great danger now threatens the sustained record of accomplishment of America’s community colleges” because of full-time loads of 7 classes, class sizes over 30 students, and “part-time faculty teaching as much as 70% and even 80% of all writing courses”; and
Whereas the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, representing 25 disciplinary associations, found in its 2001 survey that “freestanding composition programs have by far the highest proportion of courses taught by part-time and graduate student instructors . . . and the lowest taught by tenure-track instructors”; and
Whereas the Associate Director of MLA English Programs, James Papp, reported in 2002 that more than 60% of part-time instructors in the humanities want full-time jobs and that the meager per-course wages paid contingent faculty have fallen behind the inflation rate; and
Whereas the continued decline in professional standards not only undermines literacy instruction but also threatens the membership base of CCCC; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CCCC Executive Committee affirm and disseminate the following standards to support high-quality professional instruction:
- The professional standard for writing positions shall be full-time lines equivalent in salary and benefits to other full-time academic positions.
- Faculty members who prefer part-time work can request less than a full-time load with prorated salary and benefits. Faculty members requesting less than full-time loads can staff a maximum of 20% of the course coverage in any department or program.
- All writing instructors shall be protected with the same professional security, academic freedom, and due process accorded other faculty members within their institution.
- All full-time writing positions will be tenurable or covered by continuous employment certificates.
- Graduate students shall be required to teach no more than three semester-equivalent writing courses per academic year, shall undertake overloads only at their own choice, and shall receive ongoing professional development and careful mentoring from experts credentialed in the field of composition/rhetoric.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT CCCC shall elect and budget a permanent Academic Quality Commission, whose charge will be to:
- Research writing programs meeting the standards cited above for learning conditions.
- Acknowledge and recognize publicly such programs in all CCCC venues.
- Propose sessions at the annual convention on concerns raised by CCCC members, caucuses, SIGs, coalitions, and workshops relative to teaching and learning conditions.
- Research ongoing campus efforts for high-quality teaching conditions and disseminate an online directory and database of such information.
- Seek to co-sponsor with other professional associations (e.g., Modern Language Association, American Historical Association, American Association of University Professors) and groups (e.g., the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor) a series of regional conferences addressing standards supporting high-quality professional instruction.
Resolution 6: On Professional Development and Retention of People of Color within Academia
Whereas members of the Latino Caucus notice the frequent call for Latina/o professors in academia, specifically to teach English and writing; and
Whereas those of us who find positions experience difficulties not addressed by the colleges or CCCC with respect to mentoring and retention; and
Whereas Caucus members’ concerns about hiring and work-related experiences are not addressed adequately by CCCC; and
Whereas the numbers and/or percentages of students from Latina/o groups outnumber the percentages/numbers of Latina/o academics; and
Whereas we need to address those issues affecting hiring, mentoring, and retention of people of color within academia, particularly Latina/os; therefore
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CCCC Executive Committee affirm and disseminate the following policies to ensure adequate professional development and retention of professors of color:
- CCCC shall request writing programs and English departments to provide the following information:
a. Their percentage of people of color in full- and part-time positions and in tenured and untenured lines.
b. Their procedures for identifying, hiring, mentoring, and tenuring people-of-color faculty.
- CCCC shall publish this information annually online and in print.
- CCCC shall acknowledge annually a writing program or department for its exemplary efforts to develop people-of-color faculty.