Writing program administration and institutional narratives

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tonya Hassell Ritola (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Stephen Yarbrough

Abstract: Arguing that narrative serves as a powerful tool for university administration, my dissertation provides new rhetoric and composition professionals with an analytical framework for understanding how to navigate university life. Because our current academic climate of accountability requires universities and their individual academic units to offer narrative accounts that demonstrate institutional effectiveness, narrative is a useful lens for navigating the intricacies of institutional relations among individual academic units and among units within the university at large. On a practical note, most of the work we do in the institution, from grading to annual reports to faculty governance, relies on narrative. Narrative shapes our understanding of the institution and also comprises a majority of the artifacts we associate with it. However, unlike these artifacts, narratives are not static; they are living, changing entities, just like people. From this perspective, writing program administrators can understand the institution and their role within it in a synergetic way and begin to imagine how to direct and redirect the consequences of narratives. I term this process narrative logic, and I offer classical pragmatism as a theoretical framework for understanding the relationship between narrative and consequences. Through a case study of a mid-sized liberal arts school in the South, I isolates narrative's role in institutional assessment, programmatic change, and disciplinary identity in order to show how narrative effects material change.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Narrative, Pragmatism, Rhetoric, Writing Program Administration
Narrative inquiry (Research method)

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