The start of a new academic year marks the beginning of many things for writing center folks, one of which might be collaboration with other stakeholders on campus. In this article, the author, Elizabeth Powers, set out to explore the expectation of collaboration on writing center administrators and what collaboration means and entails with a pool of 37 survey respondents who are writing center directors, and 27 follow-up written or synchronous interviews solicited from the survey respondents. Powers asked: When does interaction count as collaboration? What are key differences in institutional collaborations we need to acknowledge and articulate?

Click here to read Collaborating, Calibrating, and Control: Writing Center Directors Navigate Institutional Interactions

Here’s an update from Elizabeth Powers on August 31, 2022:

“Though I’m no longer a new writing center director, I find myself, post-covid, in a position similar to where I was six years ago: eager to connect with colleagues and in need of a reflective process to navigate new collaborations. Revisiting this piece can help us think through structures of collaboration and the agency we have to shape our roles and goals therein. While pandemic conditions may have collapsed some of the distinctions between ‘near collaboration’ and ‘far collaboration’, even those two terms are still useful in considering collaboration-impacting elements like access, availability, and disciplinary background. As I work to regain my skills of initiating “organic, spontaneous collaborations” in the moment, I appreciate the reminder to view collaboration as a process, one that works best with open dialogue, clear goal-setting, and fair expectations and representations of labor. Readers interested in this topic may also appreciate Maria L. Soriano Young’s chapter “The Writing Center Speaks Up” in Writing Centers at the Center of Change (2019).”

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