RMWCA Newsletter#3 Wntr 2014

If it’s June, I must be RMWCA President

Bill Macauley

UNR

Hello all. I am so happy to be writing you as your new RMWCA president. It is an honor to serve you and a challenge to follow Chris LeCluyse in this office. Please take the time to thank him for his hard work. I have a lot to live up to, and I will do my best to move our organization ahead. I will be with you for the next three years; we have lots of time to get a lot of good work done together. Your input is essential, so please feel free to contact me at any point about RMWCA (my contact info is below); I can serve you all best if I know what your needs and interests are. Without further ado, let’s get started.

I will ask a few specific questions below, to which I hope you will reply now that your semesters are completed.

RMWCA includes a massive geographical area, basically a two-to-three-state-wide swath from the Canadian border to the Mexican. I know that, for many of us, attending our regional conferences can be a challenge because of costs, distances, etc. I understand that. However, I think we are making good progress on creating options within the Rocky Mountain region that can help to mitigate these circumstances. We have been discussing mini-regional conferences, directors’ days out, teleconferences, and other options. I think we benefit from going outside of our own region, to be sure, but that choice should not be forced by our home regional’s inaccessibility. So, here’s my first question cluster for you: What would make RMWCA more accessible for you? More engaging? More attractive? What professional needs can RMWCA meet for you?

I think a second, related issue is the idea of regional isolation. We have a number of participants in our region who travel to and present at other regional, national, and international conferences. And I suspect that many more are not able to do so. Thus, if our regional conferences are not readily accessible, this is kind of a double-whammy for those whose travel resources are limited or nonexistent. One way to address this issue is to host a conference that pulls together a number of organizations from national, regional, and differing foci. So, here’s my second question for you: Would a conference that draws on several professional organizations, most likely in Reno (because it is on the far western edge of RMWCA and the far eastern edge of the northern California/Pacific regionals), appeal to you? What features would be most appealing to you?

Finally, for now at least, I think we must recognize differentiations among us. Certainly we have a wide array of participants in RMWCA: urban, rural, two- and four-year schools, research universities, secondary schools, and professional/technical schools. We have writing center leaders who might be looking for different kinds of resources and experiences than new peer tutors might. These interests might differ again from those of neophytes studying writing centers as undergraduate or graduate students. Thus, here’s my last question: What types of resources and supports might be most relevant to you and others who work in the ways/places that you do?

I hope that you will take the time to respond to these questions; this is your organization and, without your input, I can only guess at what will best support your work. I am a pretty good guesser at this point, but not that good. So, please send me your feedback whenever you get a chance. Below, you will find all of my contact information, and I do want you to use it.

Thanks, and here’s to a peaceful and productive summer.

Bill Macauley

University of Nevada, Reno

wmacauleyjr@unr.edu

(775) 784-6038 (O)

(330) 234-6444 (C)

(775) 453-1123 (H)