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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

About Us

Page address: http://english.mnsu.edu/vwp/aboutus.htm

About Us

Those of us enrolled on the VWP team have been involved nearly forever in this enterprise for encouraging teachers from all disciplines to assign more writing in their classes and do more professional writing themselves.
I became a member of the Valley Writing Project's presentation team back in '86 after a stint as a workshop participant; and Bill Wagner from Sociology has been involved in this enterprise a year longer than I have. Anne O'Meara from English jumped on board in the early nineties, while Marie Pomije of Chemistry is of more recent vintage. Members of the VWP team have come and gone over the years, as they were meant to do when the original writing-across-the-curriculum organization was formed by a committee composed of Minnesota State University faculty back in 1979 from a large Bush Grant intended to fund the start-up of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum presentation groups on each of the seven state university campuses.

The Valley Writing Project, so named by Minnesota State's first workshop team, is the sole-surviving WAC group from the original grant.
Operating continuously since its creation, the VWP is MSU's oldest and most respected faculty-development organization, receiving its funding now on an annual basis from Academic Affairs' budget. With barely a $20,000 line that must be justified and argued for annually, VWP has zealously clung to its independent status, resisted attempts by sectors of the administration to fold our mission and activities in with other university offices and faculty development efforts or to become identified with any single academic department. We're about the business of promoting, celebrating, and facilitating faculty and student writing from all disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate.

It's true that, over the years, our mission has drifted from an original intention of encouraging faculty to assign more writing.
As our university has furnished technology available to both students faculty that makes writing easier to do and re-do and mandated that each department contribute to a menu of "writing intensive" courses that our undergraduates can select from as part of their required General Education component, we've recently begun to understand how we can help faculty prepare their students to succeed in those courses. The primary belief that drives us—that every one of us is a writing teacher—has refined our mission into a two-fold purpose.

      —Bill Dyer
          Department of English

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