Composition Committee

The Composition Committee is a standing committee within the Department of English and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS) at Virginia Tech. The committee’s specific responsibilities are detailed in the department’s governance document. To request the committee’s attention to an issue, to be invited as a guest, or to suggest an agenda item for an upcoming meeting, please send requests and suggestions via email to composition -AT-

2020-2021 Composition Committee

Derek Mueller (Chair)
Julie Mengert (Asst. Dir., ex officio)
Steve Oakey (GTA Ed., ex officio)
Jenny Lawrence (Writing Center, ex officio)
Kelly Pender (Assoc. Chair, ex officio)
Netta Baker (2022)
Vanessa Ruccolo (2021)
Maggie Fernandes (2021, acclaimed; votes)
Pending – One GTA from MA/MFA programs to be elected in Fall 2020

Schedule and Minutes

The Composition Committee generally meets monthly during the academic year (August 10 – May 9). Meeting days and times are posted on the program calendar. The committee operates with the goal of establishing and circulating an agenda one week before the scheduled meeting time; minutes from each meeting are sent to the department and also posted to the departmental Canvas site (login access requires permission) for archiving and record-keeping.

Committee Responsibilities and Make-up

(from department governance document)

The duties of the Composition Committee include determining policies, curricula, and outcomes for English 1105, 1106, and 1204H. The committee also oversees the development of the custom composition textbook and works with the Director of Composition to invite and host visiting scholars in composition as well as other professional development opportunities for faculty teaching composition courses. In addition, the committee explores and encourages diversity efforts in composition classrooms and in the program overall.

The Composition Committee is chaired by the Director of Composition, who is appointed by the Department Chair, and includes the Director of the Writing Center, the Assistant Director of Composition, and the Coordinator of GTA Education. One Composition Program Assistant selected by all Composition Program Assistants serves a one-year term with voting rights.

The committee includes three elected faculty members: one professor of any rank from among the Rhetoric and Writing faculty and two instructors. The electorate for all of the faculty positions is the faculty as a whole. All of the elected members serve two-year, staggered terms. The Department Chair appoints one additional faculty member of any rank to the committee for a one-year term. Two GTAs are elected (one from the PhD program and one from the MA or MFA program) to one-year terms as nonvoting members. The electorate for the PhD student consists of GTAs in the PhD program. The electorate for the MA/MFA student consists of all GTAs from the MA and MFA programs.