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Important Announcement about University Writing Program Director

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University of Denver

Dr. Douglas Hesse to Leave Writing Program and Become Full-Time Professor

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Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to announce that after 15 years of first founding, and then leading the University Writing Program, Dr. Douglas Hesse plans to leave his position as Executive Director of Writing and assume a full-time position as Professor of English, effective Aug. 31, 2020.

In 2005, Doug founded the University Writing Program, which went on to win the International Certificate of Excellence from the College Conference on Composition and Communication. As Executive Director, he led twenty original writing faculty—all hired in national searches—in designing a first-year writing sequence that reached all undergraduate students. Under his leadership, the Writing Program has hosted several regional and national writing studies conferences and has worked to sustain a robust culture of writing on campus.

In addition to having a significant impact on student writing at DU, Doug is a force in writing pedagogy and composition studies nationally. He has been elected to lead three national organizations: the National Council of Teachers of English (30,000 members), the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the Council of Writing Program Administrators. His work has included consulting on educational policy with the U.S. Department of Education and with higher education staff members in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Doug’s 90+ published chapters and articles, and four co-authored books focus on narrative and rhetoric, writing pedagogy, creative nonfiction, and professional issues facing teachers and writing programs. His creative nonfiction has been recognized in Best American Essays, and in 2015, he was named the Rhetorician of the Year by the Young Rhetoricians Society. In the Department of English and Literary Arts, Doug will continue to write and teach writing. He will also continue to follow his passion for the outdoors as an active hiker and nature photographer, as well as his love for music through being a member of the Colorado Symphony Chorus.

A search for a new Executive Director of the Writing Program is underway, with a committee chaired by Dr. Juli Parrish, Writing Center Director & Teaching Professor of Writing. The committee includes:

  • Dr. Heather Martin, Teaching professor of writing & FSEM faculty director
  • Dr. Kara Taczak, Teaching associate professor of writing
  • Dr. David Riche, Teaching assistant professor of writing
  • Dr. Adrienne Gonzales, Director of the Center for World Languages & Cultures
  • Dr. Clark Davis, Professor, Department of English and Literary Arts

I am deeply grateful for the hard work and leadership Doug has brought to the University Writing Program. Please join me in wishing Doug the very best as he starts a new chapter here with us at DU.

Best regards,

Corinne Lengsfeld

Interim Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor