Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Scott Sundvall

Committee Member

Will Duffy

Committee Member

Katie Fredlund

Committee Member

Joseph Jones


Writing centers are resilient institutions, but its unclear what factors contribute to their longevity. Scholars such as Neal Lerner suggest the versatility of writing centers stems from their ability to react and resist the status quo. Yet, its undetermined what specific factors lend themselves to the continuation of a writing centers life span. Using ecocomposition as a theoretical framework, this dissertation expands the limited conversation on writing center ecology and sustainability. Each chapter is a case study of the risk management, resilience, and sustainability systems at a regional writing center. The purpose of these case studies is twofold: to ascertain how writing centers develop over their lifespan and test the methodologies advanced in this dissertation. These lifespan systems are evaluated through a sustainability heuristic adapted from the Environmental Protection Agencys frameworks. The heuristic encompasses three ecologies: fiscal, institutional, and social. The sustainability heuristic is used to assess each writing centers relative strengths and weaknesses, determining what factors have the most significant influence on its growth. Results demonstrate the importance of institutional forces on a writing centers trajectory. Across all three case studies, the writing centers were helped and hindered by their complex relationships with faculty and other administrators. The differences between writing centers seem to indicate that they can only be evaluated through the lens of their institutional context. The idea that writing centers should reach the same benchmarks in a similar time frame isnt supported. To conclude, this dissertation presents longitudinal case studies as a method for future research.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Embargoed until 9/8/2024

Available for download on Sunday, September 08, 2024