TCR Grad Blog

Graduate director's blog for the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program at Texas Tech University

Goodnight MOO

Posted by Joyce on August 13, 2013

The Texas Tech MOO hosted its last class discussion this summer. We will be decommissioning the old Linux box some time this fall.

You’re invited to a farewell to the MOO this Thursday evening But we would also invite you to write a paragraph of your recollections of being a learner/teacher/participant in our MOO to be collected in either an article or an archive for the history of this program.


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Assistant Professor of Technical Communication & Rhetoric

Posted by Joyce on September 24, 2012

Texas Tech University’s Technical Communication & Rhetoric program invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor (9-month). Desired areas of specialization include intercultural communication, technical communication practice and theory, rhetoric and composition theory, and digital rhetorics. Applicants must hold a PhD in technical communication, composition and rhetoric, or a related field at time of appointment. Applicants must show a record or promise of producing research, peer-reviewed publications, and grants. The successful applicant will be expected to teach undergraduate and graduate courses and provide service to the department, the college, and the university as necessary.  The successful applicant will join a large and vibrant program, with 15 tenure-line faculty and over 100 graduate students, offering the BA in Technical Communication, the MA in Technical Communication (onsite and online), and the PhD in Technical Communication & Rhetoric (onsite and online). New faculty are expected to be engaged in scholarship or creative activity that attracts outside funding in the form of fellowships, grants, exhibits, etc. The program resides in the Department of English, which offers excellent facilities, including computer classrooms, the Usability Research Lab, and the Multiliteracies Lab. TTU is an Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action Employer, and it encourages applications from minorities, persons with disabilities, and women.

To apply, please submit a CV and letter of application to or search for requisition #87066. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

For more information, see or contact Miles Kimball at

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Posted by Joyce on September 6, 2012

Dr. Brian Still will be speaking at TEDx in Lubbock on Sept 29, 2012.



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Curriculum Survey Results, Fall 2012

Posted by Joyce on August 11, 2012

As has been my custom for the past 5 or 6 years, I have surveyed the graduate student body to ask about classes (their value and ideal frequency), meeting times, the culture of the program, and general demographics, all of which I use to schedule events, tweak our offerings, and attempt to address deficiencies of the program. Here are the results:

TCR Curriculum Survey On-Campus 2012 (N=13)

TCR Curriculum Survey Online 2012 (N=17)

The faculty and I will be studying the results as we plan for the 2013-14 course offerings.  My general (and initial) thoughts about these data more or less mirror last year’s thoughts, so I’ll just link to them and let you decide if you’d like to read these thoughts.


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Congratulations to Debra Burleson

Posted by Joyce on June 4, 2012

Dr. Burleson successfully defended her dissertation on Tuesday, May 29. Her dissertation is titled “Hospitalists’ Perceptions of Communication and How They Navigate Communication Challenges Within the Hospital Setting.” Committee includes Dr. Amy Koerber (chair), Dr. Ken Baake, and Dr. Sean Zdenek.

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May Seminar Fee and Student Business Services

Posted by Joyce on May 7, 2012

We bill you for your May Seminar around April 15th-20th each year.  Placement of charges on that date provides you about 45 days to pay since SBS only places holds and late fees on the 1st of each month and holds and late fees are placed on students who owe a balance exceeding 30 days.

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CPTSC Proposal 2012

Posted by Joyce on May 1, 2012

Having heard grumblings from friends and colleagues at other schools, I felt the time was right to address questions of size and grad program macro-strategy at this fall’s CPTSC meeting in Houghton, Michigan.  If I get accepted, here’s what I propose to discuss. 

“What’s the Right Size? Graduate Program Growth Strategy in the Context of Academic and Workplace Communities”

Joyce Carter, Director of Graduate Studies at Texas Tech University

When we look at graduate programs, regardless of our roles as faculty, colleagues, deans, or advisory boards, one of the questions we always take up involves the size of the program. Most of the discussion centers on internal factors, such as faculty-to-student ratios, number of semester credit hours generated by the program, the ratio of PhD to masters to bachelors to certificate students, and so on.

Harder to calculate, but equally important, are external factors. Being an entrepreneur and having been trained in business (as well as rhetoric), I see the internal program questions as being akin to cost accounting and operations questions one would encounter in a business, and the external questions being more akin to strategy and macroeconomic factors, and I will spend the bulk of my time looking at those external factors as major part of the way programs may think about size and ratios.

The topic is relevant to the conference theme in the macro sense of viewing graduate programs as integral parts of larger webs of rhetoric and scientific communication programs around the country and globe, employers and internship providers, and the community at large, which interacts with graduate programs in service-oriented projects, among other things.

Questions we may consider include the following:

  • What does the market for rhetors look like? Who are major stakeholders? Competitors? Complementors?
  • What is the role of distance-education graduate programs in this market?
  • How does one gauge concepts like “flooding the market,” bigness, or boutiqueness in general?
  • What does having graduate students who don’t pursue traditional (i.e. MLA) career paths do to our concept of placement?
  • Is it necessary or important to adhere to MLA job listing guidelines and timelines?
  • What is the role of consortiums in discussing program size, discipline size, discipline specialties, certification, among others? Should these questions be “regulated” in a centralized fashion, or should individual programs proceed in a decentralized fashion?

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May Seminar Attendance Policy Revision (21 April 2012)

Posted by Joyce on April 21, 2012

Effective immediately, online doctoral students are required to attend their first 5 May Seminars. Attendance after that point is optional, but highly recommended. “Attend” means coming to Lubbock for the entire 2 week period and participating in professional development, writing, and other knowledge-sharing activities. Your attendance will be documented in your annual review folder, and it is up to you to demonstrate compliance with this policy. If you graduate before attending your fifth seminar, you are clearly waived from this requirement. All students must continue to have an annual review conducted by video conference with their committee during the seminar period.

This policy is meant to supplement existing policies regarding continual enrollment in the program. In other words, students are still required to be continually enrolled in coursework at a level of 4 courses per year while they are taking coursework, and 3 semesters of post-coursework registration in either 7000 or 8000 courses. If students need to request a break in their continual enrollment, they still need to petition the faculty formally, per our existing policy that allows a one-time stoppage for up to one calendar year for good reasons (typically economic hardship and health issues). If you are awarded such a waiver, your “First 5 Seminar” requirement will resume when you return to the program.

We are also ceasing our incentive program that reimburses students’ final May Seminar registration fee after they have successfully defended. Students who have already attended a May event, and who have continued to come to each May Seminar will be grandfathered and will receive a reimbursement if they continue to attend every May until graduation. New students (i.e. those who will be attending their first May Seminar in 2012) are not eligible for this grandfathered policy.

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Dissertation and Defense Expectations Clarified

Posted by Joyce on February 17, 2012

After a year of discussion and revision, the TCR faculty is implementing a clarification of our expectations about dissertation quality, development, and defenses. This “Best Practices” document, along with the dissertation defense routing form, has been developed to clarify the program’s expectations for you, the committee, the dissertation, and the defense.

Please see the following documents:

Best Practices for TCR Dissertations and Defenses

TCR Dissertation Defense Routing Form

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Spring 2012 Dates

Posted by Joyce on January 18, 2012

Welcome back to school, graduate students. Here are some links and some dates for you to use for your planning this spring semester:
University Official Calendar
Graduate School Calendar
Our key dates:
  • MATC mid course portfolio ready for evaluation next week (the week of Jan 23rd) — formative evaluation for MATC students who will complete 18 hours this semester
  • file intent to graduate form: Feb 3
  • file defense form: Feb 29
  • MATC final portfolio (for graduating this May) due March 26
  • last day to defend: Mar 28
  • advance registration begins Apr 6
  • turn in final diss/thesis: May 1
In addition, the graduate program will be holding doctoral annual reviews as follows:
  • Online doctoral students: During the May Seminar
  • On-campus doctoral students: probably the last week of February and/or the first week of March (the faculty is meeting Jan 20th to set these dates)
Graduate Recruiting weekend, when we bring all our newly admitted prospective grad students to campus: March 9th and 10th
May Workshop for online doctoral students:
  • May 21st – June 2
  • Carolyn Rude visits and speaks May 22
  • Charles Bazerman visits and speaks May 29

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