Retirement of Donald Ross

Headshot of Donald Ross

Professor Donald Ross, Jr. will retire from the University of Minnesota on May 29, 2022. Donald Ross (Professor) (Ph.D., English, University of Michigan) joined the University of Minnesota Faculty in 1971 in the English Department; in 2007 he joined the Department of Writing Studies. His specializations include composition and rhetoric; Nineteenth-century American and British literature; literary stylistics, computer-aided study of literature, composition, and language; writing in academic disciplines; argument; Actor Network Theory; and travel writing. A recipient of the Continuing Education and Extension Distinguished Teacher Award (1992), Professor Ross regularly taught courses in composition and rhetoric, business/professional/technical writing; public writing; writing arguments, American literature, and stylistics. He advised 25 dissertations and served as a member or reader on over 40 additional graduate student committees. A pioneer of composition, he received many research grants, including a major national grant with Professor Lillian Bridwell-Bowles from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to study the role of computers and composition, specifically early adoption of computers and word processing in first-year composition (1982-1985).

Professor Ross held many leadership roles in the Department of English including Director of Advanced Composition (1972-1982; 1989-1998), Coordinator of Extension Composition (1981-1987), Acting, Co-Director, and Director of Composition (1982-1986; 2002-2006), Director of Graduate Studies (2000-2001), and Director of Undergraduate Studies (2002-3). As Director of Advanced Composition, Professor Ross created a series of writing-in-the-disciplines courses that were a prototype of the current writing across the curriculum (WAC) program. He also served as Director of Graduate Studies for the interdisciplinary graduate minor in Literacy and Rhetorical Studies (1999-2008). In the Department of Writing Studies, Professor Ross co-chaired with Professor Laura Gurak the Task Force on Writing that helped create the Writing Studies department and served as Director of Graduate Studies for MA and PhD in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication (2009-2017), and Acting Director of First-Year Writing (2018-2019).

We are grateful for Professor Ross’ many years of outstanding service to the University of Minnesota and to his students, colleagues and friends. 

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