Profile photo of Dr. Joe Wilferth
Dr. Joe Wilferth
UC Foundation Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Ph.D. Bowling Green State University
  (423) 425-4621
  (423) 425-2282
  Rm. 281, 540MC

Joe Wilferth, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in professional writing, environmental rhetoric, rhetorical analysis, and visual rhetoric. Among his more recent publications is a co-edited collection on image events, a peer-reviewed article that focuses on assistive technologies in instructional design, and “Gaining Ground by ‘Thinking Little’: Gardening as Curricular Reform across the Liberal Arts and Sciences" which appeared in the Winter issue (March 2017) of Liberal Education. 


Dr. Wilferth's duties in the College of Arts & Sciences include the following.

  • responsible for the adjunct budget, includes consulting with the dean and working directly with department heads
  • responsible for execution, assessments, and revision of the CAS strategic plan, includes co-chairing the CAS Strategic Plan Committee and managing entries in Compliance Assist
  • responsible for academic scheduling during the regular academic year (fall and spring), includes communicating with department heads if/when courses need to be added and/or low-enrolled courses need to be canceled
  • responsible for annual performance evaluation of our Arts and Humanities lecturers (one-year term faculty)
  • responsible for communication; marketing materials, website, CAS photography; collaborates with the Development Office in this communication
  • responsible for coordinating CAS scholarships
  • responsible for maintaining and communicating promotion and tenure guidelines and policies
  • responsible for coordinating RTR efforts, includes providing workshops for faculty as they prepare to reappointment, tenure, and/or promotion
  • coordinates student retention, recruitment, and student success initiatives, includes serving as liaison with CASS office (e.g., student video profiles)
  • coordinates professional development retreats with/for department heads, including maintaining the guidebook for department heads
  • manages efficiently student grade appeals and grade change petitions
  • assembles faculty achievements from year to year; distributes/promotes achievements via the dean's website
  • assists in planning college awards and convocation
  • chairs the College of Arts and Sciences Executive Committee (includes coordinating reviewing applications for internal Research and Creative Activity grants as well as reviewing/awarding of supplemental grant for presentations)
  • chairs of the ad hoc CAS Budget Committee
  • new hire requests in the Arts and Humanities



Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

M.A., Southeast Missouri State University

B.A., DePauw University


Research and/or Creative Interests
Environmental rhetoric, visual literacy, social movement (not social movements), and scholarship on/issues related to teaching with assistive technologies.


Teaching Interests

Environmental Rhetorics, Environmental Literature, Visual Rhetoric, Professional Writing, and courses which emphasize the literature and rhetorics surrounding social movement


Teaching Approach
I do my best to ensure vibrant in-­class discussion, and I tend to sequence assignments so that they build in complexity. Otherwise, heads explode.


Outside of being a professor, what do you do for fun and/or relaxation?
Aside from teaching, I love music. All kinds! It's one of the most profound forms of human creativity, communication, and connection. I'm a professional listener and an unprofessional player.


What are your expectations of students?
What do I expect from my students? I want students to give their ALL to the subject of the course, ­­i.e., to read the material and to find connections between that material and other texts they/we encounter everyday. I want my students to find relevance in the course material.