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. Joe recently worked with the Southern Lit Alliance and UTC to bring yet another SouthWord Literary Festival to our campus, an event that included a keynote address by Wendell Berry.


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.