Academic Affairs

Policy Title
Promotions - Faculty
Policy Description

Policy Statement:

Winthrop University promotes faculty based upon merit and in accord with the policy on Academic Rank, which identifies performance expectations for each rank.

 

Policy Scope:

Applies to faculty members hired with academic rank, in consultation with the Faculty Bylaws and subject to review by Academic Leadership, Faculty Conference, and Senior Leadership. Not included in this process are non-tenure track, multi-year, visiting, and adjunct faculty.

 

Policy:

Promotions are granted at Winthrop on a merit basis. The criteria for promotions are the same as those required for appointment with academic rank. Standards and suggested evidence for meeting the criteria for Academic Rank are discussed in the Academic Rank Policy. A promotion in rank is associated with the academic discipline and should be informed by performance related to the academic discipline as well as on the assigned roles at Winthrop University. This does not preclude promotion of faculty holding administrative duties, provided that judgments can be made in matters relevant to the academic discipline.

Policy Procedures

1.0         Timelines  The timeline for submitting promotion portfolios are provided by the Chief Academic Officer at this timeline link.

2.0         Portfolio Preparation and Submission Cases are submitted via electronic portfolio. When a faculty member is applying for tenure and for promotion concurrently, a single supporting electronic portfolio for both processes will be used. The letters of application from the faculty member, recommendations from the chair and the dean, and all committee recommendations must address tenure and promotion separately and must be submitted separately, as the review processes for tenure and promotion will occur independently.

3.0         Promotion Review Committees The membership of all reviewing committees will be made known to the candidate and appropriate administrators upon formation. Each review body, whether faculty or administrator, will forward its recommendations to the next level of review.

4.0         For units that include department-level review committees, a committee of no fewer than five tenured faculty, of whom a majority will be tenured within the faculty member's department or college (if possible), will be formed (as specified by the college) and convened at the request of the department chair to review the portfolio and to determine whether to recommend the faculty member for promotion. If there are not a sufficient number of tenured faculty members within the department or college, then tenured faculty outside the department or unit will serve as members of the committee.

5.0         In the case of a department chair's consideration for promotion, the dean will appoint a committee of no fewer than five tenured faculty, which must include at least one member of the department but may include a majority who are tenured outside the chair's department. Should there be no tenured faculty member in the department, the dean will appoint the committee members from tenured faculty outside the department.

6.0         The portfolio review process for promotion will focus exclusively on materials contained within the portfolio and on the recommendations of the various review bodies.

7.0         Neither the department chair nor dean may serve on a review committee for a faculty member for whom they are a supervisor. However, any committee may request to meet with the chair or dean for clarification of information. In the case of a department chair's consideration for promotion, the dean will appoint a committee of no fewer than five tenured faculty, which must include at least one member of the department but may include a majority who are tenured outside the chair's department. Should there be no tenured faculty member in the department, the dean will appoint the committee members from tenured faculty outside the department.

Department level committees review and upload a letter responding to the portfolio with a recommendation to the department chair or direct supervisor. This letter should outline reasons for the recommendation addressing all appropriate areas of review (Student Intellectual Development, Scholarly Activity, Professional Stewardship, and academic responsibility) as appropriate for the rank to which the candidate has applied. It is the role of the departmental committee to clarify any discipline-specific information concerning Scholarly Activity or Professional Stewardship that is provided in the faculty member’s portfolio for reviewers unfamiliar with the norms of the discipline. At this juncture no material may be deleted from the portfolio.

8.0         The department chair reviews all materials, submits a letter with a recommendation, and advances the portfolio to the academic unit (college or library) committee. This letter should outline reasons for the recommendation addressing all appropriate areas of review (Student Intellectual Development, Scholarly Activity, Professional Stewardship, and academic responsibility). The chair may clarify faculty member claims with regard to the discipline and department norms that may not be evident to a reviewer from another unit or discipline. If requested by the department chair, new material from the candidate may be added to the portfolio prior to the chair sending a recommendation to the unit committee. No further supporting evidence may be added after this point.

9.0         The unit committee reviews all materials, submits a letter, and advances the portfolio including all previous letters to the dean. The unit committee letter must include a clear statement indicating the recommendation and must highlight pertinent information or clarification for subsequent review bodies. The unit committee recommendation can refer to previous from the department committee and chair. When the decision of the committee is not unanimous, the letter should indicate the areas of disagreement. If a single letter cannot adequately represent the evaluation of committee members, a minority letter must be submitted along with the primary letter. All committee members must sign either the primary or minority letter. In the case of academic units without department level review committees, the unit committee may clarify faculty member claims with regard to the discipline that may not be evident to a reviewer from another unit or discipline.

10.0   Candidates for promotion will be allowed to review the unit committee recommendation and will have an option to respond to that recommendation prior to its consideration by the dean. The candidate will not see the numerical breakdown of the committee’s vote, and candidates will be provided with a copy of the committee letter (or letters if there is a dissenting opinion that cannot be integrated into the majority’s recommendation) that redacts committee members’ signatures. A candidate who wishes to write a response letter is required to inform the dean in writing of the candidate’s intention to respond within two business days of receiving the unit committee’s letter(s). A candidate will have six business days from the receipt of the unit committee’s letter to write and submit a response to the dean. Letters received after this date will not be considered. The response letter shall not exceed 1000 words. The response letter is to be a direct response to issues raised by the unit committee letter(s) in order to clarify the candidate’s original portfolio submission. No evidence of activities completed after the submission of the portfolio is permitted in the candidate’s response letter in any circumstances (any evidence of a completed activity must be added to the portfolio prior to the chair’s letter being sent to the unit committee). The candidate’s response letter must be included with all other evaluation letters.

11.0   The dean reviews all materials and submits a letter to the portfolio. The dean’s letter must include a clear statement indicating the recommendation and must highlight pertinent information or clarification for subsequent review bodies. In most cases, a rationale pointing to previous reports is sufficient. In cases of disagreement within and among the review bodies, the dean must clarify and address the issues of disagreement.

The dean's recommendation and all materials are advanced to the Chief Academic Officer. At this point, the dean notifies the candidate of the recommendation and discusses with the faculty member strengths and weaknesses identified in the review process. Also at this point, the candidate may choose to withdraw the promotion application. The Chief Academic Officer provides to the University-level Faculty Personnel Committee access to the portfolio and letters with recommendations received from the dean. The Faculty Personnel Committee reviews all materials and submits its written recommendation in a report to the Chief Academic Officer. Upon receipt of the report, the Chief Academic Officer shall convene the Faculty Personnel Committee to discuss the granting of promotion. The recommendation of the Chief Academic Officer is forwarded to the President along with the letters with recommendations from each level.

12.0   Portfolio Preparation
A faculty member standing for promotion must submit an electronic portfolio to his/her department chair/direct supervisor that follows academic unit guidelines and contains all materials indicated below. Further it is the responsibility of the faculty member to organize the portfolio in such a way as to facilitate review at all levels.

1. A cover sheet containing the following information:
 • date employed at Winthrop,
 • rank at original appointment, and
 • prior service credit granted at employment.

2. An application letter which includes an analysis/statement by the candidate explaining how he/she met the qualifications of promotion.

3. A current vita.

4. Annual reports (including student evaluation data, chair/immediate supervisor evaluations, and dean evaluations) beginning with the year of appointment or the last promotion (whichever applies.) If it has been longer than five years since the appointment/last promotion, at least the most recent five years are required.
 • Arrange in chronological order.
 • The semester/year should be clearly indicated on teaching evaluations.

5. A statement or report of activities associated with Student Intellectual Development, Scholarly Activity, and Professional Stewardship as defined by the college.
 • This should be accompanied by the additional departmental explanation (where applicable).
 • Evidence of the candidate’s scholarship should be included. This may include copies of articles, other publications, video recordings, etc.
 • Each category should include tables or lists clearly outlining activities.
 • The faculty member is encouraged to describe any noteworthy accomplishments and to describe activity where the impact or time needed may not be apparent to reviewers.

6. Peer evaluations, if available.

7. Supporting documents pertinent to the review.

8. A statement of the faculty member’s goals and plans for involvement and development over the next six years.

13.0   Notification of Promotion Decision The President, acting as agent of the Board of Trustees, shall then determine whether to grant promotion to the faculty member in question. The Chief Academic Officer shall notify faculty in writing on promotion decisions by May 15.

14.0   Grievance Policy  Any promotion candidate who has reason to suspect discrimination may file a grievance using the procedure articulated by the Winthrop University policy on Grievances and Appeals—Faculty and in compliance with South Carolina Code of Laws 8-17-380.


Policy Author(s)
Academic Affairs and Faculty Conference
Effective Date
October 2019
Review Date
October 2019
Prior Review Date
July 2012