Policy Title

General Standards for Evidence of Faculty Teaching Effectiveness, Scholarship, and Service


Faculty roles at Winthrop University are varied in nature yet contain many common themes that are used to define expectations as employees of the institution and set the parameters for tenure, promotion, and merit raise evaluations. The following sections outline for the entire community those items that are considered expectations of employment as well as those that require review by faculty committees for tenure and promotion considerations.


This policy applies to faculty.

Policy Number:2.2.21
Effective Date:04/22/2011
Date Reviewed: 04/22/2011
Last Review Date: 04/19/2021
Responsible Official: Faculty Roles and Rewards as adopted by Faculty Conference
Responsible Office: Academic Affairs
Contact Information:

Academic Affairs

115 Tillman Hall

Rock Hill, SC 29733




1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

Academic Responsibility

Academic Responsibility spans all the traditional areas of faculty evaluation, and includes involvement of faculty in ways that support the institutional mission, maintain the functions of the University, and sustain the faculty role in shared governance. All faculty members are expected to be academically responsible to their students and peers as a baseline for service in their academic departments. Faculty members are expected to establish and maintain a consistent record of academic responsibility while at Winthrop.

Academic Responsibility includes but is not limited to activities such as: academic registration support, availability to students through multiple platforms (e.g., office hours, emails, assignment feedback), engagement in faculty meetings at all levels, participation in department and college events, participation in university commencements and convocations, professional development that supports improvements in practice (e.g., participation in peer observations, attendance at professional conferences to explore current research, engaging in sessions through the Teaching and Learning Center), recruitment and retention efforts, and service on committees. Chairs and deans should ensure equitable distribution of assignments among faculty; and faculty should be supported in ways that allow for free exchange of ideas, broad participation, and balanced work expectations.

In addition to activities related to academic responsibility, other professional responsibilities are expected of faculty who hold full-time appointments, regardless of rank. These professional responsibilities are primarily documented through reviews by supervisors and are considered expectations of employment. These responsibilities include adherence to academic policies (e.g., the privacy and confidentiality of student information, intellectual property and copyright, treatment of human subjects in research, final exam schedule, meeting classes at the appointed times, adhering to deadlines for grade submission, submission of midterm grades as requested) and active participation in the collection of assessment data associated with teaching and/or work assignments. Although faculty may not report on these expectations regularly, chairs and deans will address areas of concern through meetings with individual faculty and annual evaluations.


In the area of academic responsibility, most documentation is explicit and objective and does not require extensive reflection. For example, faculty will be asked to document some activity through lists (e.g., number of advisees, membership on committees). Likewise, direct supervisors will be expected to comment on faculty involvement in fulfilling their academic responsibility (e.g., participation in faculty governance through attendance at meetings, adherence to academic policies) in responses to annual reports.

Student Intellectual Development

Because the mission of Winthrop University focuses on the development of students prepared to meet the challenges of future endeavors, Student Intellectual Development is a fundamental responsibility of all Winthrop faculty. Faculty in all disciplines are responsible for developing student potential as related to the University Level Competencies, supporting the delivery of the Touchstone Program, and providing opportunities for student development of expertise in the chosen discipline. As such, Student Intellectual Development is a critical factor in all evaluations.

A broad range of faculty activities fits within the area of Student Intellectual Development. Activities include helping students to acquire disciplinary knowledge, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, enhance interpersonal and social skills, cultivate effective communication skills, apply knowledge and skills across contexts, learn through service in the discipline, and pursue further academic exploration.

Effectiveness in Student Intellectual Development can be observed in various instructional environments including classroom, laboratory, studio, field-based, and digital settings, as well as through exhibitions, collections of academic and creative materials, support of independent exploration, and student mentoring. Effectiveness in this area is marked by an impact on student thinking and learning. Faculty members must provide evidence of an ability to engage students in ongoing and significant pursuits of knowledge, critical/reflective thinking, communication, and skill application. This evidence must also include a willingness and propensity to adapt instructional methods to promote student learning.

Evidence of Student Intellectual Development is related to the discipline, experience level, and appointment of the individual faculty member. However, all faculty members must show periodic, reflective self-assessment of the activities in which they engage and provide evidence of improved teaching and student learning. Documentation for Student Intellectual Development may include items such as reflective analyses of activities, student evaluation results, letters from peer observations, course materials, student learning outcome data, and teaching awards.

Examples of Student Intellectual Development may include but are not limited to:

-Connections made between instruction and program goals

-Course updates to maintain relevance and enhance teaching methods

-Course, curriculum, or program development

-Curricular revision efforts

-Development of instructional materials (e.g., software, original course supplements)

-Effective use of class time

-Engagement of students in service learning

-Evidence of student progress toward meeting course and/or program learning outcomes

-Implementation of a variety of instructional practices and assessment methods

-Implementation of high expectations for students (e.g., course tasks that require thinking at various levels of cognition, course assessments that measure student learning at various levels of cognition, impact on student development associated with University Level Competencies)

-Leading student groups on field experiences or international experiences

-Participation in goal assessment for courses and programs

-Response to observation data/evaluations of classroom performance, exhibition design, and/or other Student Intellectual Development activity from supervisors, peers, or students

-Student mentoring activities (e.g., undergraduate and graduate research, career direction, information literacy)

Scholarly Activity

Scholarly Activity is an essential part of University life and development and encompasses the many pursuits that broaden and expand the learning communities in which faculty function and the University is situated. Typically these activities are related to the faculty member’s discipline but may include significant work that prompts the intellectual advancement of others in areas related to the faculty member’s University appointment.

The evaluation of scholarly endeavors is greatly influenced by the disciplinary focus of the faculty member and regulations for evaluation established by accrediting agencies; however, the evaluation of scholarship must be flexible enough to recognize unique contributions that arise as faculty engage in discovery, integration, and application.

By using a broader lens through which to examine and evaluate scholarly engagement, we are encouraging an environment in which Winthrop faculty can actively affect the communities in which they directly engage. Therefore, unit level systems should recognize the importance of both theoretical study and the application of theory to solve problems in a variety of settings.

When submitting work to be considered in the category of Scholarly Activity, the faculty member should provide validation (internal or external) of the work’s merit. Although the University Faculty Roles document does not include priority guidelines for scholarly work, provided examples are intended to show a range of scholarly activities. The academic unit priority guidelines will situate such engagement with in the disciplines and will be used to evaluate merit. In this category of evaluation, faculty members should only include scholarly activities associated with their roles as Winthrop faculty members.

Examples of Scholarly Activity may include but are not limited to:

-Academic presentations (e.g., academic conferences, professional conferences, on-campus colloquia)

-Academic publications (e.g., academic journals, conference proceedings, scholarly books, textbooks)

-Application of scholarship that results in documented change (e.g., collaboration with local schools, work with community organizations in problem solving, new professional certifications resulting from significant exploration, design of assessment systems/reports that require synthesis of expertise and exploration of data)

-Creation of scholarly materials or models (e.g., significant study that leads to change in University processes, policies, or widely-used materials)

-Creative endeavors, performances, and literary or artistic works

-Grant development and awards

-Significant study to expand areas of scholarly expertise promoting cross-disciplinary experiences and/or student research

-Invitational or juried exhibitions

-Patent applications

Professional Stewardship

Professional Stewardship—as it counts toward tenure, promotion, annual evaluations, and merit raises—is service that requires faculty members to use their knowledge and experience to enhance the University and/or community. Activities that illustrate Professional Stewardship require faculty members to be involved in work that goes beyond regular teaching expectations and academic responsibility. Through such opportunities faculty impact circumstances, create opportunities for new knowledge or services, and/or support and enrich the function of existing structures on and off campus.

Professional Stewardship develops with experience at the University and is a vital component of the faculty’s role in the University mission. All faculty, regardless of rank, participate in Professional Stewardship activities that are reflective of their roles, ranks, and expertise. When providing evidence, faculty are encouraged to discuss the level of engagement, how expertise was applied, and/or the impact of activities.

Examples of Professional Stewardship may include but are not limited to:

-Active engagement with a campus student group (e.g., duties of a faculty advisor, participation in the design and delivery of programming, consultation related to discipline)

-Active membership on community committees, task forces, or similar groups

-Application of faculty knowledge or expertise to support university initiatives (e.g., student research activities, service learning opportunities, international experiences, support opportunities)

-Facilitation of professional development programs or continuing education programs

-Leadership roles in assessment initiatives that require significant time and expertise

-Leadership roles in international, national, or regional professional organizations

-Management of external grant programs

-Presentations, workshops, or demonstrations to professional, civic, or community organizations not seen as scholarship

-Program coordination (e.g., degree programs, academic support services)

-Service or leadership on a committee (typically at the college or university level) that has been shown to be complex in nature, require significant engagement, or demand considerable time

-Special assignments within the department, college, or university (e.g., fund raising, development of new programs, grant program evaluation, creation of a policy manual)

In a minority of cases, a faculty member whose job has been redefined by circumstances and who is applying for promotion may show exemplary work in the area of Professional Stewardship as the priority area for promotion. This exemplary work must be sustained, complex, and time consuming; have significant impact on the University or learning community; and receive recognition by peers. Individuals presenting accomplishments in this category as the priority area for promotion should have previously discussed the decision to do so with the department chair and the college dean. In addition, these faculty must provide evidence of impact for Professional Stewardship activities and engage in Scholarly Activity.

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