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CONTACT INFORMATION
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115 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
803/323-2220
803/323-4036 (fax)

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Academic Affairs

Policy Title
Academic Rank--Effective 2014-2015 Academic Year
Policy Description
Faculty ranks in the University allow for recognition and distinction among the faculty membership. Ranks not only help to define the focus of faculty members but also can direct the types of responsibilities they are given within the University. Further, inherent in the roles of faculty at the senior rank is the notion of continued involvement and support for the development of colleagues at all ranks. As faculty members earn promotion, they must meet and maintain the expectations for the rank achieved. Faculty should be supported in efforts for promotion and development through candid and focused feedback in annual and periodic reviews. Administrators should assign responsibilities in an equitable manner to support faculty involvement in all areas. The following descriptions of faculty ranks are structured in such a way as to 1) identify the expectations for promotion to the rank, 2) indicate areas of focus while at the rank, 3) reinforce the need for on-going growth and development at all ranks, 4) remain flexible enough to appreciate the nature of assignments in all academic divisions, and 5) require colleges and departmental faculty to place these descriptions in the context of the demands of the disciplines and accreditation standards.

A. Assistant Professor

A nominee for appointment to the rank of Assistant Professor is required to hold the appropriate terminal degree for the nominee’s discipline or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for waiving the requirement for a terminal degree. A faculty member at this rank is eligible for tenure if in a tenure-track appointment.

At the time of appointment, an Assistant Professor should demonstrate a potential for effective Student Intellectual Development; have a plan for active engagement in Scholarly Activity to include research, creative activity, and/or other significant scholarly contributions to the learning community; and show the potential for engagement in activities related to academic responsibility.

As an Assistant Professor, the faculty member is expected to build a balanced record of accomplishment in the areas of Student Intellectual Development and Scholarly Activity that is appropriate for a junior member of the faculty. An Assistant Professor should demonstrate academic responsibility and explore ways to engage in Professional Stewardship. Furthermore, a faculty member at this rank should build a portfolio which showcases activities leading to effective Student Intellectual Development and engagement in Scholarly Activity to include research, creative activity, and/or significant contributions to the learning community.

In annual reports and other evaluative portfolios, an Assistant Professor must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.

B. Associate Professor
A nominee for appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor is required to hold the appropriate terminal degree for the nominee’s discipline(s) or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for waiving the requirement for a terminal degree. A faculty member at this rank is eligible for tenure if in a tenure-track appointment.

At the time of appointment or promotion to Associate Professor, a faculty member is expected to have a portfolio and body of work that is balanced with respect to the responsibilities of the faculty member’s position at the University. Evidence must indicate advanced skill in the area of Student Intellectual Development. The faculty member must also have a consistent record of academic responsibility.  

In the majority of instances a faculty member will present a portfolio of Scholarly Activity that has examples of work at appropriate levels within the academic unit priority system and which provide evidence for a commitment to exploration, creativity, and/or change. Furthermore, the faculty member will show some involvement in activities identified as Professional Stewardship with the potential for continued involvement.

In a minority of cases, a faculty member whose job has been redefined by circumstances may show exemplary work in the area of Professional Stewardship to supplement Scholarly Activity. This exemplary work must be sustained, complex, and time consuming; have significant impact on the University or learning community; and receive recognition by peers. The Scholarly Activity of this individual should include external, peer-reviewed work and provide evidence of a commitment to exploration, creativity, and/or change.

Once at the rank of Associate Professor, a faculty member must maintain an active role in the University and sustain a consistent record of academic responsibility. The faculty member must show continued growth and development in activities related to Student Intellectual Development, Scholarly Activity, and Professional Stewardship.
In annual reports and other evaluative portfolios, an Associate Professor must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.

C. Professor
A nominee for appointment or promotion to the rank of Professor is required to hold the appropriate terminal degree for the nominee’s discipline or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for waiving the requirement for a terminal degree. A faculty member at this rank is eligible for tenure if in a tenure-track appointment.

At the time of appointment or promotion to Professor, the faculty member is expected to have a balanced portfolio and body of work that demonstrates attainment of the criteria for this rank and expectations for continued involvement with the University at this high level. In the category of Student Intellectual Development, the faculty member is required to show noteworthy accomplishments and sustained excellence, while demonstrating ongoing reflection, renewal, and development. The faculty member must have a continuous record of meeting academic responsibilities. At the rank of Professor, a faculty member must exhibit both leadership and academic maturity and support the continued development of other faculty.

In a majority of cases, the faculty member’s portfolio of work will demonstrate a sustained record of Scholarly Activity at appropriate levels of the academic unit priority system and provide evidence of a commitment to exploration, creativity, and/or change. Furthermore, the faculty member should continue to demonstrate a commitment to the University through engagement in a variety of activities identified as Professional Stewardship.

In a minority of cases, a faculty member whose job has been redefined by circumstances may show exemplary work in the area of Professional Stewardship to supplement Scholarly Activity. This work must be sustained, complex, and time consuming; have significant impact on the University or learning community; identify the faculty member as a leader; and receive recognition by peers. Further, the Scholarly Activity of this individual must include external, peer-reviewed work and provide evidence of a commitment to exploration, creativity, and/or change.

Once at the rank of Professor, a faculty member must maintain an active role in the University and a consistent record of academic responsibility. The faculty member must show continued growth and development in activities related to Student Intellectual Development, Scholarly Activity, and Professional Stewardship.
In annual reports and other evaluative portfolios, a faculty member at this rank must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.

D. Contingent Appointments
Contingent (non-tenure track) appointments may be made at the professorial ranks discussed above. The following ranks are available for fixed-term assignments of various lengths and can be designated by titles that indicate either full-time or part-time status. Individuals in contingent appointments are not eligible for promotions in rank. If promotion in rank is appropriate, the faculty member should be transitioned into a tenure-track position.

1. Instructor
A nominee for appointment to the rank of Instructor is required to hold at least a master’s degree in a related discipline and have sufficient course work in the discipline or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for waiving the degree requirements. The rank of Instructor should be assigned to an individual who, when appointed, lacks qualifications required by the University for appointment to a professorial rank. An instructor is a full-time employee of the University and is a full voting member of the instructor’s respective department, unit assembly, and Faculty Conference. A faculty member at this rank is not eligible for tenure and is appointed for a term of one year; however, appointment to additional one-year terms is permitted.

At the time of appointment, an Instructor should demonstrate a potential for effective Student Intellectual Development and a commitment to academic responsibility. Throughout the time at this rank, the faculty member should develop more advanced skills in the area of Student Intellectual Development and demonstrate a consistent record of academic responsibility.

In annual reports and other evaluative portfolios, a faculty member at this rank must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.

2. Senior Instructor
A nominee for appointment to the rank of Senior Instructor is required to hold at least a master’s degree in a related discipline and have sufficient course work in the discipline or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for waiving the degree requirements. The rank of Senior Instructor should be assigned to an individual who, when appointed, lacks qualifications required by the University for appointment to a professorial rank. A Senior Instructor is a full-time employee of the university and is a full voting member of the Senior Instructor’s respective department, unit assembly, and Faculty Conference. A faculty member at this rank is not eligible for tenure; however, a Senior Instructor can be awarded multi-year contracts.

At the time of appointment, a Senior Instructor should demonstrate effective Student Intellectual Development, a consistent record of academic responsibility, and some Scholarly Activity or Professional Stewardship. The rank of Senior Instructor is granted as a result of work at Winthrop or other evidence that indicates a multi-year appointment is appropriate.

Throughout the time at this rank, the faculty member should continue to develop skills in the area of Student Intellectual Development, must maintain a consistent record of academic responsibility, and is expected to stay involved in Scholarly Activity or Professional Stewardship associated with the individual’s discipline.
In annual reports and other evaluative portfolios, a faculty member at this rank must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.

3. Adjunct Faculty
An Adjunct Faculty member is required to hold at least a master’s degree in a related discipline and have sufficient course work in the discipline or to have professional achievements that the University recognizes as sufficient for granting an appointment at this rank.

Adjunct Faculty are hired on a part-time basis and for a fixed-term (e. g., one semester, one year) to teach one or more courses or to conduct a series of lectures. A faculty member at this rank is not eligible for tenure. Terms such as Adjunct Instructor, Adjunct Artist-in-Residence, or Adjunct Associate Professor are used to indicate the type of appointment and level of expertise.

At the time of appointment, an Adjunct Faculty member should demonstrate a potential for, or offer evidence of, effective Student Intellectual Development activities and a commitment to those expectations within academic responsibility that are requirements for all faculty (e.g., adherence to academic policies, participating in the collection of assessment data necessary for course and program evaluation). Throughout the time at this rank, the faculty member should develop more advanced skills in the area of Student Intellectual Development and demonstrate a consistent record of academic responsibility.

In annual reports, Adjunct Faculty must provide evidence of progress and involvement that is responsive to feedback and meets expectations of the rank.  

Policy Procedures
Internal Control Considerations
Effective Date
August 2012
Review Date
June 2012