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Academic Affairs

Policy Title
Promotions, Faculty-Effective 2014-15
Policy Description
Note:  The new promotion policy will be fully in effect for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Faculty seeking promotion prior to that academic year may follow this policy and procedure or may follow the previous policy and procedure.

Promotions are granted at Winthrop on a merit basis. The criteria for promotions are the same as those required for academic appointment (See Academic Rank). Standards and suggested evidence for meeting these criteria are discussed in A promotion in rank is associated with the academic discipline and should be based on performance related to the academic discipline and/or 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.

Not included in this process are non-tenure track, multi-year, visiting, and adjunct faculty. 
Policy Procedures
A promotion review form will be made available to all faculty according to the review timeline established in A faculty member requesting promotion returns the form to the department chair. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, failure to meet the deadline constitutes waiver of promotion review.

A faculty member requesting promotion submits to the department chair a promotion portfolio prepared according to the guidelines of the University and the academic unit. Timelines are provided by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in and updated annually to reflect changes in the calendar. The general University expectations are included in this document and academic units are responsible for providing faculty members additional expectations electronically on the unit website at least six months prior to the portfolio due date.

When a faculty member is applying for tenure and for promotion concurrently, a single supporting 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.

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

The faculty member under review will submit the review portfolio directly to his/her direct supervisor (chair or dean). The process of review will follow a procedure established by the unit that is consistent with the general guidelines from the university.

In 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 is not a sufficient number of tenured faculty within the department or college, then tenured faculty outside the department or unit will serve as members of the committee.

Once the portfolio is submitted, the department chair will forward the portfolio to the department committee or begin the review process as described below.

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 return the portfolio with a report and recommendation to the department chair or direct supervisor. This review 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 held. 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. At any stage of the review process, no material may be added to the portfolio without the approval of all prior review bodies.

The department chair reviews all materials and submits a report and recommendation, along with all of the materials, to the academic unit committee. This review 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.

The unit committee reviews all materials and submits to the dean a report, the review portfolio, and all previous reports. The unit committee response 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 recommendations and documents from the department committee and chair. When the decision of the committee is not unanimous, the report should indicate the areas of disagreement. If a single report cannot adequately represent the evaluation of committee members, a minority report must be submitted along with the primary report. All committee members must sign either the primary report or minority report. 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.

The dean reviews all materials and creates a written response. The dean’s response 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.

When the dean's recommendation is positive, all materials are submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. When the dean's recommendation is negative, no materials are submitted. Rather, the dean discusses with the faculty member strengths and weaknesses identified in the review process. If the dean disagrees with a positive academic unit committee recommendation in two consecutive years, the promotion portfolio will be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs in the second year unless the faculty member requests otherwise according to the timeline established in The Vice President for Academic Affairs provides to the University Personnel Committee all portfolios and reports/recommendations received from the deans. The University Personnel Committee reviews all materials and submits its recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Upon receipt of the recommendations, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall convene the University Personnel Committee to discuss the granting of promotion. The recommendation of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is forwarded to the President along with recommendations from each level.

Portfolio Preparation.
A faculty member standing for promotion must submit a 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 table of contents.
 • Appropriate indexing tabs should be employed.
 • Indication of location of materials outside the original binder/notebook must be indicated.

4. A current vita.

5. 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.

6. 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 tapes, 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.

7. Peer evaluations, if available.

8. Supporting documents pertinent to the review.

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

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. If promotion is to be granted, the faculty member shall be notified in writing by May 15. By May 15, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall notify in writing faculty who are not being promoted. The President or designee reports to the faculty on the status of promotions by submitting for publication the names of those faculty who have been promoted. The names will be published in FYI (For Your Information), the news bulletin for all employees.

Any promotion candidate who has reason to suspect discrimination as defined by South Carolina Code in 8-17-320 may file a grievance.

In the case where promotion is denied, the promotion portfolio will remain in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for one year to allow for completion of an appeals process if necessary.

The Board of Trustees delegates to the President the managerial and administrative authority for the ongoing operations of the University commensurate with the policies of the Board. Decisions made by the President may not be appealed to the Board of Trustees.

Internal Control Considerations
Policy Author(s)
Faculty Conference, Academic Affairs
Effective Date
August 2012
Review Date
July 2012
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