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Criteria for Scholarship

This document serves as a guideline for faculty and deans in their effort to perform and promote scholarship at Southern Polytechnic. It defines scholarship, outlines how it is assessed, and provides scholarship criteria for T1 and T2 faculty.


What is Scholarship?

Academic achievement—called “scholarship” here—is an integral part of the academic profession. Scholarly work possesses at least the following properties:

It involves providing or sharing knowledge
It involves new knowledge or new use or application of old knowledge
It involves evidence or documentation of accomplishment

Scholarship differs from professional growth and development, as denoted during SPSU’s most recent regional accreditation study: “The basic difference between professional growth and scholarly activities is that faculty members receive knowledge through professional growth and contribute knowledge through scholarly or creative activities” (SACS Report of the Reaffirmation Committee, 1998 - s

The four main types of scholarship are outlined below. They are developed in two works: Scholarship Considered: Priorities of the Professoriate by E.L. Boyer (Jossey-Bass, 1990) and Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate by C.E. Glassick, M.T. Huber, and G.I. Maeroff (Jossey-Bass, 1997).

  • The Scholarship of Teaching: activities with intellectual merit that contribute to teaching and learning, or the understanding of teaching and learning. These could include creating original instructional materials, developing original curricula, incorporating new knowledge or new technology into existing courses, evaluating the effectiveness of pedagogical procedures, and examining ethical and/or societal issues in the course context in an original manner.

  • The Scholarship of Application: contributions with intellectual merit outside the teaching role--including consultancies--that demonstrate the ability either to enrich knowledge and skills or to apply knowledge and skills in a particular situation. Evidence of achievement would normally include productive consultancies with outside groups resulting in innovative practical outcomes, acceptance by the profession of resources or techniques developed, or major original performances or exhibitions where appropriate.

  • The Scholarship of Integration: original contributions that make connections between disciplines, create new contexts for viewing knowledge, or establish new models. Beyond simply collecting or cataloging information and knowledge from various disciplines, contributions must reflect original insight, put apparently unrelated facts into perspective, or place specialized knowledge into a larger context.

  • The Scholarship of Discovery: the pursuit of original knowledge and creativity. This type of scholarship includes not only traditional research but also original and creative work in software development and in the literary, visual, and performing arts. Evidence of achievement normally would include a higher academic degree, satisfactory progress toward a higher degree, publication of original contributions to knowledge in refereed journals or books, refereed conference papers, or creative or artistic works. The latter may include exhibitions, performances, compositions, recordings, designs, or software of an innovative nature and recognized international standard.

Appropriate activities in any type of scholarship include but are not limited to the following: (1) participating substantively in professional conferences and meetings as a presenter, discussant, or panel organizer; (2) presenting scholarly talks, publishing books, articles, or technical papers, or developing software or other media; (3) producing significant reviews of books or articles; and (4) holding exhibits or performances that contribute to one of the four primary types of scholarship stated above.


How is Scholarship Assessed?

Regardless of type, scholarly activities must have some degree of originality and be subject to a some degree of external review or contact.

Evidence of the quality of scholarship might include, but is not necessarily limited to, one or more of the following: literature citations, inclusion or mention in review articles in books or journals of recognized international standing, invitations to address scholarly meetings and conferences, services as an editor or referee to scholarly journals or books, or professional awards and fellowships.

The type of review (pre-tenure, post-tenure, tenure, promotion, or annual) determines whether the dean, peer committee, or both judge the quality of an individual's achievements. Standards will be established in each program and school. If the individual or the dean wishes, or in the event there are no university faculty with sufficient familiarity to judge an individual's achievements, evaluations may be solicited from knowledgeable professionals outside the university. The individual faculty member may be required to identify such knowledgeable professionals, but it will be the dean’s responsibility to request the evaluations. For such outside evaluations to be considered, evaluators must provide documentation to establish their qualifications in the area in question.

Because scholarly achievement is judged by peer review, the standards of quality shall be established by each school and by programs within the school. The deans, in concert with the vice president for academic affairs, must ensure that the minimum standards for T1 and T2 scholarship are appropriate.


What are the Scholarship Criteria for T1 Faculty?

Although all faculty are encouraged to pursue scholarly activities, T1 faculty are expected to engage regularly in a high level of scholarship. High scholarship is judged both in terms of quality and quantity. It involves a high degree of originality and a high degree of external review or contact. Evidence of high scholarship may include publications subject to peer review in journals of national or international repute, invited lectures at national or international conferences, exhibitions of artistic works that receive high acclaim, patents, or other works that pass the test of high scrutiny.


What are the Scholarship Criteria for T2 Faculty?

T2 faculty are expected to engage in a moderate level of scholarship. Moderate scholarship involves some degree of originality and some degree of external review or contact. Because T2 faculty have neither the time nor the resources afforded to T1 faculty, they are encouraged but not expected to meet the same standards of quality. Publications in national or regional journals or newsletters, presentations or posters at professional meetings, and performances or exhibitions of artistic merit would all be considered examples of evidence of scholarship for T2 faculty.



Scholarship is intended to complement and enhance the importance of teaching at Southern Polytechnic. In pursuing one or more of the scholarship activities described above, faculty will have a more fulfilling professional life in their career at this institution.