5c. Modeling Best Professional Practices in Scholarship
5c.1. Describe the types of scholarly work that will be expected of faculty and how the unit will ensure that faculty are appropriately engaged in scholarship.
A faculty member must be a productive scholar, for scholarship is an intrinsic element of academic life. At Thomas University, four types of scholarship defined by Ernest L. Boyer in Scholarship Reconsidered (1990) provide a model for application in the faculty evaluation and promotion processes at Thomas University. The Scholarship of Discovery encompasses those scholarly activities that extend the stock of human knowledge through the discovery or collection of new information. The Scholarship of Integration encompasses scholarly activities that are primarily interdisciplinary or interpretive in nature. The Scholarship of Application encompasses scholarly activities that seek to relate the knowledge in one’s field to the affairs of society. The Scholarship of Teaching encompasses scholarly activities that are directly related to pedagogical practices.
Active involvement in intellectual, scholarly, and professional advancement in the field enhances effective teaching. Scholarly and professional activities should be judged for their relevance to the mission of the university, their improvement of teaching, and for their quality. They may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Achievement of a relevant advanced degree or evidence of working towards the terminal degree in the field
- Sustained inquiry into an area of one’s field
- Scholarly productivity demonstrated as appropriate by publications, artistic work, performance, etc. (The quality of achievement should be assessed based on the level of recognition among peers and the significance in a particular field)
- Participation in and leadership of professional organizations
- Appointment or election to a state or national post related to one’s field
- Sharing of expertise with the university community
- Relevant consulting work in one’s professional area
- Reviewing or judging of materials to be published, displayed, or performed
- Application for grants
- Involvement in grants or other special projects
All faculty members are expected to devote some portion of their time, on a regular basis, to at least one of the forms of scholarship. Thomas University systematically completes an annual comprehensive evaluation process of full-time and adjunct/part-time faculty with the goal of continuous improvement.
The formal evaluation process requires faculty to annually submit a Self-Reflective Profile demonstrating, scholarship/professional development. Scholarly and Professional Involvement and Achievement must show evidence of the impact of professional development/involvement on teaching and/or the university as well as contributing generally to the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching.