Ah, September! Apples are ripening, students have returned to campus and it’s a great time for faculty and administration to begin the academic year with a renewed commitment to activity reporting best practices. Here are four tips and resources for faculty activity reporting success to help everyone on your team get the most from your faculty management system.
1) Highlight features and benefits.
Faculty activity data is vital to the university and faculty themselves. Daily tasks of teaching, research and service add up to a lifetime of accomplishment—and they’re the source of the impacts an institution makes in its areas of study, its community, and the world. So the beginning of the academic year is the best time to highlight the features that make using the system as easy as possible. Highlight features that minimize data entry by integrating with other campus systems, such as Banner and PeopleSoft, and by importing data directly from publication citation repositories like Crossref, Scopus, Web of Science and others.
Reminding everyone of the benefits is important too. Since no one misses a sore thumb once it’s gone, remind faculty and administrative staff of the many times having current activity data in the system means they aren’t repeatedly required to ask for or provide the same information—again—for various reporting requirements.
2) Set expectations.
For faculty, this may mean making activity data entry part of their ongoing weekly or monthly job expectation. At many universities, the maxim is, “If it’s not in Activity Insight, it didn’t happen.” Faculty’s activities influence everything from merit increases to professional and regional accreditation, so be sure they understand how important current data is for themselves and for their college and university’s success.
For administration, it’s a good time to perform a user audit to ensure all faculty have an active user account and that you’ve disabled the accounts of former faculty. Use the Download All User Information report within the Users and Security tool to accomplish this task. Assessing security roles and college/department assignments are also important for starting the year off right. Finally, be sure to update yearly data records for the new academic year.
3) Share resources.
Faculty activity reporting software administrators receive updates directly from their vendor, and the best vendors also provide information to share with faculty—who are, after all, the actual system users. In the best case scenario, these resources should make the case for the value of faculty activity reporting, as well as why they’ll like using your system.
4) Celebrate successes.
When faculty regularly enter accomplishments into your faculty activity reporting system, your university has deep insight into their day-to-day achievements. It’s easy to find and celebrate rockstar successes, but with data at your fingertips, you can surface numerous stories of impact and engagement. Kaplan University President Betty Vandenbosh uses their faculty activity reporting system to discover stories of faculty success, which she shares with the university via live, interactive web chats and faculty town hall meetings throughout the year.
We hope you have a successful and exciting 2017-2018 academic year. If you’ve had success with faculty activity reporting software, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.