You can have the best university in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t spread the word about your university’s successes. Whether it’s positioning the university to pursue promising grant opportunities, responding confidently to stakeholders seeking to hold the university accountable or promoting faculty accomplishments to attract prospective students—just to name a few—a faculty activity reporting solution can transform the university ecosystem.
Many colleges and universities have shed their reliance on reaching out to faculty for each information request in favor of a centralized system of data collection, management and reporting. We’ve shared below some of our research from speaking with provosts about their processes for annual faculty reviews, promotion and tenure and responding to ad hoc requests for information about faculty accomplishments. From these conversations, we’ve uncovered specific reasons why provosts have chosen to have their universities leverage faculty activity reporting software.
1) Streamline Annual Faculty Activity Reviews
There’s no way around it—annual reporting is a point of focus every year. You want to see the same information in a consistent manner for colleges across your university and a faculty activity reporting system can do just that. Capturing faculty activities in one location is the most efficient way to not only track accomplishments but also create custom annual reports. Spend up to 25 percent less time requesting the right information.
2) Feel Confident in Deciding Promotion and Tenure
Both sides of the promotion and tenure process—for faculty applying and for peers recommending—are time-consuming. Not only do you spend time reviewing the work and accomplishments of faculty to inform your decision—so do candidates and numerous committee members. Putting manual hours and resources into hunting down information is just not efficient.
Confidence for both the candidate and reviewer during the promotion and tenure process starts with confidence in the dossier. Creating the best possible dossier takes a lot of time and effort in and of itself—from clarifying requirements and formatting to finding information. Faculty activity reporting software can help with this process that is crucial to your university and faculty members alike. By using faculty activity reporting software, universities can repurpose 15 percent of the time they spend on promotion and tenure processes. Lighten the load to let faculty concentrate on teaching, research and service.
3) Provide Answers to One-Off Requests
Not every university has the resources to answer every request from stakeholders in a timely manner. It’s likely that you field over 20 requests each year about your faculty activity from your board of regents, internal stakeholders (like your faculty senate), the media and more. With faculty activity reporting software, all of your faculty accomplishments are in one place—making them readily accessible and easy to report on-demand. Leverage this software to reduce requests made to your faculty as well, and cut the time it takes to respond to requests by 40 percent or more.
4) Measure and Manage Impact
While measuring and managing impact may vary from university to university, a faculty activity reporting solution is the perfect repository to leverage for creating reports that showcase your university’s successes. Share your university’s greatest accomplishments and tell the story of your mission, intellectual contributions, teaching efforts and community outreach activities. You won’t overlook important achievements when using a faculty activity reporting solution to report this information.
5) Promote Your Faculty for Grant Opportunities
It’s essential to your university that qualified faculty are able to connect to available research opportunities. With a faculty activity reporting solution, faculty members track their activities in a central location and run custom reports to support winning grant opportunities. Why not simplify the process of championing sought-after grants? After all, more interdisciplinary research means more dollars for your campus.
6) Get the Faculty Information You Need for Accreditation
With a faculty activity reporting solution behind you, your university will be able to collect and aggregate faculty activity information to use as you prepare for your accreditation review. Use this central, searchable repository to identify and recruit the best participants for your regional accreditation self-study committee. Then, customize your faculty credentials report to abide by your accrediting body’s specific standards (and encourage your colleges to do the same for disciplinary accreditation.) Spend less time and fewer resources—and have all of the details to demonstrate your faculty’s achievements.
7) Review Academic Programs
Leverage the power of a faculty activity reporting solution to trim the number of data sources you have to tap into and streamline faculty conversations during academic program reviews. When collecting faculty teaching activity, you also have the opportunity to collect and centralize syllabi, record pedagogical innovations, note course developments as they occur and more. And of course, if you’re using this software for other initiatives, you’ll already have all your faculty information—awards, scholarship and research, grants, service, outreach—centralized and ready to reference. And reporting capabilities make it easy to pull this information together to feed key parts of a program self-study.
This is really powerful. Not only does a faculty activity reporting solution centralize your faculty activity information, saving faculty resources and ensuring data integrity, but it also allows you to efficiently determine if your current courses and faculty create a strong foundation to uphold the integrity of your academic programs.
Consider putting these tips and tactics in motion to streamline your university’s efforts around faculty activity and reporting. Do you leverage a faculty activity reporting solution in a unique way at your university? Let us know in the comments!