How Baylor University is Using Faculty Activity Software to Measure Mission Success

With a faculty activity reporting solution, universities are able to leverage faculty information to tell their institution’s distinctive story. For Baylor University, this came in the form of illustrating how the university is working to achieve its strategic vision, “Pro Futuris.” During a recent presentation at AIR Forum 2016, Michael Matier, Vice Provost of Institutional Effectiveness at Baylor University joined us for a presentation, “How Baylor University is Utilizing Faculty Activity Tracking as One Means to Measuring Mission Success.”

The discussion focused on how Baylor is working to inform evidence-based, institutional decision-making in support of its commitment to cultivating leadership and service among its faculty and students. A main point of the conversation focused on how Baylor is implementing Activity Insight to identify how key activities align with strategic initiatives to demonstrate progress toward meeting the university’s objectives. Matier explained: “Like every other research university with aims to improve the curricular & and co-curricular experiences of its students along with facilitating its faculty having a greater scholarly and creative impact on its various communities, Baylor faces the challenge of how to do this in an ever increasingly efficient and effective fashion.  If you are going to encourage faculty to “do more” you need to find ways of supporting them in doing so, that permits them to focus their energies on what they do best.  One of the ways we are doing that at Baylor is to partner with Digital Measures.”  

Read on for an overview of the the three key takeaways from this presentation. Want more insight on how Baylor is using Activity Insight to measure mission success? Want to hear Matier’s thoughts on the process? Here’s the full case study.

Background

Founded in 1845, Baylor University is a private Christian university and nationally ranked research institution. Located in Waco, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. The university enjoys high standing among many national rating services (including US News and World Report, Kiplinger, Chronicle of Higher Ed and more) that evaluate quality of education, research activity, affordability, baccalaureate value and athletic excellence. With over 1,100 faculty and 17,000 students enrolled at the university, Baylor confers more than 3,800 degrees at all levels annually.

1) Seeing the Destination

Before telling the story of how Baylor is progressing toward fulfilling their mission statement, the university first had to define the outcomes it sought to reach. The university formulated five aspirational statements to comprise its strategic vision: Transformational Education, Compelling Scholarship, Informed Engagement, Committed Constituents and Judicious Stewardship.

2) Identifying Roadblocks

No good plan can be accomplished without acknowledging potential roadblocks and determining solutions for them ahead of the game. For Baylor, they knew they would encounter both system and behavioral challenges. From a phased implementation to data cleanup and reluctant faculty and process change, identifying the issues that could steer them off course and addressing them head on has been a critical aspect of utilizing faculty activity reporting to measure their mission success.

3) Reading the Map

Baylor University has created a comprehensive plan for how they will use their faculty activity reporting solution to inform the monitoring of mission statement success. The way in which they are utilizing the software differs for each facet of their strategic vision, but is united in its ultimate goal.

For all the details of this plan and to see what Matier has to say about Baylor’s clear and evolving plan for utilizing Activity Insight as a means of creating both quantitative and qualitative looks at how the university is achieving mission success, read the full case study.

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