Cornell University Streamlines Faculty Activity Reporting

From annual reviews to accreditation, there are many internal processes on campus that rely on accurate faculty activity information. Universities are looking for ways to streamline faculty activity activity reporting, yet each has a different approach for exactly how they achieve this critical process. To establish a proficient method at their university, Cornell University (Cornell) decided to implement Activity Insight from Digital Measures. Using a common solution across a number of schools on campus enabled a much more efficient method for collecting, aggregating and reporting on faculty accomplishments.

Background

Founded in 1865, Cornell is a private, Ivy League university and the land-grant university for New York State. Today, Cornell is home to the nation’s first colleges devoted to hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. It is also the most educationally diverse member of the Ivy League.

On the Ithaca campus alone there are nearly 20,000 students representing every state and 120 countries. These students choose from among 4,000 courses in 11 undergraduate, graduate, and professional colleges and schools. Many undergraduates take part in a wide range of interdisciplinary programs, play meaningful roles in original research, and study in Cornell programs in Washington, New York City and the world over.

Challenges

When it came to faculty activity reporting, some of Cornell’s colleges and schools had developed electronic solutions while others were using manual processes to collect this information. In both cases, Cornell was missing out on an opportunity to use a common tool in a consistent manner. According to Sarah Albrecht, Management Information and Administrative Systems Manager at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, the College Officers Group wanted a more uniform solution that all schools could use to record and report various activities, including annual reporting on faculty activities. “Frustration had been mounting over the years in some schools because the process of collecting and aggregating this information was complex,” explains Albrecht.

Choosing a Solution

Once the College Officers Group started talking with the various schools on campus, it found that the Cornell School of Hotel Administration was successfully using Activity Insight from Digital Measures. The Cornell School of Hotel Administration gave a demo of the solution to the College Officers Group, convincing the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning that Activity Insight could significantly improve its process. “We were impressed with the solution’s ease of use and information access, as well as the ability to customize screens, fields and reports—including CVs—as needed,” recalls Albrecht.

While the College Officers Group hoped that all colleges and schools across campus would use the same tool, it took an opt-in approach to implementation, allowing schools to adopt Activity Insight at their own choosing.

Reaping the Benefits

The schools using Activity Insight now enjoy a much more streamlined process for collecting, aggregating and reporting on faculty activities. While Albrecht’s school uses Activity Insight primarily for annual reporting of faculty activities, they also leverage it to populate their website with faculty profiles. And, some schools on campus are also using the solution to aid the accreditation process.

To learn more about the ways in which Cornell has implemented the system and to see what Albrecht has to say about how Cornell worked to ensure consistent reporting for faculty activities and accreditation, read the full case study.

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