The way Kelly Wilkinson, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Indiana State University’s Scott College of Business, sees it, the value of faculty activity reporting (FAR) software to faculty is the ability to tell their stories in different ways. And she employed an innovative strategy to encourage faculty to input their data so they can output it for a variety of uses, from biennial reviews and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) reporting to customizing CVs for a variety of purposes. Here, Wilkinson shares an overview of the Day of Me event held in May and highlights FAR benefits for faculty, expected and unexpected, that came out of the event.
What’s In It for Faculty?
“We started out thinking about the benefits of inputting activities once and outputting them many times. Then we thought, ‘How do we get faculty to input activities?’ One of the ways we talk about this is ‘Sheldon syndrome,’” Wilkinson said, referencing a character from the television show Big Bang Theory with a distinctive—and annoying—knocking habit. “We knocked and knocked, always looking for the same information, and it all fell on faculty,” she said.
Wilkinson wasn’t content to hire a data entry team to input data for faculty. “AACSB is for everyone, not just the deans. They needed to understand why they were doing what we were asking them to do, and to be able to tell their story in an AACSB framework. They had to be able to create an impact statement about their own work,” Wilkinson.
Since faculty are required to use Activity Insight for biennial review reporting and for providing their contributions for AACSB reporting, Wilkinson wanted to make it as easy for them as possible. “I thought had about how to make it about them,” she shared.
Wilkinson settled on a “Day of Me.” She prepared an AACSB 2-1 table and audit report for each faculty member so they could review and update their information before leaving campus for the summer. And she made it fun with Square Donuts, an Indiana specialty, lunch, breaks for speakers on topics like professional development, and giveaways including gift cards and even a massage certificate.
Getting Your Story Right
Seeing their AACSB tables was an eyeopener for many faculty members. “I told them, if we ran this today, this is the information that would represent you, whether that’s for your biennial review or accreditation. It’s what would inform our decisions for you. And they said, ‘Wait, not everything is in it!’” Wilkinson said. “I told them, ‘Great, then tell your story.’ Because the best stories of their work come directly from faculty. Who can articulate their work or its impacts better than they can? No one.”
Measures of Success
“Getting them to come was tough. I wanted it to be more than data input. So one of the things I promoted was working together to get your information in once,” Wilkinson shared. “Get your intellectual contributions in so they can be considered for remuneration.”
She also emphasized their common mission and the way individual contributions affect everyone in the college of business. “If anyone’s not carrying their weight, or just doesn’t tell their story, it’s all of our workload and salaries on the line. Losing accreditation would impact us all,” she said. The message worked. Out of 31 faculty members, 26 attended the Day of Me event.
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