Indiana University’s Path to Better Faculty Activity Reporting

Along the road to the Final Four, we’ve heard the inspiring stories of how hurdles transform into opportunities. Indiana University’s basketball team championed to be a contender again this year, playing in its 100th NCAA tournament game on Friday. Similarly this year, a search committee on campus vied to find a better solution for their faculty activity reporting. And after a thorough process, one solution came out on top: Activity Insight.


Founded in 1820, Indiana University holds an iconic place in the Big 10. The university spans eight campuses with a combined 62 schools throughout the state, including two core campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Many of its programs rank number one nationally or in the top 10. With over 7,000 faculty and 114,000 students enrolled throughout its system, IU confers more than 23,000 degrees at all levels annually.


In 2010, Indiana University developed an in-house system called FAR (Faculty Activity Reporting) to better understand and centrally manage faculty accomplishment information. It served basic faculty activity reporting needs but leadership wanted a strategic view of information that could paint an actionable, vibrant picture of what was happening across the entire university. Anne Massey, Dean’s Research Professor of Information Systems at the Kelley School of Business and Associate Vice President of University Academic Affairs shared this view of FAR, “The system wasn’t fully serving our needs, particularly as they have evolved over the last few years. And, faculty weren’t happy with the somewhat onerous data entry process.”

The Solution

The first step was identifying top priorities for the new faculty activity reporting solution. James Thomas, Director of Enterprise Business Systems,  shared, “Our task force got started by talking to faculty about what the requirements of a system like this might be. And I think that gave us the focus we needed to end up where we did.” In addition to ease-of-use and usefulness, a few other critical needs emerged from the task force research: the need to capture teaching and service activities in additional to research activities; web services to integrate with other campus databases; strong reporting capabilities; customized data collection and reports for their academic units and auto-populated profiles of their faculty on their university, college and departmental websites.

Want to learn more about Indiana University’s challenges, search process and vision moving forward? See the full case study: Indiana University Streamlined Faculty Activity Reporting and Benefits from Campus-Wide Process Consistency.

2 thoughts on “Indiana University’s Path to Better Faculty Activity Reporting

  1. Love the case study! I don’t know how long it would take, but I’d love to see a follow-up post with some of IU’s results from using Activity Insight. 🙂

    -Justin H.

    1. Hey Justin! Glad that you enjoyed it! We hope to document IU’s process along the way as well as their results using Activity Insight. Look for that coming in the future (probably 2017 for this one), but if you can’t wait that long we’ll be sharing other case studies throughout the year! More to come! -Samantha, Content Marketing Specialist

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