Faculty Activity and Tenure & Promotion Management

The Project

The Project

This nationally-known university system was in search of a streamlined, comprehensive tool to track its extensive data collection efforts for staff and faculty activity. It wanted to center the development on the three pillars of academia: Teaching, Research and Service. The “off the shelf” options were limited and did not allow the university to maintain possession and ownership of its highly confidential data. They also desired to have broad abilities to customize and integrate with a number of existing applications in use University-wide, including the Banner course scheduling and management implementation, Cayuse Research and Grant Administration software, and a variety of reference management tools. Intending to develop in-house, they quickly determined that the effort exceeded the University’s internal resources and they turned to Fox Wyndrum Associates, Inc. to take over the design and development of its Faculty Activity Reporting and related systems and to provide ongoing programming and support to users.

The Challenges

With nearly 40,000 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff across nine colleges, the collection of extremely detailed activity records translated to a high-volume dataset. The complex data model required an equally simple data entry process to ensure adoption by its wide-ranging user base. Integrations with myriad external systems meant normalizing data and developing highly-available automated data exchanges.

The data compiled was to be used for a variety of reporting requirements, including periodic mandated accreditation efforts with a number of external bodies. As such, the underlying data model had to provide flexibility and accessibility to ensure compatibility with the data demands.

The Challenges
The Solution

The Solution

Fox Wyndrum was able to successfully implement a robust, flexible software solution that would not only satisfy the needs of faculty reporting requirements, but also allow the University to fully control changes and enhancements to the system as its needs changed. Initially scoped to collect activity data for one college, it was ultimately rolled out across the university using college- and user- customizable features to meet specific college needs.

The application has been greatly expanded over time with additional modules including:

Faculty Activity Reporting (FAR) Management

The Activity Manager houses all FAR data entry and publishing functions for the Faculty Activing report. Its interface was centered on the prerequisite that the data collection mechanism must minimize the demands placed on faculty users to support participation. The system incorporates systemic data collection and collation, automatic roll-forward for continuing activities, and consolidated data libraries for shared efforts.

The FAR collects a wide-range of highly detailed performance data used for faculty and staff evaluations. Data feeds from external systems eliminate much of the data entry demands on users.

  • Teaching (Courses, Clinical Teaching, Dissertations/Theses, Advising. Supervision)
  • Service (Internal and External Committees, Academic and Professional Services)
  • Administrative Responsibilities
  • Scholarship (Publications, Creative Activities, Other Activities)
  • Contracts and Grants
  • Conferences and Meetings
  • Honors and Awards
  • Intellectual Property
  • Certifications
  • Librarianship
  • Goals

The FAR allows faculty to automatically generate custom Biosketch and Curriculum Vitae documents in a variety of formats.

Evaluation Management

The Evaluation Manager is an electronic departmental annul review process that allows faculty and staff to present FAR data and supporting materials to chair and dean evaluators for online review. The Evaluation Manager promotes a culture that supports timely and accurate data collection. The process is controlled by the Evaluation Manager, which guides the FAR through multi-level review process to end in eSignature by all parties.

Tenure/Promotion/Retention Management

The Tenure, Promotion, and Retention Manager (TPR) is a powerful online tool for managing and documenting the complex TPR presentation and review process from dossier creation through committee, dean and provost review. An external review portal provides access to the dossier for external reviewers eliminating time-consuming and costly mailings.

The TPR system, integrated with the FAR data collection, expedites the TPR review process and eliminates the need for cumbersome paper sharing.

Faculty Library (Repository)

The system incorporates a user-maintained library to collect supporting files or website links for annual evaluations and tenure, promotion and retention reviews. The interface allows the user to manage and categorize entries as desired.

The University continues to turn to Fox Wyndrum Associates, Inc. to support and expand its FAR modules, recently adding functionality for sabbatical applications and approvals. A standalone Online Test Registration application was also implemented for students to sign up for testing periods.

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