Accelerating Faculty Activity Reporting

December 6, 2021 Watermark Insights

Is your institution's adoption of Faculty Success in the doldrums? These tips will help you pick up the pace.

There are many benefits to implementing change slowly and methodically. Yet, in some situations, it may be necessary to pick up the pace. For example, a university's strategic goals might change, leading to a focus on online faculty reporting, or an environmental situation like the pandemic might require your institution to adopt new systems almost overnight. In these cases, how can those responsible for implementation accelerate faculty’s adoption of the new online system?

At the University of Southern Mississippi, moving Faculty Success (formerly Digital Measures) from the back burner to the top of their priority list was prompted by the arrival of a new provost. "My boss, the provost, wanted us to have a good, robust launch and get some benefit out of having Faculty Success," said Dr. Douglas Masterson, Professor and Senior Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at USM. "That was my marching order, and we made that happen within about a year."

Like USM, Middle Tennessee State University had used paper binders and spent years shuffling paper back and forth for faculty reporting. They moved to Faculty Success for efficiency and to align their reporting process with their mission. "But we also (wanted to use it) for reporting for accreditation and for saving time," said Dr. Joey Gray, Professor, Provosts' Fellow, Faculty Success, at MTSU.

Ways to Jump-Start Acceptance

In a recent webinar, Masterson and Gray shared their tips for getting faculty to adopt Faculty Success within a short timeframe:

Let faculty know that the end goal is to reduce their load: At many institutions, faculty receive a high number of requests for information. Remind them that they will be able to enter this information one time and then use it infinitely in the future.

Keep requests modest: It might seem counterintuitive to ask less of your faculty when trying to get their data online. Yet, both Masterson and Gray said that keeping their requests modest helped them gain acceptance. Many faculty at USM had 20 years' worth of data on their CVs, but Masterson only asked for data from the previous two years. Once they saw the system's benefits, many faculty proactively entered more than the minimum.

Be clear about the data types you need: USM asked faculty to include only their high-impact practices and their syllabi; entering relevant supporting information for their class or service activities was optional. MTSU let their faculty know that they don't have to upload their entire CV. Instead, Gray encourages people to upload specific sections of their CV, such as their research publications.

Import data on behalf of the faculty: Import as much data as you can to reduce your demands on faculty. USM imports information from their human resources department and Center for Faculty Development, including research, service, creative activities, and mentoring. They then invite faculty to add more details if they so desire.

Emphasize the perks: The more faculty see what's in it for them, the more likely they are to use the system. Don't forget to mention these bonus benefits:

  • Easier to highlight faculty accomplishments: University administration can use the data to generate reports that highlight faculty accomplishments, which in turn can be used by university communications offices to identify faculty work they can use in news articles.
  • Easy access to student evaluations: By integrating Faculty Success with Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT), faculty can see teaching evaluations from students on the Faculty Success platform.
  • Easy to update their faculty records: Faculty have online access to their information from human resources and can easily update their records.
  • Faculty can update their web profiles often: Faculty have control over the things they want to display on their faculty web profile in close to real-time, and Faculty Success makes it possible to automate these updates (which benefits IT, too!).

Learn more best practices for speeding up the adoption of Faculty Success by watching a replay of our webinar, Accelerating Faculty Activity Reporting.

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