Faculty activity ROI: Behind the numbers

Watermark’s faculty activity reporting savings calculator

This page explains how Watermark’s Faculty Activity Reporting Savings Calculator crunches the numbers to give you an estimated return on investment (ROI). If you want to use the calculator instead, click here.

To complete our research for the calculator, we spent several hundred hours in interviews and usability tests, as well as analyzing faculty handbooks, process documents, and system usage data. We consulted individuals and materials from:

  • Baylor University
  • Colgate University
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Michigan State University
  • Montana State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • St. John’s University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Tampa
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison


Calculations for faculty reviews

Track faculty performance with streamlined annual review processes

Annual reviews provide an opportunity to assess where faculty members excel and what areas require improvement. As reviews are a necessary part of individual and faculty development, looking at how Watermark Faculty Success enables you to improve annual review processes is crucial for understanding its impact on faculty activity reporting ROI.

Simplified data collection, precise and centralized information

Our research shows that, by using Faculty Success, each faculty member saves an average of 2 hours each year on annual reviews through:

  • Capturing activities and accomplishments using suggested activity categories that make it easy to enter comprehensive data.
  • Using pre-formatted reports that clarify guidelines, organization, and format.
  • Importing information like teaching and grant details from other systems.
  • Reminders, clear submission forms, and automatically generated reports that create process clarity and transparency.

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Expedite decision-making for promotion and tenure

With our faculty activity reporting system, valuable faculty member information needed for promotions and tenure is easily accessible from a single platform. Candidates can use the information to complete submissions, and reviewers can use it to identify and award deserving faculty members. Faculty Success enabled an increase in faculty activity ROI reporting for higher education institutions in the following ways:

Faster submission

Our research tells us that each promotion and tenure candidate using Faculty Success saves approximately 5.5 hours preparing and submitting their portfolio. These savings come from:

  • Having the bulk of activity and accomplishment information in a centralized system.
  • Predefined institutional reports that define the content, organization, and format for P&T materials (i.e., the dossier), which reduce questions about format specifications and what content to include.
  • Clarity and transparency around process guidelines and sequence, delivered through prompts and reminders, clear submission forms, automatic reports, and progress-monitoring features.

Forms and standard report templates build a clear and consistent format for all candidates’ content, making it easier to reflect on submissions and find answers. Reviewers can also save time by accessing digital materials from any location.

Quick decision-making

Our research shows that most institutions have at least two layers of committee review. Here is how much time institutions can save on promotions and tenure with a faculty activity reporting system:

  • Department chairs, deans, and provost’s office personnel save roughly 30 minutes per case.
  • Committee members save approximately one hour per P&T case.
  • Administrative staff save roughly 4.5 hours per case using Faculty Success versus managing the process through spreadsheets and email.

Calculations for data on demand

Institutions often encounter two common types of reporting needs on an ad-hoc basis: questions about details regarding their work and reports requiring them to gather aggregations of teaching, research, or service activity.

Requests like these emerge from different sources 9 or more times a year (roughly once a month during the academic year), requiring users to scramble to surface responses and pull information together.

Many users report acquiring this information by combing through digital filing cabinets or asking someone who might know, which can be time-consuming and hardly comprehensive. However, with our faculty activity reporting system, you have a centralized point for accessing current information to meet data requests quickly.

Our research has found that the process is accelerated and the results are more thorough when users can access information in an up-to-date faculty activity reporting system with dynamic reporting capabilities:

  • The provost’s office saves 15 minutes per request.
  • Each dean’s office saves approximately 10 minutes per request.
  • Each department chair and departmental staff member saves about 10 minutes per request.
  • Each faculty member saves 5 minutes per request.

Centralizing information and empowering knowledgeable central authorities (i.e., institutional research and dean’s offices) to locate and extract the relevant data makes it far easier to address these ad hoc requests. Faculty Success eliminates the need to look through prior annual review reports, spend hours urgently merging siloed data sets, or send mass emails to deans, department chairs, or faculty (and follow up on responses).

Calculations for getting data into the system

Enhance faculty activity reporting with CV Imports

CV Imports is the fastest method available today for building a comprehensive, trusted foundation of activity and accomplishment information in a faculty activity reporting system. This feature dramatically reduces the time a faculty member or their proxy spends populating their profile with their accomplishments while pulling data from their most trusted source — their CV. Here is how CV Imports allows you to improve your faculty activity report ROI:

Calculations for connecting to web profiles

Upfront savings: Setting up the connection

If you have to connect your web profiles to your faculty activity database using APIs and custom code, building the initial integration alone can take upwards of 3 months or more — that’s 480 hours just to get things connected. Plus, it requires the availability of skilled programmers to write the integration code and keep it up to date. Because IT teams are often overloaded with projects requiring attention and resources, there are often delays in starting the project.

Faculty Success can be connected to your web profiles in a few hours using its Web Profiles module, which offers a self-service interface that helps you quickly configure your preferred structure and format, and code snippets you can place into your content management system (CMS). If we conservatively estimate that it still takes 1 week to make sure everything’s ready to go, that’s still a savings of over 440 hours of IT time.

Annual savings from automatic, real-time updates

Web profiles are one of the three most-viewed resources on an institution’s website, so they must be current and accurate and highlight each faculty member’s strengths. Manually managing these profiles often leads to out-of-date information because faculty have to remember to submit a form or email the University Marketing or IT department when they have new information to share.

This often requires them to spend time copying and pasting information from one source, like a CV or Word doc, into another — like form fields or an email message — and then follow up to ensure the updates were made. This process is easy, but it still takes at least 15-20 minutes each time an update is needed (and faculty have to remember to follow it).

By connecting web profiles with a faculty activity reporting system so they automatically sync to reflect changes, you can cut out this manual process and save time. Sure, faculty still need to update their accomplishments in the system, but they already need to do this for other reporting purposes like annual reviews, so it’s a one-time effort with multiple benefits.

While faculty will likely need to review and update fields specifically for the purpose of their profiles (such as Biography and Research Interests) and review new activities to ensure they show up in their profiles, they can save at least 10 minutes a year by building on the existing data entry process and use the automatic sync to cascade updates to their profiles.

Faculty activity ROI: Behind the numbers

Ready to see more? Contact us to request a personalized demo.

Implementing effective systems can help you save time and money, resulting in an increased faculty activity reporting ROI. Request a demo to find out how Faculty Success can help you streamline faculty activity reporting in your institution.

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Faculty activity ROI: Behind the numbers

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