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Three essential things a faculty activity report should include

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A faculty activity report is made up of data that supports the tenure or promotion processes or guides annual reviews at higher education institutions. These materials are specific to individual faculty members. Administrators will likely use the aggregated data from multiple faculty to assemble reports for their department, school, or university as a whole. 

A faculty activity reporting software is an online data collection and reporting tool used by a higher education institution’s administration and faculty members. This technology can streamline the reporting process, making it easier to evaluate entire departments, review accreditation information, and collaborate with other organizations.

What information is critical for institutional records and external reporting?

Essentially, faculty activity reporting software provides a database for the crucial information an academic institution needs to maintain compliance and stay organized. Faculty activity reports should contain data that can be used for three key purposes: accreditation, performance reviews, and external collaboration. 

Accreditation data

One of the most important components that a faculty activity reporting system should include is information that relates to the university’s accreditation. In order to earn and maintain accreditation, institutions must meet certain requirements and pay one-time and annual fees. Universities report their accreditation status and information externally to financial institutions and government agencies in order to earn credibility and ensure their students have access to federal grants and loans.

Annual reports regarding performance and evaluation

Faculty activity reporting allows for easy scheduling of faculty assessment sessions and provides one location for the institutional information that both parties can refer to before, during, and after this meeting. With an effective reporting system, essential data is easily visible and shareable among committee members or department chairs – and, crucially, the information also remains confidential. This can improve the quality and productivity of these performance reviews. The information gathered before a faculty evaluation session might provide enough compelling information to award someone with a well-deserved promotion. Otherwise, this data can be useful in determining faculty members’ strengths, weaknesses, and other crucial points to touch on during a review.

Data for collaboration

When an institution is interested in partnering with an external organization, such as a business, government agency, nonprofit, or other resource, they can quickly share any information they deem critical to these external parties. Universities can create and develop partnerships that are mutually beneficial to students of the institution and the external organization. For instance, a university that wants its pre-med program to partner with a local hospital might share information through its faculty activity reporting system to export a report of contacts and improve transparency.

When will this information be used?

Once an institution has implemented a faculty activity reporting system and added data into the platform, these reported activities are available for use immediately or as future needs arise

This information can be useful when conveying faculty accomplishments to prospective students and employees. The data gathered through faculty activity reporting can create a significant selling point to build credibility and recruit new individuals to the university.

Filling out a faculty activity report

Although standards of faculty reporting and evaluation are shifting, faculty activity reports still typically describe faculty members’ accomplishments in three key areas: research, teaching, and service. Although reports should be comprehensive, it’s not necessary to fill out every single field. When certain information is not necessary for the department or university, it may be best to leave it out of the report in order to ensure that what is in the report is relevant.

Why do some records include start and end dates?

When faculty, administration, and outside sources browse through the information that makes up a faculty activity report, they might notice that some pieces of information have start and end dates, while others do not have end dates. Even though it may appear that there’s been an error in the system, there’s actually a simple answer for why not all data points contain both start and end dates.

A piece of data that has a start date but no end date is considered to be ongoing. By leaving it open, with no precise end date, the faculty and administration members are noting that it has not been completed yet.

In contrast, when a piece of information only has an end date — with no start date — it likely means the process of receiving this information took less than one day. Although this is a valid means of reporting data in a faculty activity report, it is typically a best practice to include both a start and end date for all pieces of information.

Generally, faculty activity reporting systems will not allow contributors to input information with no date included.

When your institution is seeking out new ways to assess faculty or gain a comprehensive picture of their activities, it might look toward Interfolio’s faculty activity reporting capabilities. Our comprehensive suite of offerings makes for seamless and simple reporting. By switching from a manual or basic digital information reporting and storage system to a fully integratable software interface, your university is adopting a time-saving platform that allows faculty, staff, and external parties to view only information that relates directly to them. Get in touch with us to find out how Interfolio’s faculty activity reporting platform can transform the quality of your staff and faculty interactions.