We are pleased to announce our full agenda for the Interfolio Virtual Summit, July 9-10, 2020. This two-day event will bring together higher education leaders for networking and knowledge exchange in support of this year’s theme, A Community of Practice: Fostering Engagement & Impact in Higher Ed. In support of our clients in higher education, we have made the Summit complimentary to attend, so that even more individuals can participate, thus amplifying the impact for departments, colleges, and institutions.  

Featured sessions include:

  • Addressing Enterprise-wide Change Management: Creating Campus Engagement and Buy-in with UCLA and University of Pennsylvania
  • Bringing our Vision to Life: New Product Development and Research at Interfolio
  • Innovative Uses of Review, Promotion, and Tenure with Tulane University
  • Fostering Success in Decentralized Environments with Yale University and University of Pennsylvania

The Interfolio Virtual Summit will offer specific tracks for current Interfolio clients, as well as future clients. The Interfolio Professional Services team will present pre-Summit product deep dives for existing clients. Additionally, networking and meet-the-speaker sessions will provide opportunities to meet and learn from peers.

Summit Series

We will continue to build the Community of Practice during our Summit Series, which includes these sessions:

  • Best Practices for the Faculty Information System with the University of Chicago, August 
  • Recruiting Global Talent with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), September
  • How Butler University Highlights Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity with Faculty Activity Reporting, October

We believe in the power of community. Indeed, service to the community is one of Interfolio’s core values. We look forward to seeing you, virtually, for the Interfolio Summit.

“It was so great to have the camaraderie of colleagues from across the spectrum who actually know and understand what I do. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and this was the first time that I’ve attended a conference/summit that was focused purely on the peer review process and its necessary tools, rather than the process as part of HR.”

-SUMMIT ATTENDEE, 2019

“Your summit was incredibly well organized and thoughtfully scheduled.”

-SUMMIT ATTENDEE, 2019

“Great experience to connect with Interfolio and peer institutions. It was especially helpful to have an opportunity to problem-solve.”

-SUMMIT ATTENDEE, 2019

Big news today! We are pleased to launch a new website reflecting our vision of the modern Faculty Information System. 

We started the design process back in early 2019 with a vision centered around a clean, straightforward design that balances information architecture with ease of action. We wanted to simplify your user experience and ideally make it easy to understand who we are and what we do. And, of course, we wanted to make sure your experience was great from your mobile phone as well.

Previous website
New website

Design Process

Guiding the design ethos of this site was an approach our Creative Director, Justin Howell,  dubbed “The Modern Scholar.” This design represents our continuous work to be the leading provider of thoughtful technology that modernizes aspects of the work of higher education, while better connecting scholars to each other and their institutions. 

Design trends change, and it’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest approaches to presenting interactive content. We wanted to avoid this pitfall. So, rooted in our strong brand foundation and connecting to our agile development methodology, we worked to simplify and improve—with the user experience at the forefront. Taking a modular approach to the branding and identity allowed us to create a cleaner and more organized digital content platform. 

Embracing our inner scholar, we want to quickly highlight some of the key areas we explored throughout our process. 

  1. Design Layout: Inspired by editorial design principles, we incorporated brand changes that elevate the maturity of our design system and present content on a tightly defined grid. This included implementing more whitespace, presenting an editorial look and feel (especially on the blog), and adding more web-optimized media. These efforts help naturally move your eye through the content and ensure that the website and content is scalable to any device or screen resolution. 
  2. Typography: We radically overhauled the typography system that we used at a brand level. We moved to a singular font called Gotham, which is a geometric sans serif font from Hoefler & Co (previously we had up to four separate fonts!). Using such a highly versatile font means that the content will be easier to read at any size. 
  3. Color Palette: We updated our color palette to link together common actions and help users understand how to navigate the content. In addition, the enhanced contrast between various shades of primary colors helps improve the balance between content and layout. 
  4. Framework: We created a component-based, elastic approach to our website that allows us to be flexible and responsive, creating a better foundation for us to build on our master brand and look to find ways to further create symmetry with our child brands.
  5. Information Architecture: We refined our approach to the organization and layout of content to encourage site exploration. Finding the content you want should be easy! 
  6. Page Loads: We implemented a number of changes to streamline page loads, including creating a cleaner code base, leveraging modern web frameworks, introducing web optimized media, creating less redirects, and more. 
  7. Accessibility: Understanding the importance of accessibility, we implemented a cleaner code base, worked with our outside experts to identify content best practices, and set up a system for continuous improvements. As always, we welcome your insights as we continue to evolve this. 
  8. Security: We implemented a number of new modern web frameworks and security protocols working with our trusted web hosting provider, Pantheon. 

Those are just a few of the main areas we explored and enhanced with our new site. We are design enthusiasts at heart and feel incredibly excited about our new site and look forward to the evolution of it over the years to come. 

Exciting New Enhancements

Now let’s talk about some of the exciting new enhancements we’ve added with our new site: 

  1. Focus on the Faculty Information System: We created new sections of the site to address the holistic FIS and the challenges it solves and to emphasize our offerings, including a new section to highlight our highly-rated Services team and the collaboration they give our higher education partners, whether through the Interfolio Discovery Service, Optimization Service, or during Implementation. 
  1. Product Pages: We introduced new, streamlined product pages that provide you with information on all the modules within our Faculty Information System, whether you are looking for all the details or a quick way to get in touch with someone on our team. 
  2. New Content Hub: One major addition was the creation of a new content hub, Interfolio Resources, which provides access to an expansive content library of case studies, white papers, and more. Additionally, now you can easily share blog content on your preferred social media platform.
  3. Search Engine:  We have added a robust search engine to aid in discoverability and added a “related readings” section so that you can easily find topics of interest whether that is an upcoming webinar, white paper, case study, or peer institution. 

Our clients are the driving force behind this new evolution of our brand, as truly they propel our company in all ways. Our mission is to provide our clients with the leading faculty-first technology, enabling each institution’s day-to-day success, now more than ever. We are a steadfast resource, and we hope our new website is just yet another way we provide essential information, content, and connections to this important community.

We invite you to dive into the website yourself, and we look forward to hearing your feedback!

We are pleased to announce that Faculty Information Systems were included as one of the “Top 10 Strategic Technologies Impacting Higher Education in 2020” in a recently released Gartner research report.

Interfolio continues to see strong adoption rates and near-universal renewal among institutions using its unique Faculty Information System, which provides holistic, scholar-first capabilities to support the full academic lifecycle. Gartner’s research points to the Faculty Information System as a strategic technology investment for institutions, noting that “institutions that lack the ability to accurately and quickly leverage faculty information run the risk of falling behind competitors that can use this information to obtain greater research funding and heightened reputation, among other things.”

As higher education faces additional pressure and faculty embrace a shifting role, institutions are looking for solutions built specifically to address and streamline the complex challenges facing the faculty workforce. Higher education leaders need to articulate the collective impact and expertise of faculty to students, funders, communities, and other stakeholders.

FISs identified as a Top 10 Strategic Technology 

Gartner’s research points to Faculty Information Systems as a strategic technology investment for institutions, noting that

“institutions with robust FIS functionality will also gain insights to drive efficiencies and effectiveness by optimizing this valuable HR and key capability in the higher education business model.”

Coupled with the strong market growth we’ve seen, we believe Gartner’s research provides powerful validation of Faculty Information Systems and the strategic capabilities that FISs provide to help institutions support faculty and foster greater trust, transparency, and collaboration.

The research from Gartner found that “in many ways, FISs represent a new category of system, especially when considered as a collection of different tools and modules. They represent a growing need and interest in tracking all aspects of faculty data. These systems will enable the institution to maintain a single source of truth for faculty members on their credentials, careers, teaching, research and support aspects of faculty personnel administration.” 

Faculty drive every aspect of Institutional strategy and success from tuition and funded research revenues, associated costs, student success, governance, equity, reputation and rank; Interfolio’s FIS makes visible the contributions of faculty to enable institutional success while creating significant efficiencies.

Looking ahead 

For more than two decades, Interfolio has developed groundbreaking technology to support faculty at every phase of their academic careers. More than 700,000 scholars worldwide use Interfolio’s Dossier to track and manage academic materials. Over 100,000 researchers have found jobs, and 80,000 have completed a review or gained a promotion using Interfolio in the last 20 years.

In the coming year, Interfolio will continue to focus on greater interoperability between the Faculty Information System and its newest product, Lifecycle Management, which allows for strategic management of faculty appointments. The company will also launch new reporting and analytics capabilities to unlock modern insights into faculty data contained in the Faculty Information System and demonstrate the impact of faculty and institutions.

Gartner, “Top 10 Strategic Technologies Impacting Higher Education in 2020,” March 2020


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At Interfolio, the health and well-being of our clients, their academic communities, and our employees are always a top priority.  As we navigate the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 situation together, here you can find the various actions and precautions Interfolio is taking to serve the higher education community throughout these challenging times. 

We have been and will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, making decisions based on feedback from the UK Department of Health and Social Care, Centers for Disease Control, and World Health Organization, in addition to guidance from local government entities. Our planning and decision-making is centered on current information; of course, we will continue to provide additional information and updates as necessary and appropriate. 

Providing continued service and product performance

Interfolio has already taken action to ensure consistency and connectivity of our products and services during this time. 

  1. At this time, we are continuing with normal business operations in the UK and the US—our cloud-based software solutions remain consistent and available, as well as our extensive security, monitoring, and controls.
  2. All Interfolio teams will remain vigilant and on-schedule, primed to address your needs and expectations.
  3. We have encouraged our employees to work remotely to ensure that we are mitigating any health issues that may arise during this time.
  4. The Scholar Services support team will continue their normal support hours:
    1. 9:00am – 8:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, at help@interfolio.com or (877) 997-8807
  5. Our university partnership team remains available to help you troubleshoot and work through contingency plans as you develop next steps for your campus—online and offline.

Our mission is to provide you with faculty-first technology, enabling you and your institution’s day-to-day success, now more than ever. As we collectively look ahead to next steps, we are here as a constant partner in your planning, support, and success

Resources

We are working with partner organizations to gather and communicate resources you can utilize on your campus. What are some other resources you have found helpful? Are there examples of communication you would like to share with your peers? Do you have any best practices to share around contingency planning? Email them to team@interfolio.com and we will add to this post.

Or: Why we built the first digital faculty roster to provide transformational transparency into all scholarly tracks, ranks, milestones, and journeys

Exciting news! This week we launched our newest product in the Interfolio Faculty Information System: Lifecycle Management. It’s a culmination of over a year of research and development with academic leaders; as such, it’s the first new module built from the experiences, feedback, and contributions of our Faculty Information System community. 

What we’re releasing today will offer transformational transparency into vital information about the faculty body. What previously lived in disparate spreadsheets across campus is now a single, simple-to-navigate, searchable database of all of the commitments, workload, career milestones, and academic journeys of the entire faculty. Lifecycle Management translates all of the institution’s complex policies on academic employment models, position types, and advancement pathways into a digital and visual format, so university faculty and administrators can build trust, transparency, and clear communication about expectations and exceptions to academic advancement

When we speak to academic leaders—Provosts, Vice Provosts and Directors of Faculty Affairs—we often hear about the challenges of managing an increasingly complex academic workforce across a range of units on campus. Scholars in higher education today don’t fall into a single category: they might be tenure-track or tenured, but they are just as likely to be part- or full-time adjuncts, lecturers, clinical faculty, or any other pathway that comprise the diverse spectrum of academic contributions on campus. Yet all of these individuals have a distinct journey that represents their lifecycle at the institution, and all deserve to be represented as part of the faculty body—whether for a single semester or over an entire career. 

In the course of our research we observed an almost universal challenge around consolidating, managing, and reporting on various faculty ranks and advancement sequences in a way that would foster equity and transparency in academic careers. Again and again, we heard from academic leaders: where can we view the current status, rank and future pathways of the faculty body? How can we anticipate resourcing or plan for faculty promotions, retirements, sabbaticals, and other milestones to facilitate long term planning at the institution, unit, or department level? Where do we find details about the academic commitments that were made when a hiring offer was made—and make sure those commitments are followed up on? How do those in academic offices see, securely, the information that lives partly in HR, partly in a spreadsheet, and partly in the margins of notes made at the time of hire? Lifecycle Management answers these questions by providing a way to safely and securely surface vital information about academic career lifecycles to university leaders. 

As a technology company that prides itself on leading the field in faculty-first technology, it was vital that we continue to innovate our roadmap to deliver platform solutions to large challenges that we hear from our market. At the same time, we know that our current clients want to see investments that continue to expand the product suite to bring more value to their institutions. The majority of initiatives in 2019 were dedicated to the continued improvement of an institution’s experience of our existing platform—and the addition of Lifecycle Management will continue this path by adding a level of administrative transparency, access, and trust to the process of academic advancement and management on your campus. 

Please join us for a free webinar and Q&A about the new Interfolio Lifecycle Management product on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

Interfolio will be attending a number of national and international conferences this fall. We value the opportunity to connect with current and prospective partners at these events. Are you or your colleagues attending these events and conferences? If so, we invite you to connect with us to set up a 1:1 meeting where we can discuss your institution’s challenges and how Interfolio’s faculty-centric technology can help.

Are you a current client? We’d love to say hello and hear more about how your campus uses Interfolio. Connect with your account manager to arrange an in-person meeting with Interfolio representatives at the conference.

Join us at these US conferences:

Visit with us at these international conferences:

On the final day of the 2019 Interfolio Summit, we turned to some of the event’s most technical and groundbreaking content. 

Successes in the southwest: Texas and Utah

The University of Texas at Austin team broke down how they have strategically integrated actions and data from the Interfolio Faculty Search module—and carefully enforced how fields are configured in the system—to inform their academic recruitment efforts with a new level of marketing analytics data.

Meanwhile, administrators for the Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure module got a concrete lesson in how exactly 2019 PAC member institution University of Utah has brought their faculty review logistics to the successful place they are today. 

“The life of a [software] bug”

In a conversation at once amiable and frank, a sampling of the Interfolio software engineering team and an inquisitive audience had a productive exchange—discussing the step-by-step process by which Interfolio responds to customers’ technical requests for improvements and changes to the products. 

We were even joined by a larger-than-life bug:

The Interfolio product roadmap: 6 months out

The 2019 Interfolio Summit audience got a special glimpse into the specific areas of focus and challenges that Interfolio has on the horizon for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. 

This session and the engineering team’s session (mentioned above), in particular, drew out the extent to which Interfolio’s offerings are both reactive and proactive, and could not be successful without an ongoing dialogue with those who use them in their day-to-day work. 

We hope you join us next year at our second annual Summit for even more conversation, networking, and cultural exploration. 

For more information on the 2019 Interfolio Summit, check out the other two posts: Recap + Day 1: The (Inaugural) 2019 Interfolio Summit and Day 2: Keynote, client presentations, and a birthday party.

***

If your institution currently uses Interfolio, please keep an eye out for news about the 2020 Interfolio Summit. Have questions? Contact us at events@interfolio.com.

Before the first full day of the Summit even got started, a handful of intrepid attendees and Interfolio staff went on a 5K walk/run around the monuments.

Keynote: “I started my career at a community college.”

The second day opened with a compelling keynote address from Lynn Pasquerella, President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, thoughtfully moderated by Paul Fain, News Editor at Inside Higher Ed

In her address, Dr. Pasquerella discussed some of higher education’s most pressing contemporary topics, including the direct implications of academic employment models for student attainment, the critical role of community colleges in the future of U.S. higher education, and the operational decisions by universities—including but not limited to new technology—that provide opportunities to share resources beyond the borders of campus. 

 (Want more? Take a look at our recent Q&A with Dr. Pasquerella on the Interfolio blog.)

Client presentations: diversity, community, and local configurations

The day’s remaining sessions (some in concurrent pairs) featured engaging presentations from representatives of a dozen different institutions. Here are just a few tidbits.

At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the full picture of improving diversity and inclusion in faculty recruitment includes the Interfolio Faculty Search module—alongside other components such as focused conversations, mandatory action plans for new faculty searches, and a devoted STRIDE team. In the UMBC example, the Interfolio platform enables the gathering of applicant data that can lead to interventions in searches, a leveling of the field during the committee review process, and an automatic reporting on where applicants are finding position listings online. 

The University of Arizona shared how they have developed a carefully structured internal user support community for collecting, validating, and reporting on data through the Interfolio Faculty Activity Reporting module. 

Evening events: DC excursions and Interfolio’s 20th birthday

After the day of thoughtful conversation and discovery, attendees had the opportunity to enjoy an architectural walking tour, explore the National Portrait Gallery, or visit a free concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. 

Afterward, attendees convened at the Interfolio offices for a 20th birthday-themed happy hour.

For more information on the 2019 Interfolio Summit, check out the other two posts: Recap + Day 1: The (Inaugural) 2019 Interfolio Summit and Day 3: Success stories, a look under the hood, and a 6-month roadmap.

What outcomes should faculty technology provide to colleges and universities? How can they use it most wisely? And where is it going next?

Those were the questions in play at the first-ever Interfolio Summit, held in mid-July 2019 at the Westin City Center in downtown Washington, DC. 

Over 175 individuals representing 80 colleges and universities descended upon Washington, DC for this three-day event offering learning and networking opportunities for anyone who uses Interfolio to manage academic hiring, faculty activity reporting, and professional review workflows in higher education.

Throughout the event, it was clear that the Faculty Information System has an essential role to play in empowering global higher education not only to work more cost-effectively, but also—especially—to eliminate the current pervasive blindspot around academic lifecycle moments like faculty hiring, teaching, scholarship, professional advancement, and service to the institution.

Prologue to the Summit: the Product Advisory Committee

Preceding the Summit proper, we met with the 2019 cohort of the Interfolio Product Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is a small, rotating group of faculty affairs, technology, and administrative leaders from 12 academic institutions who consult with Interfolio throughout the year to provide input and reactions to the investments that we’re making in the products.

2019 Product Advisory Committee Meeting

Day 1: Setting the stage

The beginning of the Summit took place on Wednesday afternoon, giving attendees ample chance to get in, get registered, and take stock of the opportunities.

Westin, DC

The Summit kicked off with reflective opening remarks—first from Interfolio founder, president, and chief product officer Steve Goldenberg on the 20-year anniversary of the company’s founding, and next from Interfolio CEO Andrew Rosen on the critical and timely necessity of the Faculty Information System technology category. 

Steve Goldenberg, Chief Product Officer of Interfolio

Andrew Rosen, CEO of Interfolio

Lessons on change management—from those that have done it

Following the opening remarks, and connecting the dots with the 2019 PAC meeting, the very first session of the Summit addressed change management as it relates to higher education faculty technology.

We heard from experienced Interfolio champions at 2019 PAC member institutions UCSD, Vanderbilt, and Tulane, as well as Interfolio Senior Consultant David Schenirer.

“Lessons on Change Management” Panel

For some of the concrete guidance including best practices from the field and notes from these speakers (among others), take a look at our free downloadable white paper, Managing Change When Implementing Faculty Technology.

While the educational programming of that first short day wrapped up, we invited Summit attendees to an entertaining happy hour complete with rooftop views at the Eaton DC.

Eaton, DC – Interfolio clients

For more information on the 2019 Interfolio Summit, check out the other two posts: Day 2: Keynote, client presentations, and a birthday party and Day 3: Success stories, a look under the hood, and a 6-month roadmap.

We’re excited to announce news that will benefit both the higher education and global research communities: Research Fish, the leading creator of research impact tracking technology, has joined Interfolio. 

Research Fish is a Cambridge, UK-based company that makes it easy for researchers, universities and funders to gather, present, and evaluate the academic, social, and economic impact of their research. In fact, Research Fish is one of the only academic-oriented systems that provides a framework for assessing and evaluating both academic and non-academic impact, which goes well beyond traditional bibliometrics. They have pioneered a systematic and organized methodology for tracking research and reporting impact, and we feel this cohesive, definable approach can be the foundation of a global standard.

By joining forces, Research Fish and Interfolio will provide a comprehensive academic information system to track research, identify impact, and support unprecedented insights into the advancement of research and teaching, allowing researchers, funders, and institutions to make smarter, more strategic decisions

Working alongside each other, Research Fish and Interfolio will further augment your ability to articulate the effect your faculty and institution have at the discipline level, as well as on campus, in the community, and in society more broadly.

Background

At Interfolio, we’ve long admired Research Fish as a leader of the research impact space—understanding, as well, the potential for US institutions to see the far-reaching effects of their faculty’s research if they apply a similar model. 

About a year ago, I met with Sean Newell, Research Fish’s CEO, to discuss a potential partnership. We believe research impact has not been prioritized in the US to date because it has been difficult to bring non-academic impacts into consideration with traditional academic impacts, like bibliometrics and other publication-oriented data. Traditionally, research impact has been a hard thing to define, aggregate, and consolidate.

When we met, we realized how many values we share, and how similar our organizations are.

Shared mission

Research Fish and Interfolio’s shared values, culture, and vision make it easy to see how our joined companies might work together to serve funders, research centers, and higher education. 

  • Both companies provide pioneering, scholar-centered technology that helps funders, research organizations, and higher education institutions surface the value and impact of academic work. 
  • Both companies strive not just to help researchers and institutions meet their compliance or reporting needs; we also seek to provide real value to individual scholars and faculty as they build their career and scholarly portfolio.
  • Both companies have a history of trust and expertise within the scholarly community. With a combined 30 years of experience, this partnership unites a community of 700k Interfolio Dossier users and 100k Research Fish users.

Finally, together both companies share a vision to cultivate a global standard for professionalism, diversity, and excellence in higher education information technology and research impact assessment.

Outcomes for you

For Interfolio, the ability to introduce research impact to higher education institutions in the US offers a potentially revolutionary path to documenting the importance of academia on society at a time when colleges and universities are under more pressure than ever from governing stakeholders and the public. 

Equally as important, this partnership will offer individual scholars the ability to document the impact of their research and tell a more complete story of their scholarship to their institution and other stakeholders throughout their career. 

And, to reassure our clients: this news will not impact our current product roadmap or client commitments. The Research Fish team will remain in the UK, continuing to work on delivering their own products and services. If anything, we believe this partnership will further solidify our investment in the priorities that you have reiterated to us: the ability to use academic-centric technology to better tell your scholars’ and institution’s story. 

To answer any questions you have about the partnership, we’re offering a free webinar to our clients at 1pm EST on Thursday September 19th, 2019. We’ve also provided some answers to anticipated questions you might have. Finally, you can also reach out to us at rfquestions@interfolio.com with any specific questions.