We know that around this time of the year, in addition to being faculty search season, it’s also a critical point in the tenure, promotion, and faculty review cycle—on both the faculty and the administrative ends. So this month’s free webinar and Q&A focuses on managing the workload around highly structured academic reviews, and increasing the equity and transparency of these processes across the institution.

For faculty affairs offices, committee chairs, and staff trying to accept and page through official dossiers from faculty candidates, this stage of the professional review cycle often demands a large amount of time carved out just to make sure all the right pieces are there, in the right format and the right order.

At many colleges and universities, many other sorts of administrative and academic needs are coming into the modern digital era via dedicated technologies appropriate to them. Interfolio says: what about faculty development?

Here are just a few of the logistical headaches we often hear about:

  • Initiating the faculty review process in a standard way for many candidates going through the same designated path (often involving staff doing the same office tasks separately for many different candidates)
  • Communicating to each candidate exactly what they have to submit and when it’s due—and documenting that communication
  • Confirming that the faculty member submitted everything that they were supposed to submit by a certain time
  • Distributing copies of the faculty candidate’s official packet to members of the committee
  • Ensuring only certain reviewers can access the candidate’s materials, and only during certain periods of time
  • Verifying that all required administrative steps were taken at each stage of the review
  • Keeping track of the progress of external evaluations sought from the candidate’s peers in the field (perhaps most applicable in tenure processes)
  • Moving the case from one stage of review to the next, securely and completely
  • Locating a record of what happened during past cases

So for faculty affairs leaders, committee chairs, faculty dossier managers, chief academic officers, or others who are interested, next week’s webinar will be a good opportunity to understand how Interfolio (informed by our clients) currently tackles academic workflow and faculty dossier needs.

Today, Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure accommodates a range of academic review scenarios that involve sequential examination of data and materials by a series of reviewers—whether for tenure, promotion, annual and periodic evaluations, sabbatical, or similar moments. The platform has evolved in close collaboration with experienced leaders across higher education, many of whom say they would like to see this key component of shared governance become (1) less laborious for everyone from year to year and (2) more systematically documented.

Register here to attend the free webinar.

Earlier this month, we hosted a free webinar and Q&A giving some tips and tricks—around recommendation letters, deliveries, and more—for academics to get the most out of Interfolio’s free Dossier and Dossier Deliver.

We decided to hold this webinar to answer some common questions we were getting from users, and to share some of what we’ve learned about the folks using our products. The webinar also features an exclusive Q&A session that draws upon our attendees’ submitted questions to ensure some of the most common questions are addressed. 

Opening with some of the background and research underlying Dossier from product director Erin Mayhood, the webinar covers several of the product’s common real-life applications. It sheds light on best practices surrounding the three core areas of the Dossier account:

  • Materials
  • Letters
  • Deliveries

Robin Price of Interfolio’s Scholar Services team leads the audience through each of these three Dossier account areas in turn and deftly outlines the ins and outs of the different sections—addressing many specific questions about confidential letters of recommendation. We know that requesting a letter of recommendation, or providing one, can be a delicate and sometimes stressful process when deadlines are involved, so we offer features and a support team to make those logistics simple.

Here are a few of the most common questions we got before and during the webinar, and a quick recap of what our audience learned:

Q: Is there a way to store a confidential “generic” letter without sending it right away? I plan to apply for many positions, and I don’t want to make my letter writers send all the different letters one by one.

A: Yes! That is a very common use for Dossier, and you can do it for free. You can either request a general letter, or specify which opportunity the letter is for. Just use Dossier’s standard “Request Recommendation” feature—look for the “Recommendation Type” section in the request form.

Q: When requesting a letter of recommendation through Interfolio, how should I use the due date feature? Can a letter writer still upload a recommendation letter after the due date has passed?

A: In Dossier, the due date feature is not technically binding—it is just a tool (attached to the request itself) for you to communicate to your letter writer the date by which they should submit their letter. If you set a due date, it will not prevent them from uploading their letter afterward.

Q: Can I delete everything stored in my Dossier? 

A: You can delete any materials stored in your Dossier that you’ve never sent anywhere. You cannot delete anything that you have included in an application or delivery—but you can move any document (whether previously sent or not) into your archive. Archiving a document removes it from your view, so that it doesn’t clutter up your account when you’re assembling new deliveries.

Q: What type of deliveries are available through Dossier Deliver?

A: If you have a Dossier Deliver subscription, you can get your application materials (including letters, CVs, publications, images, and more) delivered to almost any destination via one of three methods:

  • You can provide us with an email address, and we’ll send your materials there, arranged in the order you specified.
  • You can provide us with a mailing address, and we’ll print out your materials and mail them, arranged in the order you specified, either First Class Mail or at an expedited service level.
  • If you’re applying somewhere that requires a confidential letter upload into their own online application system, we can substitute for your letter writers, and directly upload the letters stored in your Dossier. We only do this for letters, not other materials.

Finally, please note that anyone can use the free version of Dossier to apply to positions hosted entirely through Interfolio.

So, what can you do if you have questions about your Dossier account or creating one?

  • Watch the webinar. It’s quick (only about 30 minutes) and covers a LOT of information.
  • Check out the FAQ section of our site for quick tips and tricks on how to navigate Dossier and Dossier Deliver.
  • Reach out to us. We’re people that thrive on serving our customers.

Our series on faculty technology at liberal arts colleges, begun in April with the Consortium for Faculty Diversity, continues this month with two members of the Provost Office at Bryn Mawr College. They’ll speak about the benefits of using Interfolio for both faculty hiring and advancement processes.  Continue reading “WEBINAR | Bryn Mawr College + Interfolio | June 29”