University department heads, administrators, and faculty alike go through evaluation processes, addressing major issues and deciding which educators should be promoted or considered for tenure. While most faculty members only have to go through this review once a year, department heads need to evaluate every one of their faculty members. What’s more, administrators are often responsible for making sure all faculty information is organized, updated, and accurate at all times. Without a proper system in place, it can be tricky to manage so much faculty data. Effective promotion and tenure software can solve many of these challenges.
With a comprehensive platform in place, faculty members and their reviewers can prepare for the review process with ease. For an educator who is anxious about whether or not they’ll be promoted or if they’ll qualify for tenure, saving them the burden of a confusing preparation process can make a world of difference. Find out how your institution can best use a faculty promotion and tenure software system to improve the effectiveness and ease of the evaluation process and learn how Interfolio’s comprehensive suite of faculty information reporting and management software can streamline this work.
What is a promotion and tenure system?
Promotion and tenure software provides a system for administrators and department heads to not only organize their faculty data for easy access during review season, but also facilitates the entire process in an efficient and fair way. In fact, promotion and tenure software can take any process you currently have in place and allow you to keep the parts that work and improve the parts that don’t. The interface usually contains 3 elements:
- Faculty Interface – curate evidence of faculty performance and accomplishments
- Reviewer Interface – central database for review materials, either to conduct or evaluate
- Admin Interface – repository for processes across the campus and to keep updated on reviewer material
There are many benefits to using a promotion and tenure software system to conduct faculty reviews, like saving deans and other department heads time reviewing information during the review cycle, providing a seamless, user-friendly experience for faculty and candidates throughout the entire review, tenure, and promotion process, and, of course, keeping everything organized and safely stored digitally (no paperwork involved).
Go Paperless with Promotion and Tenure Software
In the past, universities needed to keep hard copies of faculty information to have on record during reviews and evaluations. Once technology became a common practice, administrators and department chairs could store information onto their desktops, making it less cumbersome to pull up the data they needed. These processes work – for the most part, but basic manual and digital formats don’t adequately accommodate the nuances of faculty information management.
When institutions rely on manual processes, administrators spend even more time searching through papers to find the necessary information. Even in standard digital approaches, professionals need to keep their materials in separate files, which are scattered around their desktop. It might take a little less time to find important data with this system, but it still is a labor- and time-consuming process.
Rather than relying on tedious manual processes when going through the evaluation and review processes, institutions can save time and increase productivity when they switch to a centralized promotion and tenure software system. By using a comprehensive platform to store and manage faculty information, department heads and administrators can find all the information they need in one place; there’s no need to rifle through filing cabinets or scour the computer for the files.
How faculty achievements influence evaluation
When formulating a consistent review process, department chairs and administrators should consider the emphasis the institution places on certain professional development opportunities. Of course, much of the faculty member’s work and research should contribute to a professor’s eligibility for promotion or tenure. But what about the academic feats they’ve accomplished that don’t necessarily tie into the university’s successes?
A 2016 study by JMIR Medical Education sought to understand how and if academic blogging enhances a candidate’s likelihood of earning tenure or promotion. Of the 267 chairs of U.S. and Canadian medical departments surveyed, 87% of respondents considered educational achievements as an important component for promotion. However, only 23% of those surveyed saw the value of creating content for journal-based blogs. Although 72% of surveyed department chairs considered journal-based blogging more notable than society-based or personal blogging, a majority did not consider it to be relevant in the evaluation process.
With 23% of department chairs in favor of acknowledging this form of academic achievement and 77% not in favor of doing so, it’s imperative that institutions develop a system for consistent evaluation across all teams. If, for instance, the department chair of the Biochemistry program finds journal-based blogging to be a value-add but the head of the Psychology department does not, there may be a systematic imbalance in the promotion and tenure review processes. By using a comprehensive system, institutions can enhance fairness in faculty evaluation, with all department chairs using the same qualifications in their reviews.
Streamlining the evaluation process with promotion and tenure tools
When your university is ready to simplify the evaluation process from start to finish, consider looking into Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure. This platform allows institutions to consider the full scope of academic tenure and promotion, from the moments leading up to the evaluation to the final decision.
With Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure, institutions can improve all participants’ experiences in the review process. With it, faculty members can undergo peer evaluation with increased efficiency, with plenty of tools to make notes, send messages, review comments, and receive external peer reviews instantly. Staff can use this platform to streamline their administrative work by sending entire digital packets between committees and standardizing methods for each type of review. Administrators can leverage Interfolio’s tools to monitor the institution’s commitment to diversity in promotion and tenure outcomes. Interfolio provides faculty committees with a comprehensive system that matches the actual work they do throughout the academic year. Last but certainly not least, candidates can receive instructions on the review process and build out professional-looking digital packets of their materials using Interfolio’s high-quality promotion and tenure software system.