If your current process for conducting faculty reviews is difficult to administer, you likely know all too well the costs of a bad system:
- Wasted faculty and staff time
- Faculty avoidance of the system
- Risk of improper evaluation processes
- Failure to keep materials secure
The good news is that other institutions have found a better way to operate.
Take a look at their stories of change below to see if you recognize your own pain points — and to preview what your future can hold.
Online Faculty Evaluation System Eliminates Headaches
At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), administrators used to have to mail affiliate faculty members materials relating to their evaluation.
“As you can imagine, things didn’t travel well via mail,” says Erika Chau, UCLA’s Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel.
This problem and many other frustrations led UCLA to implement Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT), an online system purpose built for faculty reviews. “Because faculty can remotely access Interfolio RPT, we can stay on top of academic actions for our faculty physicians who are far away from campus.”
Likewise, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, administrators used to spend a lot of time answering review status questions via email or phone. “After adopting Interfolio RPT, we now put that time toward other things that make more sense,” says Cheryl Welch, the School of Medicine’s Director of Faculty Affairs.
Boxes of Papers Are Burdensome
Of course, a major source of aggravation and inconvenience for many institutions using a paper-based review system is managing the many boxes of paper files that reviews require.
“Now that we have Interfolio, our faculty are happy that they don’t have to sign hundreds of pages with their initials, and our deans are relieved of the burden of carrying home boxes of files in the trunks of their cars,” says UCLA’s Chau.
Faculty at Dartmouth College are similarly glad to be free of lugging around file boxes. “After we switched to Interfolio RPT, everyone was on board very quickly and liked the system,” says Denise Riccio, the Division Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College. “They appreciated the ability to just log onto Interfolio and see their assigned cases and read a file even if someone else was reading it at the same time.”
Online System Built for Faculty Evaluations Enables Transparency
Interfolio RPT also offers institutions an easier means of achieving transparency in the review process.
“At UCLA, as part of our shared governance, faculty see everything that goes into their review file and have the right to respond,” explains Chau. “So rather than faculty having to come into the office and look through paper files, they can log into Interfolio and see what’s being reviewed by the review committees.”
Administrators also like that the system can bring all current and past faculty review cases into a single view. “To be able to add past reviews to the new case at the click of a button has made a huge difference,” says Ms. Riccio.
Retaining Faculty Members At Risk of Leaving
With the right online faculty evaluation system, administrators can easily initiate review actions even if the faculty member is on leave.
“Sometimes faculty take a leave when they’re being recruited by another institution,” explains Chau. “The fact that we can conduct their reviews remotely gives us a fighting chance of retaining them because the review process lets them know where they stand with our institution.”
In contrast, with paper-based evaluations systems, it’s much harder to conduct a review with a faculty member who is on leave.
Online Faculty Evaluation System and Budgeting
Another major advantage that comes into play when an institution switches to an effective online faculty evaluation system is that it becomes easier to see the volume of reviews they’re handling at different times.
“A game-changer with Interfolio is that I can see how many cases are coming through at any one time, which helps me forecast our needs and substantiate my budget requests,” says Chau.
Considering a Change?
Other Reasons to Transform Your Faculty Affairs Processes
As these institutions’ stories show, there are many reasons to switch from a bad faculty review process to an effective online faculty evaluation system.
If you’d like to learn some of the other common reasons institutions choose to modernize their faculty affairs processes by adopting Interfolio, take a look at Interfolio’s eBook, Why Now? Faculty Affairs Leaders on Digital Transformation.
You can also learn more insights from the faculty affairs professionals featured in this article by listening to this 2022 Interfolio Summit session.