Adopting a digital platform purpose built for faculty affairs has many advantages. So many, in fact, that Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is still discovering new ones. 

One of 16 institutions in the University of North Carolina System, ECSU adopted Interfolio’s Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT) and Lifecycle Management modules for their annual reviews and faculty lifecycle processes.

Themes Discussed

  • Purpose-Built Platform Far Superior to Paper-Based Process 
  • Innovative Platform Suitable for Uses Beyond RPT
  • Myriad Advantages of Faculty Information System (FIS) Translate into High Return on Investment

Purpose-Built Platform Far Superior to Paper-Based Process

Before implementing Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT), ECSU had a frustrating, inconvenient paper-based process for promotion, tenure, and annual reviews.

“When they were going up for review, our faculty members would complete these heavy notebooks that they would have to carry to different offices,” explains Dr. Farrah Jackson Ward, ECSU’s Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

“Faculty reviewers had to check in and check out the notebook, which meant that only one individual could review it at a time. Plus, they had to go across campus to the designated review location. It really was an inefficient use of our faculty’s and administrators’ time,” adds Ward. 

With Interfolio, reviewers can conduct simultaneous reviews. “Faculty have been very satisfied with the new software and process, and it’s decreased the administrative burden,” Ward says.

Innovative Platform Suitable for Uses Beyond RPT

Since implementing Interfolio, ECSU has improved more than just faculty reviews.

“We started using it for Teacher of the Year recognitions at both the departmental and university level,” says Dr. Joy Turnheim Smith, ECSU’s Dean of the School of Education and Business. “And then we started using it for faculty credentialing, and next will be graduate faculty approval. So there’s lots of things that we’ve been able to do with Interfolio because it is such a versatile tool for us.”

In implementing the Interfolio RPT module for course credentialing, ECSU replaced an inefficient paper process. “Faculty were excited to go to Interfolio for this,” explains Smith, “because it meant that they only had to credential once for any given course. And we were excited because, when it came time to make any last-minute changes, such as adding a section of a class, we could generate a report that could tell us exactly who on the faculty was credentialed for that particular class, which was wonderful.”

ECSU also plans to replace a paper-based faculty workload form with a digital form and process within Interfolio.

“Interfolio was very kind, providing a demonstration for our faculty senate executive leadership team and answering their questions. That gave us initial buy-in from them, which is extremely important when anyone is engaging in change management.”

Dr. Farrah Jackson Ward
Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
Elizabeth City State University

Advantages of FIS Translate into High Return on Investment

Interfolio’s versatility isn’t the only benefit ECSU has seen from implementing the system.  

“Some of the benefits of Interfolio include securing faculty data as well as enabling transparency into our review process, which promotes faculty trust,” explains Ward. 

Farrah adds that ECSU no longer has to worry about anyone removing documents from a paper review portfolio. Likewise, the electronic records are retained long term, and the review process is automatically documented, reducing any legal risks.

“We definitely got a great return on our investment,” says Ward.

About Interfolio

Conceived by academics for academics, Interfolio is an education technology company headquartered in Washington, DC, USA and in Cambridge, England, UK. Founded in 1999, Interfolio operates the acclaimed Faculty Information System, the Researchfish impact assessment platform, and the widely used Dossier service. Over 400 clients based in 15 countries choose Interfolio’s technology for hiring and recruitment, academic appointments and timelines, activity data reporting, faculty reviews and promotions, and research impact analysis. For more information about Interfolio, please contact us below.

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