Universities and colleges have many compelling reasons to adopt digital faculty information tools but often only one reason for sticking with paper systems: inertia.

To overcome that inaction, sometimes it takes an outside force to get the ball rolling on positive change. In the case of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), that outside force was a hurricane that damaged paper records. 

In response, UNCP administrators adopted Interfolio’s Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT) module as the first step in digitizing their records. Since then, the momentum borne of that first step has created all kinds of positive changes at the university.

Themes Discussed

  • Faculty information system saves space and time
  • Online, digital review process: easy to set up, easy to execute
  • Going digital enables greater understanding of faculty needs

Faculty Information System Saves Space and Time

Paper records are not only vulnerable to forces of weather; they also require a lot of space for storage. 

After the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, UNCP recognized that it had “too many paper files and not enough space to store them,” says Scott Billingsley, UNCP’s Associate Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. 

Switching to RPT’s digital files and online process freed up both space and time. “Now, faculty, committees, and administrators have much more time and flexibility to carry out academic reviews, freeing up their hours for research, teaching, and service,” Scott says.

Online, Digital Review Process: Easy to Set Up, Easy to Execute

Setting up RPT proved straightforward.

“The only real work is setting up your workflow templates for each review type,” explains Aaron Vandermeer, UNCP’s Interfolio Administrator. “You have to make intentional choices, but it’s not hard.”

One time-saving choice UNCP made was to allow for concurrent review by committee members. 

“Our department chairs and peer evaluation committees can evaluate portfolios at the same time as one another, saving us four weeks in our timeline,” says Aaron.

“Interfolio’s module has allowed us to consistently execute our faculty evaluation model across four different colleges within our university. We also have a bird’s-eye view of all reviews and can see what stage each review is at.”

Aaron Vandermeer
Department of Music
Interfolio Administrator
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Going Digital Enables Greater Understanding of Faculty Needs

In addition to saving space and time with RPT, the University has gained the ability to better understand faculty needs. 

“The more faculty career data we get over the years from RPT, the better we’ll understand how to help faculty with their development,” explains Aaron.

In other words, having now initiated digital transformation of faculty affairs, UNCP will continue to reap benefits from going digital in the years to come. In particular, the data UNCP gathers through RPT will inform the development of programs for supporting faculty careers.

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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