Modern universities increasingly rely upon dedicated faculty information systems to maximize the total reach of their faculty members’ expertise and contributions. The University of Toledo’s use of the Interfolio platform is a prime example.
A public research institution in Ohio with over 1,000 faculty members serving over 20,000 students, UToledo first brought the Interfolio faculty data module onto campus in 2012.
Since then, UToledo has come to use Interfolio as a central faculty data hub with many applications—including collaboration on research and funding, online scholar profiles, academic evaluation workflows, and more.
- Facilitating scholar collaboration
- Integrating academic data sources for quality and efficiency
- Powering online faculty web profiles
Facilitating Scholar Collaboration
UToledo has used Interfolio to build a full picture of its academics’ impact and expertise, including:
- Service commitments
- Teaching history
- Grant activity
- Honors/awards received
- And virtually all other meaningful profile and activity data
“One of the best features we’re utilizing around this data is to showcase faculty’s work, in terms of publications and scholarly contributions—whatever format that may be—to level the playing field between disciplines and fields,” says Elissa Falcone, Academic Project Manager in the Office of the Provost.
By accumulating data in this dedicated, searchable “source of truth,” UToledo gives faculty (and administrators) an easy way to locate collaborators on research, funding, pedagogy, or other projects.
Integrating Academic Data Sources for Quality and Efficiency
Recognizing the significance of interoperability and data sharing, UToledo regularly pulls existing information from varied sources to populate faculty members’ accounts in Interfolio.
For example, data on courses taught is automatically loaded, waiting for faculty members when they log in. Similarly, grant data from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (which has its own system to track research funding) gets pulled into Interfolio.
“We’ve increased collaboration between all different colleges and departments… We are housed on a couple of different campuses, and traditionally, if you’re not near somebody physically, that really is a barrier to getting to know what other interests faculty have. This activity database, searchable by faculty, has been quite a meaningful tool for this collaboration.”
Academic Project Manager
Office of the Provost
University of Toledo
Future Directions, Value Over Time: Online Faculty Profiles
These data sharing practices enable efficient use of faculty time—sparing them what would be significant annual hours of data upkeep.
An intended expansion of Interfolio at UToledo is to use the publication and scholarly activity data stored in the database to populate scholar profiles on the institution’s website. Here, too, UToledo expects to take a technology ecosystem approach, combining the data management accomplished through Interfolio with another third-party system to create and publish the actual pages.
By leveraging the reliable data in Interfolio—validated by the faculty members themselves—to generate and keep current these public-facing profiles, UToledo will be able to tell the story of its scholars’ work on a new level.
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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