Digital Measures / Annual Reporting Form
Updated: November 4, 2013
This is the latest in a series of progress reports that have been made to deans, chairs and faculty leaders on the Provost’s Faculty Achievement Reporting program.
For the past year, the Office of Faculty, Policy and Research has been charged by the EVPP and the President to advance the University’s longstanding objective of creating a faculty achievement tracking system that would combine basic employment and career history of our academic faculty with an authoritative, credible and contextual record of faculty instructional, research/creative and service activity. Such a system would bring UNLV into line with other Tier 1 research universities, which have faculty achievement information systems that allow their faculty to “enter once, use many” times and which would greatly alleviate the burden currently placed on faculty, chairs, deans and others to reconstitute faculty employment or achievement information for each and every level of review, promotion, sabbatical application, grant application, accreditation report, etc.
UNLV has long collected this information in the form of faculty annual work reports, but the data from those forms was never retained – and was effectively discarded each year by chairs/ directors once annual performance evaluations were written. UNLV attempted in 2011 to begin the process of entering information once for many uses with a pilot of Digital Measures, a commercially developed online faculty achievement tracking database. At that time, however, the pilot faced challenges in that faculty were asked to enter information into a pre-configured Digital Measures information table and then the information had to be mapped onto the UNLV faculty annual work report form, which has remain unchanged since it was first developed by the Regents in the 1980s. However, neither the Digital Measures information table and interface, nor the UNLV faculty annual work report form need to remain unchanged, and both can be adopted to our institutional needs including college-level customization.
To this end, over the last six months, consultative discussions have been held with the Dean’s Council and with each dean’s office individually, Academic Leadership Development Seminar (department chairs/ associate deans), Faculty Senate Executive Committee and a Faculty Senate Task Force, and with policy makers leaders and data stewards of academic personnel information across campus. The resulting input is reflected in the draft of the proposed revision to the UNLV faculty reporting tool, which we are proposing to rename Faculty Achievement Reporting form.
Many requested slight changes in how the data is formatted or for additional data elements to be added to better understand the information provided. How this information is formatted into a faculty annual work report, promotion and tenure application, or other reports desired at the unit level was not the focus of these meetings. Rather, we focused on the data to be reported and the elements of each record type to ensure the ability to produce a variety of reports based on customized filtering. Overall, those consultations did not produce a strong push for much change to the data that is collected from the longstanding Faculty Annual Work Report form (which of course reflect the mid-tenure, and promotion and tenure forms.) In the September and October progress reports, we summarized those recommendations. We now invite you to review the draft of a proposed revision to the form as a distillation of those recommendations. The summary below highlights the revisions in each section.
Honors / Awards and Grants
These items were common to each section of the form – teaching, research and service – so they have been consolidated into a single table at the beginning of the form. Through pull-down menus, faculty can indicate in which area they received the honor/award and the grant, so these can be sorted by area or date. In the grants section, fields requested by several deans about expenditure in a given year and role of the faculty member in writing and in executing the grant has been added.
The basic table is retained. In the free response areas for “effective job performance,” additional spaces have been added for faculty to address institutional priorities in education such as course/program redesign, student recruitment, outreach, professional development, student retention/ progression/ completion and embedding University Undergraduate Learning Objectives in undergraduate instruction.
Research, Creative Accomplishments, and Scholarship
The number of different publication types has been reduced by consolidating different types and allowing pull-down menus to specify the specific type of publication. The resulting categories in this area are:
- Works In-progress
- Editorial and Review Activities
- Creative Activities
- Intellectual Property
Additional space has been added for faculty to comment on the impact of each scholarly communication or creative work.
A section for faculty to record clinical work has been added. The basic components that a faculty member would be able to enter would include type of clinic, nature of the work, hours contributed, and patients/ clients served.
The six different types of service may be entered into a single table by use of the pull-down menu. Several additions have been made:
- Time contribution
- Description of the service
- If position was elected, volunteer, or appointed
- Type of service
The basic template in the proposed form is an Adobe interactive form, in place of the longstanding Word form. This has several intended benefits to the faculty and university. First and foremost, it is intended to make the process of entering data easier for faculty, because the format is preserved as data is entered. Secondly, it is intended to make the output easier to read, whether on screen or printed. Thirdly, a saved Adobe form is a much flexible file than a PDF rendered from a Word document, which makes consultation of the file much easier for those who have to handle large numbers of these, such as department chairs and school directors.
Finally, using these Adobe forms is an important transitional step towards a document-management system that would allow faculty t complete and save their Achievement Report form online, whether in Digital Measures or another information system. This is because the data from an Adobe form can be captured into an Excel spreadsheet, from which it can be loaded into Digital Measures, so the data is not lost, and faculty are less likely to be asked to provide the same data again, whether into Digital Measures or for another purpose. (Faculty will of course be able to review and edit the data in Digital Measures once it is imported).
In the next week, this form is being presented for discussion to Faculty Senate, Academic Leadership Development Seminar and Dean’s Council. Based on the feedback received between now and the first week of December from each constituency, further revisions might be made and a decision will be made by early December as to whether to adopt this for the 2013 annual achievement reporting process (due for most faculty end of January 2014).
Related to that decision is the topic, now under discussion among faculty senate leadership, deans and senior administration, about the specific procedures of the 2014 merit rankings – and whether a separate merit application, past and current FAWRs or other sources will be used to determine merit rankings.