Admins to combine Faculty Tracking Software with metrics scheme

This software was pitched to us last year as a way to keep your c.v. up to date. But when linked with Brad Shelton’s faculty metrics scheme it’s so much more. Here’s a link to the provost’s website notice:

The project, called Faculty Insights, will result in a sophisticated online system that enhances our ability to capture the wide range of research and creative activities that our faculty do. The primary purpose of the system will be to manage the faculty review process university-wide – including promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review – more efficiently and effectively. Introducing a Faculty Insights system at UO will enhance our ability to streamline faculty personnel processes and make the achievements and instructional activities of faculty in all the schools and colleges more visible, within the campus community and to the broader public. The system will also support the local metrics process and the production of annual unit-level research reports.

UO will contract with Concur to provide the software.

Just kidding, it will likely contract with Digital Measures, a software company out of Milwaukee, with a hip award winning office that doesn’t look cheap. And they aren’t cheap. Their proposal to Western Michigan a few years ago worked out to about $90K a year for a license, and that’s just the start of the costs. The University of Maryland is hiring them too, and their administration just told their Senate the new software will require a full time administrator and 5 grad students paid to input data from the previous failed faculty tracking system.

But of course there will be benefits as well as costs to implementing Brad Shelton’s metrics scheme, such as giving our administration the data they need to track faculty in real time, and allowing them to set our annual goals for promotion or whatever, as explained in Azusa Pacific University’s Activity Insight Basic User Manual, here:

With Activity Insight’s flexible software the administration’s “servant-leader” monitoring can drill down to a remarkable level, such as this Faith Integration Activities report:

From Maryland:

From Western Michigan:

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4 Responses to Admins to combine Faculty Tracking Software with metrics scheme

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    I guess UO’s academic and financial status have already improved so much after several years of these guys, right? Look at major surveys of academic standing, grants, the newfound financial stability, the latest salary jump. Oh, and the great news on enrollment, student quality… keep it up guys!

    I know I will be accused of being a pollyanna, but gotta face facts.

    Seriously, though, I think there is some good news on faculty hires. For which we can thank?

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  2. St Francis says:

    Would love to read some good news honest uncle Bernie. Provide a link or two.

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    • Elephant Seal says:

      good news

      [The UOM Editor: Your comment has been rejected because you failed to connect this good news about elephant seals to UO. You may resubmit.]

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  3. Sun Tzu says:

    Ah, yet another attempt to quantify faculty performance. Most of us don’t remember that John Moseley, when he was our beloved Provost 20+ yrs ago, raised this idea but never actually did anything about it because of fierce faculty resistance. Fast forward to another outstanding Provost, Mr Bean, who revisited the issue at the behest of the State Board. He held bimonthly meetings with ~10 faculty for the entire academic year yet completely ignored the committee’s final recommendations (the committee had ~40 appropriate and detailed measures). Instead he made up his own list of academic measures (a grand total of 6!), all of which were vague and inappropriate. Fortunately the State Board didn’t follow through because they were fighting their own existential battle which they lost. The current quasi-quantification effort is typical of our mediocre administrators, i.e., let’s hire a bunch of people, pay a ton of money to outside consultants in order to inappropriately measure something. The assumption in this case is that measuring faculty performance is no different than measuring widget production in a factory. But hey, it is much easier for the dimwitted to value what we can measure instead of measuring what we value. And our current administrators have shown a serious paucity of academic values. Maybe, just maybe, this scheme is a ruse to pad the CVs of administrators when they go out on the job market? The real question is why isn’t the Senate pushing back real hard on this?

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