Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Online Faculty Career Data Systems
Year Submitted 2017
Awarded Honourable Mention (Themed Category)
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name / Nom Title / Titre
Norah Vollmer Faculty Affairs - Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Name of Institution Carleton University
Office Address 3400 CTTC
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
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Telephone: 613-520-2600 ext 4156
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Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Peter Ricketts
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Office Address 503 Tory - 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
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Telephone: 613-520-2600 x 3806
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Abstract

In August 2016, the Office of the Provost – Faculty Affairs with Information Technology Services launched an online Faculty Leaves system that modernizes an existing time-consuming and paper-driven process.

 

Briefly, Carleton’s academics can now create leave applications, review eligibility, and submit applications in an online environment. Applications are then reviewed online by: the Academic Head to consider staffing; the Dean’s office to confirm sabbatical credits/stipend; the Dean to confirm funding and sabbatical plan; the Manager, Faculty Affairs for a second eligibility review; and the Provost as the Chief Academic Officer. Next, email notification are sent to applicants, all approvers, and Banner is updated. Upon return, the system reminds applicants to upload a sabbatical report for approval of the Dean and Provost.

 

Since 2013, this is Carleton’s fourth online Faculty Careers system, including: the Course e-Contract System; Faculty Recruitment; and Faculty Appointment. Our next system, to manage Honorary and Affiliated Ranks, is under way.

 

All systems promote the professional, effective delivery of services and administration by offering better customer service, 24/7 access, a central data source, reduction of paper, and online tracking/reporting resulting in demonstrated improvements to efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness. Today, over 100 senior academic administrators and academic heads, as well as more than 850 faculty, 750 sessionals, and 100 administrators in 5 Faculties and 45 Departments access our systems daily.

 

Our systems introduced new services and significant improvements to manage human and financial resources. For example, our Faculty Leaves system leverages and displays existing Banner data to stakeholders through the new “faculty profile” that offers a summary of the faculty member’s career history, including events that impact leave calculation, ensuring that decision are based on common, updated data.

 

The system has increased quality, productivity, and effectiveness. Annually, our systems handle more than: 1,000 sessional contracts; 50 faculty recruitments and appointments; and 200 leave applications (anticipated). Each of these processes requires the approval of at least 5 people, which means that our systems manage over 6,500 transaction in addition to transmitting data to other offices and updating Banner. This system is an innovative way to increase operational effectiveness.

 

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

While Carleton’s procedures are unique to the university, the overarching Faculty Career systems manage processes that are common to all universities, such as: the creation, workload management, and approval of sessional contracts; faculty recruitment and appointment; and faculty leaves, including sabbatical and 9 other kinds of negotiated faculty leaves. All 4 Faculty Careers systems have been developed in Banner and Banner-based systems that are used by many other institutions. To facilitate transferability, Carleton would be happy to share this technology, including programming code, workflows, manuals, and other information with other institutions at the regional and national levels. These systems are particularly transferable because they support the online submission of requests, offer tracking, and manage approvals with information available 24/7. Our systems also leverage information from our Banner database, but also provide flexibility, for example to assign delegate approvers and return requests that require additional information.

Quality Impact

Our Faculty Career systems have contributed immensely to an improvement in the quality of service and were developed to respond to the needs of our academic community. For example, our Faculty Recruitment and Appointment systems allowed us to speed up approvals so that we can make offers of academic employment faster so that we can hire the best candidates for faculty positions. As another example, our Course e-Contract system has eliminated the potential for sessionals to exceed negotiated workload thresholds as well as allows us to document complicated hiring decisions made for this union group based on business requirements offering improved accountability, transparency, and compliance (and avoiding potentially higher salary costs). Our Faculty Leaves system, like all of our systems offer users tracking and transparency in decision-making as requested by our academic community. Our systems also make the information required for decision-making available in one place, draw from existing Banner data, and are based on our business requirements that allow our users to spend their valuable time on decisions that require their attention rather than reviewing data that can be verified by the systems.

 

Productivity Impact

During the process of developing our systems, we worked hard to ensure our processes were efficient and that transactions that did not add value were removed from the process. This can be seen, for example, in the roles and responsibilities for the reviewers and approvers described in the abstract. In terms of productivity, the greatest impacts have been in processing time as requests move through online systems, the opportunity to leverage data from a central source for decision-making, online tracking, and automatic system notifications. At a minimum, all of our previous paper-driven systems required that forms be sent via interoffice mail to at least 5 offices and that paper files be reviewed and maintained in each office. The Faculty Career systems have completely eliminated this lag time of approximately 5 days per transaction for approximately 6,500 transactions. The transfer of files from one reviewer/approver to another is instantaneous and reviewers/approvers have access online to common information required for decision-making, which is then transferred to Banner automatically. Review and approval now takes an estimated 30 minutes per transaction resulting in a significant time-savings. In addition, a little harder estimate, all systems provide tracking eliminating the previous need for frequent status inquiries/updates and automatic systems notifications have eliminated the need for separate communications, including signed letters.

 

Innovation

Prior to embarking on the development of these Faculty Careers systems, Carleton explored other options to manage Faculty Careers and looked at Banner solutions, other external systems, and contacted other institutions nationally and internationally. After a thorough search, we were surprised that we were unable to find any available solutions to manage Faculty Careers so we developed our own. All of our systems offer an innovative, technological solution to address processes that were previously highly manual, time-consuming, and paper-driven resulting in a lack of consistency and a lack of coordination. As an example, our Faculty Leaves system is particularly innovative because we were unable to find any other systems available to manage faculty leaves. Furthermore, it was also important to us to provide information required for decision-making, such as data from our Banner database offering regular opportunities for faculty and other stakeholders to view the career information captured in centrally in our systems (and to update incorrect information that occasionally arises).

 

Supporting Documents