Promotion and Tenure Automation Process Team

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Finance and Business
Information Technology Services (ITS)
Office of the President
Date Started: 
January 2006
To explore and examine opportunities for efficiencies in the promotion and tenure process while maintaining the spirit and integrity of this critical University function. The promotion and tenure process consists of various review levels and has historically been a very paper-intensive process. Several years ago, a cross-unit collaborative effort began with the Office of Human Resources, the Provost’s Office, and ITS. We have reached some measurable objectives, and still have an end goal in sight. We have streamlined the review process at the University Committee level by having an automated viewing platform for the eleven-person Committee. This, coupled with a document imagine download to OHR personnel files, has significantly streamlined the process. As a segue and natural progression to that effort, we are now working with Digital Measures for an automated faculty activity database and eventual fully-automated work flow vehicle for the entire P&T process.

At the University Committee level, we have achieved significant results and those results span to savings across all colleges and campuses at the University. Prior to the automated viewing platform, colleges were required to submit 11 copies of candidates' dossiers; and, with a volume of almost 200 submissions in some years, multiplying that out quickly reveals the amount of paper, human resource and logistical challenges involved. In polling the University Committee at the conclusion of the first year's trial, it became clear that we would never go back to the "old" way of doing things. The measures of performance included the time savings involved in the administration of the process, the flexibility by which the Committee members could view the dossiers, and the time savings involved in supporting such a critical process. The ongoing measures we will be looking at include the rate and acceptance of the next phase of the automation process using the Digital Measures tool and the eventual full work flow automation of the process, from the first levels at the department reviews through to the Presidential review.

July 21, 2010

From: Andrews, Jeanie
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:53 PM
To: Bowen, Blannie
Subject: RE: Request for information on improvement/innovation team

The efforts thus far have resulted in the significant gained efficiencies, reduced costs, and increased
customer satisfaction.

From the customer viewpoint of University P&T Committee members, rather than receiving 6-7 boxes
(weighing about 30 pounds each) containing dossiers, since no paper copies are involved, the use of
the viewing platform eliminates receipt of paper dossiers for the Committee members and also resulted
in gained flexibility to review dossier in their own time and space regardless of their physical or
geographical location.

From the view of our college colleagues as customers, the colleges have seen a reduction in labor and
other resources associated with transmitting an original dossier and one copy, versus the original
dossier and ten copies under the prior system. The reductions and gained efficiencies for the colleges
also include reduced time and costs associated with copying and transporting the dossiers.

From a general University perspective, an overall reduction in the number of work hours required for
the logistics associated with moving extraordinary volumes of boxes and paper. In addition, given the
work space needed to house the dossiers associated with Committee deliberations so that dossiers
were available, we no longer have to “tie up” an entire room for 8-9 weeks, thus rendering it
completely off-line for other uses. Also, we have found an increased adherence to the critical
University deadlines associated with P&T most likely because of the decreased amount of time
involved in the preparations prior to transmittal. And, overall, a decrease in errors most likely due to
reduction in error opportunities associated with excessive copying and collating.

In the next few years, we will have a better gauge of the “next phase” of our efforts as colleges begin
using the Digital Measures faculty activity system for dossier generation. Further down the road, we
would be looking toward full workflow automation as well.

Contact Person: 
Jeanie Andrews
  • Blannie Bowen, Sponsor
  • Jeanie Andrews, Member
  • Peter deVries, Member
  • Mike Hartman, Member
  • Cathy Kanour, Member
  • Steve Selfe, Member
  • Clark Wagner, Member
  • Shawnee Wagner, Member
  • Hazel Weaver, Member