Ask any university or higher education provider in general and they will tell you the same:
Their faculty is the most important and invaluable resource at their disposal.
Nevertheless, higher education institutions continue to encounter difficulties with the creation and maintenance of centralized information systems that meet the needs of their faculty members.
According to the market research specialists at LISTedTECH, simple inefficiencies in information systems like these can have a major impact on the performance of the entire organization. Precisely where the latest advances in Faculty Information Systems can help, which when incorporated correctly can make a major difference for everyone involved.
What Exactly is a Faculty Information System?
All colleges and universities have their own priorities and preferences, but the fundamentals of Faculty Information Systems are similar across all institutions. A Faculty Information System is a bespoke software solution, designed to simplify the collection, management, sharing, analysis and use of information about the faculty members of an institution.
In the simplest terms, a Faculty Information System is a basically a database that stores information on faculty members, such as the articles written and published, credentials, endorsements, teaching accomplishments, research conducted and so on. All of which is continuously updated along the way.
Traditionally, homegrown (i.e. in-house) systems of a manual or even paper-based nature have been devised, implemented and used by educational institutions. Today, these inefficient systems are gradually being replaced by advanced cloud-based software solutions, which make it easier to access and interact with the information stored in real time.
These contemporary Faculty Information Systems are also considered exponentially safer and easier to use than any comparable homegrown system.
What Information Does a Faculty Information System Store?
As previously mentioned, requirements and preferences vary significantly from one educational institution to the next. In all instances, however, a Faculty Information System is designed to serve as a centralized point of organization, presentation and reporting of research and scholarly activities.
Typical examples of which may include teaching and professional activities, grants and bursaries, research data, publications and general academic or professional achievements. A Faculty Information System can be used to collate, store and showcase various forms of data, which can be interacted with, edited and updated in real time.
Importantly, the integration of a Faculty Information System with other campus systems simplifies the process of connecting faculty members with one another, ultimately benefiting the university or college community as a whole.
What Are the Benefits of a Faculty Information System?
The benefits of a Faculty Information System will be determined by its configuration, how it is put to use and the priorities of the organization in question.
However, some of the key benefits of Faculty Information Systems that apply universally in all instances include the following among others:
- Simplification and streamlining of complex and time-consuming data collection and management processes
- The ability to locate potential collaborators and experts quickly and easily using database search functions
- An opportunity to showcase achievements and accolades (academic and personal) to others within the educational community
- Reduction or elimination of paper-based data management systems and the subsequent risk of human error
Overall, Faculty Information Systems are designed to significantly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to build, manage and maintain a more traditional homegrown system.
Recognized and Recommended by Gartner Research
Increasingly, Faculty Information Systems are gaining the recommendation of major educational and technological authorities on a global basis. In a recently released Gartner research report, Faculty Information Systems were included as one of the “Top 10 Strategic Technologies Impacting Higher Education in 2020.”
According to Gartner, the adoption of Faculty Information Systems represents an important long-term investment for the higher educational organization, looking to safeguard its competitive position indefinitely.
“Institutions with robust FIS functionality will also gain insights to drive efficiencies and effectiveness by optimizing this valuable HR and key capability in the higher education business model,” Gartner stated in its report.
“In many ways, FISs represent a new category of system, especially when considered as a collection of different tools and modules. They represent a growing need and interest in tracking all aspects of faculty data,”
“These systems will enable the institution to maintain a single source of truth for faculty members on their credentials, careers, teaching, research and support aspects of faculty personnel administration.”
Along with supporting the career development and general educational capabilities of faculty members, Faculty Information Systems can also benefit students. After all, it’s only when faculty members are able to do their jobs properly and efficiently that they can provide the best possible educational experience.