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Faculty Activities Database


Faculty Activities Database FAQ


1. What is meant by “Directed Student Learning” under the Service category?

This section includes activities such as directed/independent studies, graduate theses/dissertations, supervised research/teaching, and Honors theses.


2. I consider “Editorial and Review” activities to be more akin to scholarship than mere service, (though they are a service).

I agree. The data entry screens you saw are a first draft and will undergo revision several times before finalized.


3. Where would one list time spent on Emerging Scholars, directed studies, thesis direction, graduate student committee work?

They will be listed under Directed Student Learning.


4. Could we separate community service from institutional service?

Certainly. We can design this however we feel is suitable to our philosophy of faculty work and makes data entry logical and as simple as possible. Community service will only be listed when it relates to a faculty member's position at ULM.


5. I am assuming that the faculty will be responsible for entering info on those screens. Will there be someone that checks to be sure the info is accurate?

The initial entry will be done using student workers to enter data from current curriculum vitae and through a process where information from Banner is needed. We are discussing how best to verify initial information.

After the initial population, some data will be placed in the database automatically and faculty will responsible for entering/providing certain information.


6. Is service both on and off campus?

If the service is related to a faculty member's position at ULM, then the answer is yes.


7. Why are the grade distributions collected in the Digital Database? Is this part available for everyone to view? Would the faculty member have to collect this and enter it, and, if so, why? I would think Institutional Research would be doing that if it's necessary to have that data.

The information will be collected and loaded into the database through a batch process. Individual faculty will neither collect nor input grade data.

Grade distributions are included do that department heads can view these distributions of one faculty member related to other faculty in their department; deans can view the performance of one department with respect to other departments in their college; and deans and the Office of Academic Affairs can view the distributions across departments and colleges.

This will allow the appropriate administrator to identify individuals, courses, or degree programs where grade inflation or deflation may have occurred and can be addressed. For example, the regular occurrence of a disproportionately large number of D's, F's and W's in a service course might result in a review of the course objectives, delivery system, and pedagogy.

An individual faculty member would only be able to see his/her grade distributions. A department head would be able to see those of all faculty members in the department. A dean would be able to see those of all faculty members in the college.


8. I think the data base is fairly comprehensive, easy to navigate and seems to regularize activities across the disciplines. One of my concerns is that the social security number appears in it. My other concern is that publications such as poetry (i.e. no peer reviewed in the traditional sense do not seem to show up).

During the Fall 2005 semester, ULM migrated to a campus-wide ID (CWID) system that is independent of Social Security Number. Faculty CWIDs wereset up during the Spring 2006 semester.

With regard to the poetry, we could have something like a Creative Works category (like we do for Books and Articles) with specifics like Poetry, Short Story, Play, Novel, Art Work, Series of Art Works, Short Music Piece, etc.). The appropriate departments will be contacted help develop the Creative Works category.


9. When community service is defined as service only relevant to the faculty member's position this excludes faculty such as librarians since what we do is not a common community need for volunteers. We provide community service in many other ways.

The External Service page allows for “Other” in both the Service Type and Position/Role fields and there is space for an explanation in both areas. If that doesn't handle the situations of which you are thinking, could you suggest some terminology to use?


10. Having student workers input the data the first time is a good idea. I believe verification is a matter of trust and random checking by the department head. Every item on an individual's vita should not be checked unless there is substantial reason to believe that it may not be true.

We are probably going to allow faculty to choose if they want to input the information themselves or have it done by a student worker.


11. I have looked over the attached data base screens. Overall, the database seems like it will be very useful. I am, however, concerned about security, despite the promises made by Digital Measures. In particular, I am not sure that this company should have access to faculty social security numbers. I am aware that the university needs them for payroll purposes and uses them for identification, though we seem to be moving away from the latter on ids. In any case, if a number is needed to identify faculty employees, I would suggest that Digital Measures or ULM generate an identifying number for use in the database. Should we do so, we will eliminate one avenue for possible identify theft.

See the answer to Item 8 above.


12. There doesn't seem to be a place for persons in the Arts to record their "publications" in the form of performances, exhibits, or other recognized standardized forms of publications in the Arts. This seems skewed towards quantitative and text-based media. Do include the ARTS in the Arts & Sciences.

We could have something like a Creative Works category (like we do for Books and Articles) with specifics like Poetry, Short Story, Play, Novel, Art Work, Series of Art Works, Short Music Piece, etc.). Is this or another organization sufficient or do we need to have items listed separately?


13. It seems a lot simpler for faculty to just submit a CV--do I gather from question 5 that this is what actually happens? Otherwise filling out all these forms, given that most people already have a CV, seems to demand a great deal of faculty time, and for reasons and purposes that are not clear. I can already easily assemble an up-to-date CV.

The database will allow for the summarization of individuals' information much more easily than when we had available to us before.

Department heads, deans, and vice presidents often receive multiple requests for such information each year, with every request taking enough of a different form so that it is a rather time-consuming process to compile the data each time. The database will help reduce this effort if we can create a few forms that handle most or all of these cases.

With respect to the time commitment to input data, the estimate we have received from Digital Measures is that, after we get past the initialization period, a typical faculty member needs only approximately 2 hours each year to maintain a current set of information.

Much of the updating will be done with batch processes that never involve the faculty member and automatically transfer data about teaching loads, grade distributions, SCH information, and similar items. So the individual will only have to enter things like scholarly activities, service (outside of committees), and other such things.

The database helps in several ways.



14. I question the use and implications of the grade distribution data; in any case, are faculty really expected to tally all these grades?

See Item 7 above.


15. Something that never seems to appear anywhere is all the hours spent on writing letters of recommendation--could that be included, and if so where?

I don't think so. Letters of recommendation are something we do as a courtesy rather than a part of our job.


16. In Faculty information, personal, do we have to use SSN? Are we going to get a new id number like students?

See Item 8 above.


17. In administrative data, list faculty rank in order instead of alphabetically.

I'll check to see if this is possible.


18. Education and training…. area for minors?

The Area(s) of Specialization is intended to handle this.


19. Professional membership…area for office held, committee work, fellow status (I see some of this in external service)

To reduce duplication, we'll keep the office held, committee work, and fellow status in the External Service section..


20. In Teaching area, non-credit instruction taught….include invited lecturer?

We can do that. Do we need to distinguish an invitation from an outside agency as opposed to one done within the University?


21. In Service, undergrad and grad research…include Emerging Scholars?

Good idea.


22. I know you said you were going to use vitas….could the faculty activity reports be used? Our format is VERY comprehensive and up to date (probably better than most vitas as you just add to these when you are typically job hunting J). I understand it could be a nightmare for people that have been here over 10 years. Could use for newer faculty members??? Just a thought.

Whatever document you feel provides the most up-to-date, complete, and accurate information would be the one best used.


23. I believe that most faculty within the School of Visual and Performing Arts would like to see "creative performance" listed as a category within Research in the faculty activities database.

This performance does involve creative research and discovery within a specific area as well as the verification of the results via the actual object or performance.

See the second part of the answer to Item 8 above.


24. I have tried to log on but I get a message that my email address is not recognizable. Do you have any ideas on what I should do?

During the development of the database, we are using a single test account to keep things as simple as possible. The User ID and Password for the account were sent to all faculty in an email dated September 1, 2005. Please use that account until we go operational. Each faculty member will then be notified of the login information for his/her own account.


25. One question I still have about service in the community is this: Do you mean to say that community service that relates to disciplinary expertise is relevant--such as a lecture for a community group on turtles in my case? I don't think anyone really cares that I'm an Associate Professor specifically (i.e., my position at the University). In our draft workload and P&T guidelines that is how we have made the distinction as to which Community Service is relevant.

The Public/Community service would cover times in which you represent the University as one of its faculty members but not necessarily because you are an expert in your field. For example, you may serve as the college coordinator during the United Way campaign.

It really doesn't matter that you are a turtle expert for that job. If it did, then I would see this as professional service. What matters is that you are representing your specific college. Thus, I would use the Public/Community service category.


26. How far back will you go for the data on courses taught?

I'm not sure on this yet. Maybe 5 years or so? What is your suggestion?


27. Will I be able to edit and correct the personal data input “by student workers”?

See the answer to Item 10 above. Regardless of who enters the data, you (and only you) will be able to edit your personal data. The only exceptions would include information considered to be administrative in nature.