Approved by the: Faculty Senate - April 3, 2008
Administration - May 13, 2008*
Board of Regents - no action required

* The University would clearly benefit from a system to identify, store, and track faculty and staff activity and expertise. In fact, this item currently appears on the University's 6-Year IT Plan and is currently in the planning and development stage which involves ensuring alignment, assigning a sponsor/champion, evaluating the financial impact, and determining the design, integration, and the day-to-day management processes that will be needed to support such a system for the University. The University has asked the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for this information to determine how it should be considered for future action.

Resolution on the Faculty Expertise Database

MOTION 1:

The University of Minnesota should adopt an integrated software system that serves as a comprehensive repository of University faculty and staff activity and expertise. This system should include the features of an expertise database while supporting annual activity reporting, the promotion and tenure process, and other relevant reporting functions. As an expertise database, this system should allow students and colleagues in and out of the University to quickly find information. Elements essential to such a system include:

• The ability to import appropriate existing information from existing Enterprise systems.

• Active involvement of faculty, departments, and colleges, with central administration for development of a flexible and robust structure to support the different needs of the various disciplines and units.

• Careful construction of security measures to protect private, sensitive, or proprietary data.

• A mechanism to assure timely updates to the data.

• Investment for training to use the system and for ongoing user support.

• A user-friendly interface and a variety of avenues for data entry, expertise searches, and report generation.

Other considerations to maximize the effectiveness of the system may include integration with the grants management system to allow for easy assembly of bio-sketches and other reports, the ability to create curricula vitae, and the capacity to compile departmental/collegiate/university-wide reports.

Approved March 3, 2008, by the Research Committee
Approved March 4, 2008, by the Information Technologies Committee
Approved March 11, 2008, by the Faculty Affairs Committee

MOTION 2:

Any new expertise database should include the capacity to be mined for information for the purposes of creating grant management documents across the University.

COMMENT:

The Senate Research Committee supports the creation of the expertise database but believes that it will be maximally helpful to the faculty if can also serve as a mechanism to speed up the preparation of grant-management documents (reports, applications, etc.).


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