Faculty review systems support appointment, merit, promotion, tenure, and related actions. In 2018, University of
Faculty review systems support appointment, merit, promotion, tenure, and related actions. In 2018, University of California and California State University used 12 different faculty review systems
41% of campuses used a custom-built solution while 48% used a vendor solution. The remaining 11% use paper processes:
Until recently, institutions wanting to digitize their faculty review process had two options: build in-house or borrow from another campus.
Building from scratch is a major investment decision. Faculty review systems are big and complex thanks to our extensive review process and shared governance modal. Initial costs can be upwards of several hundred thousand dollars. Over the lifetime of a system, total cost can easily exceed a million dollars.
Borrowing a pre-built solution from another university is a cost-saving alternative to building. This works well when campuses share similar policies and procedures (like you'd find in an university system). Sustaining this collaboration can be difficult, especially across leadership transitions.
Examples of campuses borrowing review systems:
Today, campuses have a growing number of vendor options to consider. Let me know if I missed any:
- Interfolio's Review Promotion Tenure
- Advancing Faculty's FacultyForms - our solution focused on UC & CSU faculty review needs
- Mountain Pass's SmartPath - built by University of Michigan and later commercialized
I anticipate more competition in this space in light of Interfolio's recent acquisition by private equity Insight Venture Partners for $110 million. Competition means universities have more options and can choose the solution that best meets their needs. Multiple vendor solutions will give universities more negotiation power, helping to stretch tax payer, student, and donor dollars.
The faculty review system usage chart was produced by visiting every Faculty Affairs and Academic Personnel website within UC & CSU. System use is weighted by instructional, research and public service FTE as measured by IPEDS 2017 provisional data.