Tech Tips: Sabbatical & Scholarly Leave

  • August 21, 2022

Introduction

Colleges and universities must track a significant amount of faculty activity, ranging from teaching load to scholarly output to service. All of it requires proper business processes to stay organized and keep from overwhelming stakeholders. One process we've seen managed more frequently in InfoReady lately are Sabbatical and scholarly leave requests. Faculty members submit requests in InfoReady, administrators run the request through an approval/review process, then communicate out the final decision to stakeholders, and even collect follow-up forms. All this happens in InfoReady 

Challenges

  • The reasoning for the requests may vary and require different documentation for each type (e.g., travel vs. writing).
  • Many levels of approval are required, with reasoning needed at each step.
  • Once leave is approved, individuals must be notified to coordinate follow-up administrative activities and to collect follow-up forms.
Solutions 
  • Consider using the Multitrack template to separate different types of requests.
  • Build a routing step for each level of approval, and pass feedback on at each stage. InfoReady has multiple ways to automate the approval process.
  • During the award process, copy any relevant stakeholders, such as Human Resources, Registrar, and Payroll representatives.
  • Consider an outbound data feed from InfoReady to your HR or faculty management system to automatically update these other systems with the approval decision.
  • Use Progress Reports to collect follow-up forms from faculty who received approval.
Tips
  • The system allows up to 10 file uploads per submission.
  • If many different documents are needed, ask faculty members to combine them into one PDF file for easy viewing.
  • Alternatively, if it will be more helpful for reviewers to look at the documents in a certain order, create them as separate file uploads on the Requirements page. This also allows you to provide specific instructions for each file upload.
  • If reference letters are needed, then enabled the Reference Letter feature to help applicants and administrators automatically collect the letters.
  • If approvals align with your organizational structure (i.e., Department Chairs, Deans, etc.) you may be able to automate your approval process using Department Driven Routing Steps. Another way to automate approval assignments is by using Applicant Driven Routing Steps, which allows applicants to identify the appropriate reviewers.
  • Before awarding, download a PDF of the submission with or without reviews to attach to the award email as summary of the request.
  • If the request is not approved, share feedback with the faculty member for transparency. This option can be selected on the screen where you enter the final decision or can be done in a single batch action to all requests that weren't approved.
  • Use progress reports to collect information from the faculty member upon their return, such as publications or other outcomes and impacts of their time away.
  • Copy the process to make a fresh version for each cycle, which keeps the requests easy to access and compare over time. For example, administrators can quickly see how many requests from a certain department were awarded in a given semester.
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