A history of the UofM's UDATA project.
Arlene E. Carney, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs wrote:
I write to update you on the work that has been done to date to select a system-wide faculty and staff expertise and activity reporting system, which we are calling the University Data Accomplishments and Tracking Archive (UDATA).
In February 2008, the Senate Joint Subcommittee on Databases presented its final report (see http://www1.umn.edu/usenate/scit/databases.pdf), recommending the purchase and implementation of an integrated University expertise and activity reporting system. A Faculty Senate resolution on May 13, 2008 approved the recommendation of the Joint Subcommittee (see http://www1.umn.edu/usenate/resolutions/facdatabaseres.html for more information). My office, Faculty and Academic Affairs, has been charged with moving this recommendation forward.
The system will serve two primary and important purposes:
1. To provide a single tool where faculty and staff can enter activities and accomplishments - to inform the annual review and promotion and tenure processes, support other reporting, and to produce customized CVs and biosketches, and;
2. To provide a repository for expertise data.
In 2007, the Joint Subcommittee identified Digital Measures' Faculty Activity Insight as a product that could meet many of the needs identified in their report (see www.digitalmeasures.com/aifdemo for more). Since spring 2009 my office has engaged in extensive consultation on this product, and on the project in general, with faculty and staff on all University campuses. I am grateful to those who participated in these discussions; they have been of tremendous assistance in the development of our list of key requirements. I am also grateful for the hard work and continuous involvement of a number of staff from the Office of Information Technology (OIT).
Together with my staff and staff in OIT, I have weighed the responses and feedback to the Digital Measures demonstrations. We are very impressed with the product's capabilities. Because this will be a system-wide purchase that will exceed the University's threshold of $50,000 in annual cost, we have begun working with OIT Finance and the University's Purchasing Department to issue the required Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP process will likely take two to three months to complete.
We will have more information on how we will proceed with a purchase and with implementation of a system once we have completed the RFP process. In the mean time, please feel free to contact my associate, Karen Zentner Bacig (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, ideas, or concerns. I will send out periodic communications to the University community to provide updates on this initiative.
Arlene E. Carney
Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs