Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Faculty Reports Focus Group

This is a brief summary of the discussion at the first meeting of the faculty reports focus group.  More details to come.

While some small units are routinely customizing faculty reports,
time constraints leave most departments with running standard system reports as
their only option.  Most departments are running 1 or 2 standard reports
and attempting to provide them to faculty on a monthly basis.  Accountants
then deal individually with follow-up questions from faculty. 

A range of different people, from students to
administrators, are running the reports.  Running standard reports takes
multiple days each month, while custom reports could take one FTE or more for an
average-sized IT department.  All departments
are providing some level of sponsored reporting, but some departments are not
routinely distributing non-sponsored reports to faculty. 

The data in reports are still not entirely reliable, particularly
encumbrances.  Some departments are
attempting to clean all the reports up before distribution, while others are distributing
them as they come out of the system and dealing with issues as they arise.

The basic reports are not satisfactory to some faculty and it is time consuming
to run the reports, so departments are looking for options.  Departments
with in-house IT expertise are taking initial steps toward shadow systems to
generate reports.  One department is considering training (and requiring)
faculty to use UM Reports themselves.  Another department is overhauling
its chartstring structure to ease reporting and other processes.  In
addition, central is developing a new data warehouse and gradually improving
standard University reports.

More detailed information will be forthcoming.  DJP