Who do faculty “work for?”

cantevenUPDATED BELOW, Sunday afternoon.

Who do college and university faculty work for? Do we work for our students? Do we work for the administrators at our institutions? If we work at public universities, do we work for the taxpayers of our states? Do we work for our colleagues? Who has a right to demand work from us?

The reason I’m asking is that last week ended for me in a faculty meeting yesterday afternoon that was billed as “important” by our department chair, because we were going to learn all about some new software that would “make it easy” to generate our CVs and our annual reports.  (I bet some of you know where this is going.)

This fabulous new system is called Digital Measures, and as it’s being implemented at Baa Ram U., it relies on faculty to dis-aggregate the information we have on our CVs and in our annual evaluations and enter it into 300 or more little boxes organized into 15 or 20 different categories.  (And believe me, the web page looks just as inviting as that chore sounds.)  Each little box must be clicked on separately and have information typed or cut-and-pasted into it.  Seriously!

That’s right:  we were invited to a meeting in which we were asked to duplicate work we’ve already done to report on the work we do.  I almost felt a little sorry for the consultant they sent up to serve us this $h!t sandwich.  She seemed kind of surprised to hear that we didn’t see why we should donate free labor without any benefit to us or our students.  (Also not selling us on the product:  she told us she was only around until May.  Until May!  Now that’s a real commitment on the part of the central administration.)

annetaintorresentmentI’m sure like me you can see the advantage of this system for administrators.  “Let’s see which colleges and departments are publishing more articles?  I’ll just push this button and generate this cross-tab, and voilá!”  (In fact, we were told by a colleague in the know that the reason Baa Ram U. bought this garbageware is because the president of our institution didn’t know how many articles each department had published in a given year.)  

But what exactly is the value of this system for faculty?  I can see none.  It all seems like a massive timewasting exercise, one moreover designed to disadvantage anyone working in the humanities or other book-intensive disciplines.

Of course History, Philosophy, and English departments (among others in the visual and performing arts as well as humanities) will look less productive than economists and scientists!  We write single-author articles of 25-40 pages that are often based on archives outside of the country and which use information written in languages other than English.  We don’t have graduate students or postdocs to do our research for us.  We don’t write articles with 10-15 supposed “co-authors.”  Also, we write books for the most part, not articles.

Silver lining?  There’s nothing like stupid from the central administration to bring a faculty together.  I told my colleagues that I have a rule when it comes to any technology or software:  it works for me, I don’t work for it.  End of story.

I already spend a few hours of year writing up everything I did last year, gathering together my student evaluations, and printing up copies of everything that was published.  (That’s irritating enough, given how crummy our raises are.)  I’ve already given them everything they need to know by using a 35-year old technology called Microsoft Word, and I don’t even need an internet connection to do that!

annetaintormindnumbingchoresIf the president of the university wants a database for the generation of faculty data, he’s free to create a few more jobs for the local economy and hire someone to take every faculty CV and annual report apart and click on a million little boxes.  But he is not free to draft on faculty labor to get it done.

Are any of you (unfortunately!) familiar with this kind of software?  Are you compelled to use it?  How is it being used out there?  Fill me in!  (You only have to click once on the comment form below, and once again to submit your comment!  See how easy it is?)

UPDATE, Sunday afternoon:  The CEO of Digital Measures has tried to leave the same 1,064 word comment in the comments below twice, but they’ve both been caught by my spam filter.  HA-haha.  Leaving 1,064 word comments on a blog post of only 712 words is the opposite of “listening” and trying to engage your “clients.”  This is not a space owned or controlled by my employer, and I don’t give anyone free advertising or a platform on my personal blog.

64 thoughts on “Who do faculty “work for?”

  1. We’ve had it for a couple of years. No idea how it works for faculty. We were told initially that library administration would be generating cv’s for us to be included with our annual performance reviews (though we still have to write performance narratives– which, frankly, I’d rather do since a lot of the best stuff I do isn’t neatly categorizable). I still update mine, but I have heard nothing about it for a long time now and couldn’t tell you if library administration is actually using it or not (they’re not big on communicating).


  2. Ha! We’ve been using it since 2007. Joy. At least our university uploaded our cv info into it at that point — EVERYTHING since you arrived at the university had to be entered! It isn’t bad to update, but it sucks to start. And warning: it is NOT intuitive and NOT set up for humanities (Shocking, I know). For years, we would enter things as best as we could, then print out the report and manually edit it to look right. I am generally a fan of regularized reporting, but that assumes that the value to what we do is quantifiable… sigh. (PM me if you have questions — I’ve pretty much got it figured by now.)


  3. We use it in the U of Wisconsin system and it is used for our merit raises (which we haven’t gotten since 2008) and for publicity (which our state has used in publicity against us). It is definitely not Humanities friendly, although I think the Fine Arts faculty suffer more under it…I hate it.


  4. Ugh. It’s as I feared!

    My instinct is to resist it entirely, or maybe enter a bunch of fake data. I’m up for my last promotion this year, a full year before this will allegedly be implemented fully, so I truly don’t see what this could do for me (or how it could be held against me.)

    I could be wrong! But that doesn’t happen very often.


    • Well, that’s good — then you won’t have to enter EVERYTHING! If you don’t have to do it, DON’T. We still have to submit a cv, and trying to make sure everything matches is a nightmare.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Shaz: it takes some work to set up, but the annual updating thereafter takes about 5-10 minutes. They ought to have asked you to do this when you would have otherwise spent a few hours writing up your annual performance write-up, so it wouldn’t increase your total workload.

    I never heard that you can use it to create c.v.s (interesting) but where I teach, the data you enter then automatically appears on your online faculty profile page. So you can update that any time to add a new publication; this was a big improvement over the earlier system, where you submitted a request to update your profile info, which might take many months to then appear. It is also helpful in generating summaries of your student evaluations.

    It didn’t change my world, but it has its uses. Our college must generate aggregate reports on faculty publications for several reasons, and this is the only way our Dean could manage it; she doesn’t have the staff to go through 300+ resumes and enter all that data.

    Perhaps one reason I don’t dislike it is that we do get merit raises. Asking people to do this as part of a performance evaluation, who are suffering through wage freezes, strikes me as very tone deaf.


    • Yeah, we get such minimal raises that it’s not that much of an incentive! We get ONLY merit increases, never COLA, so we’re really, really poorly paid.

      Thanks for your report, Cordelia; maybe for young people just starting their careers (who don’t have a ton of previous data to enter) it wouldn’t seem like such a chore. But for me, who already has 20 years in, it’s a ridiculous request.


      • As I said in the presentation, we are asking faculty to use the system in 2017 to complete their annual activities report in early 2018, and no one every said that it was required. You can continue to do your annual activities report using Microsoft Word. If I had been able to, I would have also gone into further detail about the profiles, which are not yet set up, but which are likely to be active – should you choose to use them – by the time the system is implemented.


      • Sorry Kathy–I think you’ve entered a pretty tough room. I think the consensus is that we should wait to see if the storm blows over.

        No hard feelings, though–I know you’re just a spoke in a wheel.


    • Yep, there’s an option to create a CV with it, but it’s terribly formatted and it puts things in strange places/categories that I wouldn’t use. I think we had the option to have our CVs put in automatically but I updated mine before that happened because I figured I might as well put it in right and not have to fix it when they inevitably screwed it up. We were told initially that any courses where we were the “instructor of record” would automatically be put in — usually not an issue for librarians, but I do wonder now if my Honors course (of which I was indeed “instructor of record” made it in. I would NEVER use a Digital Measures c.v. in place of my own c.v. though.

      For us it’s a pain because it’s not friendly to non-standard faculty (librarians have faculty status where I am but no tenure; we have ranks roughly parallel to academic ranks for promotion, but tenure’s not an option — in our library if you don’t go from instructor to assistant professor in a set number of years, you’re out, but otherwise you can park at assistant professor forever [defensive note: I am going up for associate this year]). When it went into place there was a whole handwringing internal Thing about how librarians should enter their stuff so that it looked sufficiently academic. Since I already have a lot of, um, sufficiently academic stuff on my c.v., past and present, this wasn’t a big concern for me.

      I literally have heard nothing about Digital Measures since that initial kerfluffle. Given how much my university lurves their data, though, I’m sure something is being done with it, and it’s probably something I wouldn’t like.


  6. Yup. My previous employer moved to DM about halfway through my nine years there. It sucks. But once I stopped fighting it and trying to make my annual reports look as nice as they did in our previous MS Word template it was easier.

    I do like having all the info from multiple years in one place, and for ongoing projects it’s just a matter of changing a date or a phrase. But the actual interface and pre-sets are terrible.


    • But your experience raises a good question, Flav–what happens to your information when you move along to another institution? At the very least, more laborious data re-entry if your new uni uses a different faculty data-capture system! At the worst, it might be a pain in the butt to extract one’s own data.


  7. We’ve had it at my uni for a few years. So far I’ve completely ignored it. No negative repercussions-as far as I know. And they even tenured me this year!

    Sort of like all that early grade report nonsense. They send you a million emails reminding you to do it, but if you don’t nobody cares.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Unfortunately, I was employed by a university that implemented DM. The software did some automatic importing for us, but most of it was wrong, and there were things we had no way to enter. Most of us faculty just resisted ever putting anything in it, ever. Also we never got any raises, ever. But we still had to do annual performance evaluations (even the full professors with tenure, who couldn’t get fired, promoted, or a raise). It’s dumb.


    • Inorite! That’s pretty much our situation. Merit increases resumed in 2012 or 2013, but nothing to make up for the five years of no-raises. And yet, the forms must be filed and we must be labeled “does not/meets/exceeds expectations or superior.”

      Resistance seems like the way to go, esp. considering the fact that no one seems to have made a final decision about said garbageware.


  9. It sounds as awful as some HR job-application software…for which you get the thrill and honor of doing it over and over for individual institutions. Ugh. I don’t understand why no one asks the users to a) test it and b) evaluate it before buying it. It would take all of 5 minutes for said potential users to identify the massive flaws.


      • That’s the point! Spend hours typing in every entry on your CV so that someone can print out a query on one word instead of actually having to compare the CVS that you also had to attach. After a year on the job market (still looking, sadly, and not just for faculty jobs), I am a little bitter about those ATSes…

        Liked by 1 person

      • The ugly interface is just the tip of the iceberg for applicants — the real problem is doing it over and over and over again. Indeed, I am bitter about the amount of time wasted on inputting the same info constantly in new text boxes… I understand why it can be valuable for institutions to collect data, but the burden on the job-seeker is quite high.


  10. We use this but it is tied to our public profiles so, say, adding an article will also make it appear on our profile. And now if our publications appear on a database somewhere, it automatically harvests them for us so we just need to click accept, rather than fill in boxes. It was a pain to set up but much prettier than our previous profiles, which were also horrible to update. So I’ve decided it was not the most terrible of university decisions.


    • See, we’ve got faculty profiles on WordPress, which I’ve been using happily here since 2008, so it’s a breeze to update our profiles. (Also: I’m at a point in my career with two books out that I don’t need every article I publish listed–I prefer a narrative profile for myself).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m an admin assistant at a Big Name U where we worked with one of these systems a few years back. We AAs spent hundreds of hours inputting faculty info and many meetings trying to debug the system before upper management pulled the plug. I say you resist.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. resist. This sounds awful. I am sure my institution and the Central Administration for my state university system would have implemented this years ago, except we have a union. And because we have a union the contract stipulates how we do our performance reviews and who we share it with. I would hope my union would fight this idiocy tooth and nail.

    Unfortunately, we have to use Task Stream for our assessment reporting. It involves a lot of the same thing (thousands of tiny boxes masquerading as forms) to report information we have already collected and shared elsewhere.

    This sort of duplication of reporting seems to be the essence of modern management. It is the opposite of Taylorism, digitized inefficiency and busy work for the sake of creating reports on useless metrics for management. The administrators have simply forced the cost data collection down a couple of rungs on the hierarchy, but there is no productivity gain.

    This is all starting to sound like the late Brezhnev era in the Soviet Union. Its an economy built on fake credentials, make believe work, and fake measurements to satiate in increasingly out of touch management class.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Matt–as always, you’ve got a fascinating analysis of the whole enchilada.

      We need a union, for sure. Higher ed has been screwed by the Dems (2005-16) only slightly less gleefully than it had been under Republican rule (pre-2005), so they’re not our friends.


      • Historiann, I just don’t know what we would do without the union. The leadership and the rank and file have been able to use the informal channels to really head off some misguided plans at the campus and system level. The union also gives some teeth to the phrase “shared governance.”

        It also helps to have a fairly enlightened union leadership who not only see things from the faculty point of view, but also raise concerns about things like out of control tuition and the impact on the students at our institutions. Our union is a great lobbyist for higher education at the state legislature. If we did not have a union Woebegone State University and the other schools in our system would be looking a lot like the University of Wisconsin.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Matt L. Thanks! I’ve been using the Brezhnev-Andropov trope for years here to describe various kinds of administrative necrosis, but it finally got to the point where faculty colleagues were as clueless to the salience (or the substance) of the reference as a 2010s undergraduate would be to, say, a classroom mention of “British Invasion” or “Fifth Beatle.” So I just dropped it. But I’m glad to see that it has a life somewhere else. I can just see Leonid now, striding to the podium at our Senate in a baggy suit, listening to his beard grow, and reaching for just the right metric on the “Coke, Steel, and Coal” continuum to make a telling point about Student Success, or “Public-Private Partnerships.” And we’d just keep clapping, morosely.


      • I think the metaphor has a lot of legs left in it, as long as you personally remember the last decades of the USSR or are well versed in its history and the crisis of late twentieth century Marxism. The best use of the metaphor I have heard comes from Timothy Snyder. Check out this talk on Marx and Revolution that he gave at the London School of Economics in November 2013. In the last twenty minutes of the talk he makes a pretty good case for the persistence of Brezhnev into our own post communist era. https://soundcloud.com/lsepodcasts/the-origins-of-the-revolution


  13. Ugh. We got one of these a couple of years ago and it became mandatory this year. Not sure what specific technobabble outfit produced it, but it’s very similar to what people above describe: clunky, busy interface poorly designed to fit non-science fields. Some combination of students and professional staff was forced to waste what I can only imagine was years of labor-hours entering data from actual CVs, then faculty had to spend an equivalent number of labor-hours fixing everything. Absolutely infuriating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fear that that’s the shape of things to come at Baa Ram U. My only hope at this point is that our uni has a penchant for adopting things and discarding them with equal rapidity and zeal. Maybe we can get this garbage at least discussed on Faculty Council; or maybe we in the CLA can make the argument that the liberal arts are poorly served by it.


  14. P.S. I also love the promos on the DM website promising that their system will help attract the best faculty and students. Can’t you just imagine the recruiting campaigns: “Come work/study at University of X, where we capture crucial faculty information with stupid (and presumably expensive) online systems?”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Here is where digitization is a bad thing. They want a searchable db of faculty productivity. We have used this for several years and we too were told it would be easy to upload our cv’s. As others have pointed out it is not. The categories don’t fit with the real world. Don’t know who made this up but not an academic.

    I have steadfastly refused to copy my entire cv to it. I use it for the bare minimum required, which is to put in the year’s activities to generate an annual report which I never see. Every time I spend too much time figuring out which stupid category I should put things in. Putting in publications is a nightmare.

    They tried to require you have your cv on it to be considered for a fellowship one year (I was on the committee). We didn’t actually dock anyone as I recall but using money of course is a way to try to get compliance.

    This product is terrible. We should resist such standardization. We are not products, we are professors!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m grateful we don’t have this yet, at least.
    But what I’ve gathered from this discussion is that pretty much everyone says that faculty at their school aren’t getting cola raises, and few are getting merit raises. And we’re getting more work added to the load.


    • This is why old farts like us have to sit down and resist–not just because we’ve got 20 years worth of data to add piece by piece to this dog’s dinner software, but because we can afford to more than our non-TT and untenured colleagues can. We’ve got the spanners–now we just need the will to chuck them into the works.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janet. I think he’s right on here:

      It may, in fact, be easier to challenge Academic Analytics through Academia-wide solidarity than face-to-face with our own administration.

      GAME ON.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I thought it was bad enough that we had to turn in an updated cv every year, then fill out a one-page “activities” sheet, which asked for the total number of presentations, articles, etc. Redundant, but no annoying program to learn. I’ve also learned to navigate through TAM, the electronic system we use for job searches.

    My resistance kicked in with assessment. We were supposed to submit our assessment reports in an electronic portfolio created through Desire2Learn. There were 2-hour training sessions to learn how to format the portfolio, plus refresher sessions, plus online tutorials. TO LEARN HOW TO FORMAT THE PORTFOLIO. The actual assessment report took me about 30 minutes. After having gone through a training session, I gave up after spending more than 2 hours trying to FORMAT THE PORTFOLIO. I simply attached the required documents to an email and sent it on to the assessment chair. That took less than 5 minutes.


  18. I’m afraid we use it, and as others have said, it’s clunky but bearable. They put our CVs into the system for us, but you had to check it, and it turned out they had entered all my publications as performances, so I had to recopy into a different section. Once it’s up and running, it’s easy to keep up to date, and I generally try to add stuff to it as I do it, so that I don’t have to remember things. Then when we come up for reviews every few years, all my admin/committee stuff is there (that’s the stuff I’d forget.)

    It will generate CVs, but since it’s designed for the sciences, it puts your name in front of every publication, which just looks BAD. So I keep a copy of my CV up to date on my computer. Now we’re also required to update our state digital library with copies of all publications. Sigh. And they even want book reviews. (This is open access.)


  19. We use it. I don’t have a lot to add to these comments, except to say that your instincts are absolutely spot on — it’s an incredible exercise in frustration and redundancy. I suppose it is not so hard to update if you remember to do it…


  20. My U has paid for another version of the same thing. As a special welcome gift for early adopters, or some such bollocksery, some of our cvs were added to the system for us: yay, clap hands, someone else is actually doing the unnecessary clerical work for me. Fine, good. You can see what’s coming, right? Among the most obvious flaws, every single book review I have ever written was mis-loaded as a monograph. Which means I have to go back and clean up the mess — and the system is set up so I cannot make the edits without repeatedly answering some questions about how each and every item addresses the university’s mega-goals with regard to “community engagement” and “cultural diversity.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Coming in very late on this thread, on the road, and no time to read all the comments. But, we don’t *do* annual reports. Although the chair does ask per the dean’s request about publishing activity, etc. Maybe everyone should upload the full text of all of their published activity and try to crash the president’s system account by sending attachments of all of this stuff at a pre-determined hour. Say, oh, we thought you actually wanted to *read* this stuff, not just read about it. Definitely sounds like an appropriate time for some collective, u-wide, civil disobedience. Although maybe, as your analysis suggests, the cow-college divisions would love it as another opportunity to brag about their citation rates, etc. The administrator-vendor complex is eating academia from the inside out, like an intestinal parasite. The technology display ads in the Chronicle of Higher Education will someday be mined by scholars as examples of institutional self-destruction. You shouldn’t need a degree in criticism to see how deranged this trajectory is becoming.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. We have a version of this, and it is awful–inaccurate and biased so that if you’re not generating millions in grants and hundreds of articles, as in the sciences, you look like a total slacker. It’s clunky and a complete waste of time–and no one ever looks at it.


  23. I don’t have a choice, since this is how I am evaluated each year on my way to (hopefully ) tenure.

    It’s a major pain in the rear, but at this point I guess that I am so used to this kind of annoying administrative labor that it didn’t even occur to me that some people could and would simply refuse to do it. You go. I’ll be over here, doing what I am told.


    • I could have written loakleaf’s response, word for word.

      But I will add: I loathe DM. It is neither humanities nor fine arts friendly (I’m an art historian in an art department). I have to try and triangulate the Digital Measures template with the deparmental rubrics for our annual assessment with the university’s assessment form, all of which have different categories, ALL OF WHICH is irrelevant since nobody has had a merit raise since 2008 much less a cost-of-living raise, and I’ve only been here three years.

      I could add more, but I have to get up extra early tomorrow, as we have a “Wows and Wonders” meeting with the president, who told us six days ago that he wanted us to put on a dog and pony show about our departmental accomplishments for his viewing pleasure during the last full week of classes. He could’ve just printed out all of our Digital Measures reports, but nooooo. We have to pay court to El Presidente and jump through his hoops.


  24. O. M. G. We transitioned this year. I suppose it could be worse — our previous system was also some sort of digital thing with a million boxes, also unsuited to the Humanities; DM is also like that, but better at keeping data year to year so in future years, as some suggested above, it’s relatively easy to update, I guess. But even then, and even with the million boxes, there are a lot of things we do routinely, like review book manuscripts for publishers, that do not have a category. Also, at the end, at my place, we have to save and print the report, which sounds easy, right? “Save.” “Print.” NOPE. Won’t bore you with details, but suffice to say the end process is about as non-intuitive as anything I have ever seen.

    It could be worse — at CU, we just got a new job recruitment system that we have to use (truly no choice there, if we don’t use it they won’t let us hire), and I just went through it with a hire. At the end, you are required to supply “reasons” for not hiring semifinalists — all of which are phrased in a negative, derogatory way. Such as “less relevant experience/skills,” or “worse performance in interview/job talk.” Then, once you fill that out, the candidates get an auto-email with that reason inserted. Of course, there is no category for ‘EVERYONE WAS FANTASTICALLY OVERQUALIFIED FOR OUR SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT STATE UNIVERSITY, AND THE FACT THAT WE GET TO CHOOSE ANYONE OF THESE EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE IS ONLY BECAUSE OF TERRIBLE THE JOB MARKET IS.” Now that, I would fill out.

    We used to have to use an “assessment” program called WEAVE, which was actually worse than both programs mentioned above. That’s the one time I went on strike and just refused to use it. I was told that all the other faculty thought it was great. I polled all the other faculty, and they all hated it. Eventually, it went away, and they created a Word document template for us to fill out, which is relatively simple to do.


  25. Oh, one other thing here about DM — it does not quite jive with whatever system it is that keeps our records. So on the part where you report what you teach, the computer automatically fills that out, and you can’t change it. But in my case, it did not enter certain classes that I had taught.. I keep trying to get it changed, to no avail, so next year I will get bombarded with emails by the person who keeps track of this explaining that I am “under count” on the number of courses taught, because in DM I am, and there’s nothing I can do to change that. Not sure if that’s DM’s fault or my univ.’s fault.


  26. We use Activity Insight, which sounds just the same. Its awful: conference papers are put in the same space as talks to local high schools, and blog posts are in the same category as journal articles / book chapters / BOOKS. Our department protested, as did others, but by the time we had learned anything about it, it was a done deal. Also the default citation is APA, which just irks me.


    • Hey–if blog posts can count the same as books, maybe this could work for me!

      I mean, if I were entirely unscrupulous and entered every blog post I ever flippin’ wrote. This blog post is number 1,983, in case you’re wondering. . . . I could be the most famous and most productive faculty member at my uni!


      • Don’t joke — when the CU Regents made us do a system-wide “program prioritization” review, every publication counted the same, from blog post to book. Dead freaking serious on that. All of them were “1” publication.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. As Susan above (I believe it was Susan) noted, it formats your CV in APA style, and I haven’t been able to find a way to work around that. It is indeed a waste of time. Now we get to track everything in two places. When I took this job the only things filled in were my educational institutions and degrees…I had to fill out EVERYTHING else myself.

    The only thing I’ve found convenient is that is does let me track some things that don’t appear on my CV, such as workshops I attend. Those aren’t CV-worthy, but it is nice to have a running list.

    What strikes me as being even worse is that our chair has full access. I have found things missing and/or moved around without my knowledge. I am pretty sure my chair has tried to sabotage both me and a colleague in other ways, so the fact that he/she has access to my “official” CV is infuriating and deeply concerning.


  28. My previous institution (overseas) used a version of this (probably a cheap knock-off like the rest of the programs we had to use) and it did a completely ridiculous job of making our webpage look terrible. I think it was created for business, certainly not for the humanities. We hired some students to put stuff in because I refused to waste faculty hours on it (especially since as it was we were having to function as the acquisitions dept. for the library) but the categories never translated in a way that made any sense. (Said library also did a study showing that the math dept. was the most productive, based purely on articles in mostly science databases, and not even counting books. Luckily I was on the committee this study was reported to and made them at least change the wording a bit.) I am crossing my fingers my current institution doesn’t jump on this bandwagon.


  29. “I told my colleagues that I have a rule when it comes to any technology or software: it works for me, I don’t work for it. End of story.”

    This needs to be on a poster for admins and IT executives!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, you’re just saying that because you’re on the way out the door. Save some outrage for those of us who must deal with the system for another 20 years, Scott!


  30. There’s something like this with the CV format for the national grants agencies here. It is horrific – clearly set up for the sciences side and not for the humanities. I hate it so much that I can’t fathom applying again for one of these grants. Double ugh, awful.

    I’m a technophile. I’ve programmed. I’ve worked on mainframes and behind-the-scenes in webhosts. I’ve done grad-level stats. I’ve dreamt in HTML. I do not find these software solutions to be anything but poorly-adapted projects that are then used to vilify certain groups of non-conforming faculty, i.e. my entire Faculty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe we should identify humanists as Divergent, Janice? YES!!! We could write a sci-fi fan-fic novel that’s a cross between Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim and all of the adolescent dystopian fantasy novels like the Hunger Games and Divergent series!

      Set it in Colorado, and maybe the hangover scene in LJ could be written as a cannabis hangover. (I have no experience with this, however–but I’d be willing to do a little research over the summer on it!)


  31. As of a few weeks ago, DM is now being used here in Wisconsin to enforce existing “workload policies” both for fiscal reasons and in order to appease our gov, legislature, and mostly hostile regents. In short, from now on, if you don’t “produce” according to DM, your teaching load will increase, and blameless adjuncts will be laid off to make room for your lazy ass.

    We’ve been “required” to update our DM for years, but since we haven’t had a real merit exercise since I can’t remember when, practically nobody has ever even looked at it. There were no repercussions whatsoever. So, unless there’s a real carrot or stick at your university, resist and ignore!! We had no carrot here, so now our admin has taken up the stick, and faculty are panicking about how we’re going to find the time to wrestle with this beast. I won’t even get into all the scenarios of the misuses and abuses the DM “data” will likely lead to…. I will, however, mention that our deans, in their wisdom, will initially be looking only at “data” for 2015. Sure wished I’d been a few months late getting my 2014 book to the publisher! Good thing I like teaching a lot!

    I have, unfortunately, tried to use DM in the past. It is an absolute hunk of crap from a design and functionality perspective, and it was clearly designed by people who don’t have the foggiest notion of what research productivity looks like outside of STEM and quant social science fields. The people who created this clunker should be ashamed of themselves, and the admin pinheads who are shelling out outrageous sums of money for it should be even more ashamed of themselves.

    One example: Want to make an entry on the important (judging from the citations) publication of archival materials you compiled in East European archives, painstakingly transcribed, and explicated in an exhaustive commentary? Sorry Charlie! DM doesn’t have a clue what the hell all that nonsense is…. And so those 2000 plus hours of slaving away, though funded by federal grants, never happened as far as DM is concerned – and, by extension, as far as your deans are concerned. Ditto for digital scholarly editions, scholarly translations, commentaries, and even (for cripes sake!) co-authored peer-reviewed book articles.

    Now, back to my assessment data entry in WEAVE… With “position control”, at least we won’t have to deal with AIMS again anytime soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Joe–I feel for you. I’m so sorry, but I really appreciate your in-depth explanation of the problems you’ve had with Digital Measures.

      I also am taking your advice to heart: unless there’s a meaningful carrot or stick, RESIST.


  32. It gets worse. I’ve been a professor for 37 years, and I’m supposed to enter 37 years worth of data into this damn thing. And, for what? So a new provost can put another bullet point in the ole resume when looking for a college president’s job someplace else, I guess.


  33. My university has been working to make sure that you do enter your information only once rather than have to get a call from you chair asking you to report again on stuff you already put into Digital measures.


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