Welcome to Elements, the University of Tennessee’s Faculty Activity Reporting system (FAR). Elements serves as authoritative record of each faculty member’s teaching, research/scholarship/creative, and service activities. Each faculty member is expected to maintain his or her profile and update it as needed. Beginning in the 2017–2018 academic year, a faculty member’s annual activity report, which is required by the Faculty Handbook for the annual performance review, began being drawn from the profile in Elements.
We are now in our second year of requiring tenure-line faculty to report their activity through Elements, our Faculty Activity Reporting System. We adopted Elements in 2013 after a campus committee, composed of administration, faculty, and staff, reviewed the available products on the market at that time. Since 2013, we have been working with campus stakeholders and the vendor to adapt Elements for our needs and to make it as comprehensive as possible in order to capture all effort by our hard-working faculty.
Given that we are two years in to using Elements for the Annual Performance and Planning Review and five years into adoption, the time is right to review why we choose Elements and how we intend to use it now and in the future.
Why a Faculty Activity Reporting (FAR) System?
- Have a more comprehensive understanding of faculty work in order to forward the aims of VolVision: Journey to the Top;
- Reduce workload for faculty, administration, and staff by creating a database of searchable information to use for reporting purposes;
- Automate collection
- Built-in capacity to import publications from popular commercial databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed;
- Built-in capacity to import regularly scheduled course data from Banner and grant data from Cayuse;
- Ability to host data and program locally so that our OIT can respond to issues with the system;
- Conviction that the vendor was committed to continuous improvement of the product;
- Due diligence by contacting users of Elements and Digital Measures, the two dominant Faculty Activity Reporting Systems at that time.