The Working Personnel Action Files (WPAF) is the portion of the Personnel Action File used during the performance review of a faculty unit employee for Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP). Currently a paper-based process, electronic WPAFs offer the possibility for easier file management and improved organization, and resolve problems of file access and management by various levels of review.
3/25/15: The desired outcome for the project has been met by the Moodle solution, and so the sponsor and ITS have agreed to close the project. A post-project work session is planned to review the eWPAF Moodle improvements with functional users, and the tesults will be shared within ITS.
2/25/15: Current electronic process stakeholders are being surveyed for satisfaction this month. Project resource discussions and decisions for future request cycles are being wrapped up.
1/28/15: Focus group meetings were held with each college and the library to gather responses from the review process conducted with Moodle and discuss what worked and what did not. A new vendor specializing in Faculty Review has been identified and will be reviewed in February; we currently have two or three possible vendors to consider for a potential software solution for future review cycles.
The ITS Project Office staff is working with APS/HR staff to review the focus group feedback and the vendors and will make recommendations in late February or early March. In the event of a decision in favor of software selection and purchase, a new project request will be made in order to secure the ITS resources needed for implementation, as well as to elevate the financial resource discussion to a campus-wide level.
12/18/14: Plans for assessing the first year Moodle experience are in place to enable faculty, staff, and administrators to determine the future path of eWPAF and other personnel reviews for faculty. The sponsor has already committed to another review cycle using the current process for the 2015-2016 academic year. Decision-making centers around continuing the current low-cost, limited functionality Moodle process or submitting a project proposal for the purchase of function-specific software. Stakeholders will provide input through focus groups and surveys beginning in January, and a decision is expected to be made before the Spring project prioritization cycle.
10/28/14: The current review process for WPAF Group Three has been completed by every level but the University Faculty Committee and the Vice Presidents. A meeting is scheduled in November with the Sponsor to review the performance of the current Moodle-based process and discuss the plan for the next review cycle.
9/24/14: The review process is on schedule, with college-level reviews by the College Personnel Committees and Deans starting this week. So far, the main difficulty has been with permissions and the security management of roles, which are done manually. Some reviewers like the new electronic access and review, while others do not. Overall, the Moodle process is working well.
8/25/14: Faculty leads held a Moodle information session for tenure track faculty who have retention (WPAF) files due 8/27/2014. The session was well attended and faculty appreciated the informative session; many had almost completed assembling their files. We are now wrapping up the review of available solutions and recommendations will be reviewed with the project sponsor in September.
7/30/14: The project team met to explore changes in the marketplace and determine which, if any, vendors have solutions to the process requirements established for WPAF. The project team will begin to develop a timeline for the next phase of WPAF development and/or decisionmaking, and will continue to identify vendors that have the potential to meet our process needs.
The team will also look at the Fall WPAF review schedule and identify key dates for training, support, and communications going out to people involved in the first electronic submission and review cycle.
6/24/14: The Moodle environment is now able to receive participating faculty members' WPAF documents. Faculty leaders have planned training sessions for August to assist faculty in assembling and finalizing their electronic WPAF binders in Moodle.
In July, the project team will evaluate and determine long-term plans so that new timelines and project needs can be established by October 2014 for the 2015-16 academic year.
The team decided to retain the current Moodle architecture for the 2014-2015 academic year rather than housing the WPAF Moodle environment on its own server instance.
5/22/14: On reviewing the RFQ responses, the team did not feel able to move forward with the selected vendor. Instead, we will follow the CSU San Marcos model and build a Moodle course to allow tenure-track faculty to easily build their WPAF binders online, a process that has now been completed. HSU Moodle staff cloned the template for 23 target faculty, as well as for seven faculty outside the target group who requested a course in order to opt-in or explore the process before their cycle begins. On 5/20/14, the team conducted a workshop for the WPAF Moodle course, which was well-attended. Review and recommendation letters will continue to be paper-based.
It should be noted that this is considered a temporary solution, which satisfies some of the project goals but does not meet long-term needs. The project sponsor has requested that the team keep communications open with viable vendors in order to identify a more complete solution.
4/23/14: The RFQ process has been completed and the evaluation team has selected a preferred vendor/platform. The team is now engaging with the vendor to confirm commitment and timeline for implementation.
3/27/14: The project team met and determined that an RFQ should be issued to comply with procurement guidelines. The RFQ was drafted, reviewed, and finalized and has now been “direct sent” to Kent State University and Digital Measures, as well as placed on the public Bidsync site. The deadline for vendor questions is 4/7/14, with an HSU response to any questions being released 4/9/14. The deadline for RFQ responses is 4/15/14, and the estimated date to award the bid is 5/16/14.
2/24/14: Kent State users confirmed a high level of satisfaction with Folio Web functionality, ease of use, and support., as well as the physical security of the servers and general institutional support.
HSU teams and stakeholders have agreed that Folio Web is the best option; however, Digital Measures is now developing a workflow solution - functionality that was not available in the original reviews and demonstrations - putting that solution back into contention. Initial assessment indicates that their workflow solution will support our processes, so this would appear to also be a viable solution.
In the meantime, we have received a statement of full support from the Kent State Provost to provide leadership, human resources, and financial support for potential Folio Web growth in the near future.
The project team, sponsor, and HSU CIO will meet to discuss the results of all analyses, inquiries, and potential courses of action, with the goal of making a project decision in early March.
1/27/14: The functional process requirements and criteria matrix results have narrowed the selection list to two solutions; Folio Web and Nolij. We talked with Kent State about how well Folio Web would meet our preferred approaches to technical, security, and user support concerns and set these responses alongside our own Nolij experience. Answers were mostly in the affirmative, with a few items remaining to be verified.
We are currently talking with Kent State faculty, staff, dean, and administrator Folio Web users as to what they like and don't like about the product. We are looking to talk with ITS leadership regarding their ability to support future growth with Folio Web. The results of these conversations will be shared with the functional team, project sponsor, and ITS Leadership team.
The project lead met with the project sponsor to discuss policy issues to consider as we move closer to implementation.The project team will also be developing a best practice guidance document for HSU faculty which will guide them through the process of collecting and organizing their WPAF evidence documents in the most effective format.
11/25/13: The project team has reviewed the process needs and requirements that emerged from interviews with process owners and participants, including APS, faculty, review committees, technical resources, deans, the Provost, and the President. The project lead has attended demonstrations of several potential solutions: Moodle (from CSU San Marcos), Nolij (from Utah State), FolioWeb (from Kent State), and Digital Measures (from the vendor), as well as tools and implementations being used on campus now.
The matrix of process criteria and requirements will be completed shortly for review by the project sponsor and team. Once a solution has been selected, the project timeline and resource requirements will be prepared.
10/16/13: This initiative was approved by the University Senate and subsequently approved by the President and VPs as one of the four core areas of process improvement priorities for 2013-14.