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Unified information system for the academic field instead of Excel tables

2022-01-18 15:43:27

As of April 1, Corvinus' new digital academy information system, Interfolio, is going live. How can this integrated database help the work of the academic field in the short and long term, and what tasks will the system entail for colleagues – we asked László Csicsmann, Head of the project and Rector's Appointee. 

The academic field is currently using several electronic databases (e.g. Neptun, Hungarian Scientific Publications Database (MTMT)), why was it necessary to introduce a new information system? 

These databases are separate systems, so previously it was not possible to have an up-to-date, unified picture of the academic work, teaching activities and research results, only through heavy administration and comparing many different sets of data.

Many people felt that the University has become a big Excel sheet in recent years – fortunately Interfolio will replace this now. 

This professional data integration platform provides significant support for academic management work, with a strong focus on planning. When we formulate our human resources strategy, we need to see which course needs to be taught, in which language and at what level, and how our educational capacities fit into this. Particularly at a time when Corvinus is increasingly encouraging research activities, as well as professional development in the spirit of renewal. Our goal is to plan our educational capacities in the longer term, 3-4-5 years ahead. 

Using Interfolio makes it easier not only for management.

There is a heavy administrative burden at all levels of the academic organization, and with the introduction of this system, we also aimed to ensure that data can only be recorded in one place or retrieved from one interface in case of different requirements. 

In the long term, the use of Interfolio is also an important step forward for the noticeability of the university. As the developments progress and the settings are fine-tuned, colleagues will be able to get to know each other’s professional portfolios, and scientific synergies may develop based on research topics and results. Existing resources will be linkable, but duplications may also be identified, that can be cleared this way. 

What innovations and simplifications are expected in the academic administration this time next year? 

In the first round, the University purchased two applications: the Faculty Information System and the Review & Promotion & Tenure modules. The first one is the basic information system, that covers the professional portfolios of the teaching and research colleagues (CV, teaching workload, publications, research topics and results). The second one supports the performance assessment and targeting processes, while also facilitating the promotion process: for example,

an associate professor’s application can be produced at the click of a button based on the information uploaded. 

According to our schedule, all the necessary data will be uploaded to the system by the summer, so we will enjoy the full advantage of the database in the next academic year. According to our plans, in 2023, capacity management and forecasting, the ROK calculation will also take place on this platform.  

A year from now, the adjunct professor and associate professor applications can be conducted through of the system, completely paperless.

Next year, the performance assessment and targeting processes will also take place on the Interfolio interface: the plans already submitted in Excel will be uploaded by summer, but the evaluation of the year will take place in the module. The Institute of Economics has volunteered to be the pilot institute, so this year their objectives will be set on the digital interface. We thank them for the participation in the project, especially given that several foreign colleagues have recently joined the Institute, so their insights will be very useful. Interfolio is used in many leading universities around the world, and its interface is in English, so its introduction also serves the internationalization of Corvinus. 

What are the practical tasks for the teaching and research staff of introducing the system in the near future? 

By March, we would like to reach the point where the teaching and research colleagues are able to see their pre-populated data on Interfolio: the courses taught for 10 semesters back and the most important information in the MTMT. Colleagues will still need to complete the information in the MTMT, which should be updated regularly by Interfolio itself. In addition, we also upload the professional Cvs published on Corvinus’ website, but it is already clear that they are often incomplete. 

We ask our teaching and research colleagues to check their CVs uploaded to the Interfolio by the end of March and to add as much information as possible. Detailed tutorials will be provided in February to help you get to know the user-friendly interface and how to use the system.  

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GEN.:2024.07.21. - 00:56:37