WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a move aimed at transforming how higher education institutions make strategic decisions and manage labor-intensive duties in the faculty lifecycle, Interfolio, a pioneer in tech solutions for faculty hiring, promotion, tenure and governance, today announced its acquisition of DATA180, a recognized leader in tools for faculty-activity reporting. The joining of companies with a shared “faculty first” ethos and complementary services brings unparalleled value to a segment of higher education whose needs have been largely overlooked.
This development benefits higher education institutions, individual scholars and administrators and the ed-tech sector alike. It offers colleges and universities a single platform more powerful than either technology alone, as faculty data and analytics have greatest impact when integrated at important moments of faculty engagement, such as hiring and review. Further, faculty and administrators finally have seamless workflow technology to simplify multiple laborious tasks and assist in career advancement. Finally, combining two faculty-focused teams will provide opportunities to create additional technologies and bring attention to “faculty tech” that will spur growth and long-term investment in the category.
“Faculty, a critical and fundamental part of the academic ecosystem, has not been the focus of most ed-tech innovation and as a result many critical functions still rely on legacy-based manual processes that have not changed for decades,” said Andrew Rosen, CEO of Interfolio.
Rosen added that data services that focus on faculty will inevitably benefit the entire institution. “As a united force we shape a ‘must-have’ class of technology to help institutions better use data for decision making and reporting, improving transparency, promoting equity and enabling best-in-class efficiency around historically manual disparate processes. Additionally, this will allow faculty more time to teach, engage students and conduct research.”
Founded in 1999, Interfolio is led by an experienced ed-tech team and includes state-of-the-art products addressing the complex job-search and shared-governance workflows of hiring, promotion and tenure. DATA180, launched in 2002 by former academics, provides the most-advanced technology to help faculty harness the voluminous and varied activity data – from research publications to program evaluations – that must be reported regularly to administrators for internal reviews, compliance and accreditation, among other uses.
“Higher education tech is undergoing a profound shift as institutions awaken to the importance of faculty’s role as the linchpin of long-term institutional success,” says Adam Newman, managing partner of Tyton Partners, a consulting and financial advisory services firm. “We are seeing increased investment in solutions tailored to support faculty responsibilities and workflows, which will help administrators at all levels of higher education make smarter strategic decisions.”
A key outcome of “faculty tech” is to bring clarity to mission-critical actions that impact an institution’s economic or cultural foundation. For example, a large university with 1,000 faculty up for promotion or tenure each year, or numerous faculty committees convening on governance issues, loses considerable faculty and staff resources to tracking tens of thousands of required documents. Similarly, without capturing an accurate picture of trends, gaps, opportunities and candidates, it is difficult to deliver on diversity initiatives, which will adversely affect everything from recruitment to research funding.
“We use both Interfolio and DATA180 and see this partnership as an exciting development in simplifying and streamlining the work we ask faculty to do to help support the institution,” said Jessica Pesce, Associate Director of Faculty and Academic affairs at Boston College, one of 200 institutions served by Interfolio or DATA180. “This integration of products, knowledge, committed service, and dedication to change marks an important step toward a near future where holistic technology solutions assisting faculty is the norm.”
The acquisition is effective immediately; transition and integration activities will take place over the next several months, with completion anticipated mid-2017. There will be no staff reductions and DATA180’s leadership will maintain key roles in Interfolio. L.K. Williams, Ph.D., DATA180’s CEO, will be vice president of academic engagement for Interfolio, and Scott Wymer, CIO/CTO, will be vice president of academic technology.
“As faculty members, we built DATA180 to resolve a problem we regularly experienced. We were overwhelmed by the amount of data we had to report, and the frequency and duplication of requests for the same information,” said L. K. Williams, president of DATA180. “Interfolio did something comparable for all aspects of the intensive career process, so we are enormously excited by what we can achieve together to grow a technology category designed for those dedicated to teaching tomorrow’s leaders.”
Contact: Katherine Kelly, Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org