The Higher Education Landscape
Lyterati Product Features
- Disparate faculty productivity data under one dashboard
- Data trending and analytics
- Committee commentary
- Enhanced technology transfer exposure
- Recruiting trends
Several current trends are forcing higher education institutions to continuously defend the value-for-the-money proposition of traditional college educations. Take for example these stats that establish the landscape:
- Global e-learning market is slated to reach $107 Billion this year GIA (Global Industry Analysts)
- College tuition has increased 225% over the last 30 years College Board study
- Debt levels for college seniors rising above $29,000 in 2012 Institute for College Access and Success
In years to come, universities will be challenged to manage resources wisely and leverage every asset and opportunity in order to stay competitive. But educational institutions traditionally have relied upon standardized measurements to determine their place in the market. Take for example the infamous U.S. News and World Report annual college rankings, which presents a collective measure of success factors such as test scores and graduation rates. A university’s standing each year has a huge impact on its enrollment. One local company is focused on creating a tool that helps universities collect and manage ALL of their intellectual assets produced by their faculty so that they can better control their own fate in this competitive landscape.
The Higher Education Paradigm
The faculty at any university is a primary asset whose productivity is managed through the unique concept of promotion and tenure. Professors have three different components to their job: teaching, conducting/publishing research, and performing service to the university/profession. When it comes to teaching, there are a few relevant data points that should be considered when evaluating faculty. Course descriptions and innovations are the best indicator of what is being taught and how they evolve in order to stay relevant. These descriptions typically reside in syllabi and evolutions can’t be tracked. Student feedback about a professor’s course resides in yet another database making it difficult to make use of this information when evaluating performance in an aggregated manner.
With regard to publishing, it’s pretty easy to track works that get published but what about those being groomed for publication in an academic journal? Several versions may be necessary before an article is accepted. Similarly, it’s easy to track grants that have been awarded, but what about pending grant proposals? Submitting for a grant is very competitive so it becomes a numbers game. Given the odds, the average professor may have to submit as many as ten proposals before receiving an award. Apart from research publications faculty are involved in other creative activities including extensive service to their profession and the university. All this work going on behind-the-scenes needs to be captured and credited.
How Lyterati Supports Professors and Administrators
Lyterati was the brain child of Entigence Corporation based out of Washington D.C. The husband and wife management team saw first-hand that higher education was behind the times when it came to managing their extremely valuable and marketable resources. He’s an academic and she’s a technologist and together they have created a solution that helps universities normalize the database of ALL faculty contributions that can equip administrators, marketers and potential collaborators with valuable tools.
“Being a faculty member myself for several years, I saw that there were no vendors solving this problem at an enterprise level,” says Tarun Sen, COO of Entigence Corporation. Tarun will say that going through the process of pulling all this faculty information into one searchable database is little bit like swallowing a bitter pill. “There’s no doubt in my mind that every university will need a solution like this over the next ten years in order to stay competitive in this environment of multiple higher education options,” says Tarun.
Making all this information accessible and relatable is like Information Architecture 101, but 201 and 301 are where opportunities for impact come into play. “Universities have struggled to tie all these elements together in an actionable way. Solving the problem of data uniformity, quality, search-ability, discover-ability is what we are doing,” says Rumy Sen, CEO of Entigence Corporation. “We start by exposing all the great work going on within a university and then make accessing the information configurable so that internal and external stakeholders can interact with it as appropriate. The good news is that universities who have adopted this product are now thinking about applications we hadn’t considered,” says Rumy.
She sees a future where the information that is being integrated into the Lyterati tool helps universities differentiate themselves so they aren’t reliant upon third parties like the U.S. News and World Report to tell their story. She sees professors finding each other and collaborating so their chances of being published or receiving grants are increased. She sees opportunities to leverage technology transfer in ways that have yet to be explored.
“The best part is when we show faculty all the data the Lyterati system has integrated into one place and then they can see the potential for leveraging it for greater impact,” says Rumy.
The Lyterati team can be contacted at Entigence Corporation Contact Info.