FASIS Newsletter
Faculty & Staff Information SystemApril 2011
In This Issue
SciVal Experts: new component of FASIS
Subcommittee Reports
Pos & Appt Form Changes
New Pages Coming to FASIS
HRIS Data Mart Update
Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
Quick Links
Dear NU Faculty & Staff,

Northwestern has entered into a contract with Elsevier Publishing to license SciVal Experts (formerly Collexis) with VIVO -- research networking tools that will broaden and enhance the collection, display, analysis, and reporting of scholarly accomplishments for the Northwestern faculty.

Several members of the FASIS team recently gave a presentation to the Oracle/PeopleSoft Higher Education User Group (HEUG) in Denver, CO.

There is a new procedure for filling out Position & Appointment forms, please read more below.

Our training, research staff/regular staff, reporting, and student data subcommittees have been working hard to develop and expand FASIS.

Visit the FASIS web site to keep up with this important initiative. There you can access the ever-growing FASIS Manual, sign up for the FASIS listserv, read all the previous Newsletters, and see slides from the Town Hall Meetings.We'd like your feedback. Send us email: fasis@northwestern.edu or let us know that you want to join one of our focus groups (fasis@northwestern.edu).

Join us for our upcoming Town Hall meetings in May, see details below.
  SciVal Experts: an exciting new component of FASIS

Phases II and III of FASIS development include the incorporation of faculty data on scholarly and artistic accomplishments (research, publications, grants, patents, professional affiliations, and service). These data form the basis of the annual activity reports that all Schools require of their faculty, as part of the annual review and evaluation process.

The original proposal for FASIS was to have the Schools continue to collect these data, and feed them into FASIS over time. However, collection is presently a somewhat uneven process; a few Schools have access to home-grown programs into which data are fed and accessed locally or through the web. Other Schools have no means to collect faculty activity data electronically, except in the form of pdf files. There is no access to this range of faculty activity data at the central
University level, severely limiting the types of institutional analyses that
can be performed.


During the course of Phase I, FASIS project staff and sponsors became aware of SciVal Experts (formerly Collexis) and were impressed by the functionality it offered and by Elsevier's commitment to its continuous improvement. SciVal Experts offers a means to provide ready access to faculty publication, grant, and other data in a much more comprehensive yet much less labor-intensive process. These data will be available to Schools and central administrative units alike.


VIVO, open-source software developed at Cornell University, provides complementary functionality to SciVal Experts. VIVO development is now part of an interdisciplinary national network funded by a 2-year NIH grant. The goal of VIVO is to facilitate the discovery of researchers and collaborators across the country.

SciVal Experts and VIVO are "research networking tools," comprehensive knowledge management systems to compile data on faculty members' research and scholarly expertise into searchable, networked profiles that can then be used to facilitate new collaborations. SciVal Experts collects publication and research information in an automated way, from verifiable sources, without requiring individual faculty input. Quality assurance and quality control are provided by SciVal staff members. VIVO has been incorporated into SciVal Experts for storage and additional networking. These tools will be efficiently and easily used to:

 Gather references and accompanying data on publications and existing or potential
collaborations for individual faculty or whole departments, using automated, quality assured algorithms, all with a minimal impact on faculty members.
 View comprehensive metrics and analytics on publications and collaborations for
individual faculty or whole departments. This may assist in Program Review and other analysis of faculty productivity and interactions.
 Extract collaboration data for proposals and reports without querying the faculty
 Search for faculty members as research advisors or mentors (used by both undergraduate and graduate students).
 Assist new faculty to find colleagues or collaborators at Northwestern and elsewhere.
 Serve as a point of data collection, data storage, analytics, reporting, and a source of data to feed to other systems (Enterprise, School, Library, etc.) or web sites on campus.
 Provide a research network for communities of faculty members, for example within the Chicago Biomedical Consortium or across Illinois or the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC).
 Provide a secure HelpDesk to assist faculty in updating their own profiles,
particularly in areas not covered by Scopus or PubMed - the sources of publication data for SciVal Experts.
 Only publically available information is stored or displayed through the SciVal
Experts interface.

In most of the humanities, the arts, and many areas of social sciences, communications, and journalism, the definition of scholarly and artistic accomplishments extends beyond publications and grants. The incorporation of these data is a challenge for the Schools, for FASIS, and for any tool being used to complement FASIS. We understand that we will need to find other ways to meet the needs of these disciplines. This might be done through using the University Library or other external sources to capture data. That said, SciVal Experts is configurable to allow for the storage of these data with customized descriptors. With respect to SciVal Experts, any publications that are relevant to these areas that are available in Elsevier-Scopus or PubMed will be automatically included. However, much of the data will need to be entered by faculty or their proxies but can then be stored and presented within SciVal Experts. Using these methods, several peer institutions are expanding their Expert Profiles installations across disciplines.

SciVal Experts can also store data on patents, affiliations, and space utilization and can collect and display CVs. The intention is to pull these additional data from Northwestern Enterprise sources, local (School) information management systems, and publically available web resources. The rich information in SciVal Experts will be repurposed and shared with FASIS and other institutional web pages and data consumers, including those within the local, national and international Expert Profiles networks, reducing the cost and increasing efficiencies across Northwestern. Private or sensitive information will not be imported into the SciVal Experts database.
As part of FASIS we expect SciVal Experts to be used internally by individual faculty and researchers, students at all levels; librarians; research, grant, and funding administrators; deans; department chairs; Office of the Provost and Office for Institutional Research; development staff; and administrative assistants. We also expect SciVal Experts to be a valuable link for those external to Northwestern: research communities, particularly in the Chicago area; external collaboration seekers; funding agencies; research foundations; potential students; donors and potential donors; and the general public.

The SciVal Experts interface is expected to be easily and frequently used by Northwestern faculty members; it is likely to become their entry point to the Northwestern Portal.


To see how SciVal Experts is being used at some peer institutions, please visit http://www.info.scival.com/experts/customerlist.

 FASIS at the Higher Education Users Group (HEUG) 

We are pleased to report that Elizabeth Earl, Sr. Business Systems Analyst, HRIS, and Laura Koepele-Tenges, Manager, Faculty Records and Business Operations, Office of the Provost, gave a presentation at the Oracle/PeopleSoft HEUG conference, March 28, in Denver, CO. The presentation included a discussion of the initiation of FASIS, objectives, and a highlight of the development phases. They spent time discussing the collaboration structure -- sponsors, task force, and subcommittees. They highlighted key points in the FASIS training and communication plan. Elizabeth and Laura were able to show the enhancements that have been made to the delivered HRIS pages such as the appointment indicator and the department attributes, and they shared the mock-ups of the new pages that are in the technical development stage, for example the appointment and salary pages.


Please check out the presentation by visiting http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/hris/fasis/HEUGFASISpresentation.pdf.

Subcommittee Reports




Faculty Process Training is currently being developed by the Faculty Records Office in the Office of the Provost. The overview will include such process topics as faculty leave, tenure and promotion, eRecruit and eOffer, and it will be offered to faculty process administrators in each school. This training is tentatively scheduled for July and August, in preparation for the upcoming academic year. More information will be forthcoming in the next few months.


Please contact Laura Koepele-Tenges (lkt@northwestern.edu) with any questions regarding this specialized process training.




The Student Data Subcommittee met this week. Up until now this subcommittee has focused on resolving the definitions of faculty advising roles, both at the graduate and undergraduate level,discussing where the data for these roles should reside (FASIS,SES, data mart or in multiple places) and how they should be captured. This week the subcommittee began discussing record keeping for the reconciliation of expected teaching with actual teaching activity, including course reductions.




The Reporting Subcommittee has been reviewing school reports and reporting needs, including users, intended report audience and data fields. HRIS and the Office of the Provost are developing a matrix to compare the variety of reports, their commonalities and data fields, and the subcommittee will be reviewing this matrix and prioritizing the requested reports for development.


The subcommittee will continue to review reports and report requirements in April. Please contact Sonia Cohen (sonia-cohen@northwestern.edu) or Laura Koepele-Tenges (lkt@northwestern.edu) for more information.

Research Staff, Regular Staff, and Post Docs

The Research Staff, Regular Staff and Post Doc Subcommittee had its first meeting in March. The subcommittee discussed ten staff definitions which will be added to the FASIS manual in the month of April. There are two additional meetings scheduled for the month of April; the first meeting will focus on Appointment Transaction definitions and the second meeting will focus on the mock-up of the staff appointment and salary pages. 

 Position & Appointment Form Procedural Change 


Effective May 1, 2011, the Payroll division will accept only pre-printed Position & Appointment forms from HRIS, with the exception of forms for setting up a new position or appointment. This change is a result of the FASIS project and will enable Payroll staff to more accurately enter data onto the system. 


With this procedural change, we have implemented the following training options to insure that users have the necessary knowledge to accurately complete the Position & Appointment forms:

  • New Position & Appointment form training classes: sign up by accessing eDevelopment, and enroll in course number HRS401.
  • HRIS Open Lab sessions: drop-in at your convenience; available Tuesdays, 1:00-4:30PM in Chicago (Tarry 1-730) and Wednesdays, 1:00-4:30PM in Evanston (Rebecca Crown G593).

For additional information please see http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/hris/upgrade/posnapptforms.html.

New Pages in FASIS 

The HRIS Upgrade went live on March 14, 2011; so now the technical development is in full swing for pages that were designed in Phase I of FASIS. Our plan is to roll out the pages in groups:  
  • Current Appointment Overview
  • Current Salary Information
  • Named Professorship Information
  • Appointment History
  • Salary History

We'll be sending you more information including a timeline during the next few months! 

 HRIS Data Mart Update


We are meeting weekly to continue to review report requirements and data mart fields.  Prototypes of reports are being built.  These prototypes will be reviewed by users for ease of use.  Next steps include validating the data in the data mart, and continuing report development. 

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Please join us at the upcoming Town Hall Meetings:
  • Evanston, Hardin Hall, 2:00-3:00PM, May 9
  • Chicago,  FSM Lurie-Searle Seminar Room, 11AM - noon, May 12
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