Faculty Activity Reporting System FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Activity Insight System – General Questions

What is Activity Insight?
Activity Insight is the on-line database system hosted by a company called DigitalMeasures and is used for collecting and storing information on the activity of the University’s faculty. It is more commonly known as the faculty activity report (FAR) system. The types of activity for which information can be collected include teaching, research, grant applications and awards, professional service, professional development activities, service to the University, college, and department, honors and awards, and publications.

Why does the University collect information on faculty activity?
The University collects information on faculty activity for a variety of reasons. One reason is associated with merit pay for faculty. A faculty member wishing to be considered for merit pay must submit a faculty activity report, including a merit narrative. The faculty activity report and merit narrative serve as the basis for merit decisions. Another reason for collecting faculty activity information is the ability of the University to promote the work and scholarship of its faculty to both the internal University community and its external publics. One example of this is the yearly President’s Letter highlighting faculty publications.

What is the security level of the Activity Insight system?
DigitalMeasures provides the following information regarding the security of the Activity Insight system: Digital Measures has taken all steps necessary to create a safe environment for your information while still providing you easy, secure access to it.

  • All data collected over a 128-bit SSL-encrypted connection
  • Servers are stored in an IBM-owned and managed datacenter:
    • Locked, caged server room protected by armed security guards who are present at all times
    • Servers are firewalled and located behind an intrusion detection system
    • Redundant fire suppression and climate control systems used at all times
    • Redundant power and Internet connections
  • Secure nightly backups to five geographically-dispersed locations owned by IBM and Iron Mountain
  • Digital Measures is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Download a full copy of all of your data at any time as often as you like; even put a secure process in place to do this on an automated basis
  • Digital Measures is registered and has certified with the United States Department of Commerce as compliant with the Safe Harbor Principles in effect between the European Union and the US

Is there additional information available about Activity Insight and DigitalMeasures?
Yes, additional information about Activity Insight and DigitalMeasures can be found at the following URLs:

Who can I contact about any additional questions about Activity Insight and the faculty activity reporting process?
Please contact either Cathy Buescher, Activity Insight administrator, at 718-817-3049 or buescher@fordham.edu, or the Office of Faculty Personnel at 718-817-3051 or avpaa@fordham.edu.

Accessing the Activity Insight System

Do I have to use a particular web browser in order to use the Activity Insight system?
The following browsers support the full functionality of Activity Insight: Internet Explorer for PCs and Mozilla Firefox for both PCs and MACs. Activity Insight can also be accessed using Safari 2.0 and higher but some of the functionality related to "widgets" will not be available (PasteBoard and RapidReports).

How do I access the Activity Insight system?
To access the Activity Insight system you login into the University's portal, my.fordham.edu, using your AccessIT ID. Once in the portal, click on the Faculty tab and locate the Faculty Activity Report channel. Click on the link to the Faculty Activity Report System (Activity Insight). This will automatically log you into Activity Insight.

What is my AccessIT ID and how do I get it?
Your AccessIT ID is the ID assigned to you as part of the University's overall IT infrastructure. Your AccessIT ID is your username and password that grants access to the various IT systems that are being implemented as part of the new ERP (enterprise resource platform) system, which includes Banner, the University portal, and other data systems that manage student registration, financial aid, finance and human resource information. To claim your AccessIT ID, login to my.fordham.edu and click on the link in the box called First Time Users.

What if my AccessIT ID does not work?
If your AccessIT ID does not work, please contact the University Help Desk for further assistance. They can be reached either by e-mail at helpdesk@fordham.edu or by phone at 718-817-3999 (on-campus) or 866-366-HELP (off-campus).

I logged into my.fordham.edu and navigated to the Faculty Activity Report System link. When I clicked on the link, another login page appeared for DigitalMeasures. What do I do?
You will need to contact Cathy Buescher, the Activity Insight system administrator, either by phone at 718-817-3049 or by email at buescher@fordham.edu to let her know that you were not automatically logged in so that she can adjust the system.

When I clicked on the link to the Faculty Activity Report System, an ACCESS DENIED window appeared with a message stating, "You do not have permission to access this service." What do I do?
First, you will need to check your Symantec Firewall settings. To do this, complete the following steps:

  • Open Symantec Client Firewall by either clicking on the Symantec icon on the Start Toolbar or by clicking on the All Programs option on the Start Menu.
  • On the Symantec Client Firewall Status & Settings window, turn the Privacy Control and Ad Blocking options to Off.
  • Exit Symantec Client Firewall and try to login to the Activity Insight system again. If this resolves the problem but you are uncomfortable with leaving the Privacy Control and Ad Blocking options on off, open the Symantec Client Firewall window and change the settings back to On. Note: Anytime you want to login to the Activity Insight system, you will need to turn off these settings.
  • If taking these steps does not resolve the issue, please contact Cathy Buescher, the Activity Insight system administrator, at 718-817-3049 or buescher@fordham.edu.

How long will the system be available for me to use?
The Activity Insight system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is designed to collect information cumulatively and serve as a "one-stop shop" for all of your faculty activity information. This type of system obviates the need to enter the same information from year to year. It also allows you to track the progress of your grant applications and publications through the entire preparation, submission and publication/award process.

Entering Information Into the Activity Insight System

Once I am in the Activity Insight system, where do I enter my information?
To enter information into the system, click the Manage Your Activities link located in the menu at the left. On the Manage Your Activities screen, there are links to screens for entering different types of information. Click on the appropriate link for the type of information you wish to enter.

How do I know which screen to use to enter different types of information?
We have developed a Faculty Activity Report User Guide to help you determine where to enter different types of information: Faculty Activity Report Guide. If you are still unsure of where to enter a specific piece of information, please contact either Cathy Buescher at either 718-817-3049 or buescher@fordham.edu or the Faculty Personnel Office at 718-817-3051 or avpaa@fordham.edu for further assistance.

The Activity Insight system has a lot of new features, including new information fields and options. Do I need to fill out every field on every screen for which I am entering information?
No, you are not required to fill out every field on the Activity Insight screens. You should fill out as many fields for which you have information and allow you to show the scope of your work. You will notice that a number of screens collect a variety of information but that not all the fields are appropriate to each type of information. For instance, on the Intellectual Contributions screen, only certain fields are needed if the contribution is a book, whereas other fields are needed if the contribution is a journal article.

Are there any required fields?
Yes, there are required fields, designated by a red asterisk next to the field name. You will not be able to save information on a screen unless you enter data in the required fields. These fields are required to ensure accuracy of the various reports available through Activity Insight

How do I submit my merit narrative?
Your merit narrative is submitted through the Merit Narrative screen in the Activity Insight system. You can either type the narrative directly into the Merit Narrative field or you can copy and paste it from another text document.

Entering all the information from my current curriculum vitae would be very time consuming. Is the University providing any assistance for this data entering?
Yes, the Office of the Senior Vice President/Chief Academic Officer is prepared to provide assistance with data entry in the form of student workers. They are available to input any data that you would like into your profile. Alternatively, accounts can be created for departmental staff/student workers that would allow them to enter data for department faculty. If you would like to utilize either of these options, contact Cathy Buescher, Activity Insight administrator, at 718-817-3049 or buescher@fordham.edu.

Can I enter information on faculty activity from previous years?
Yes, information from previous faculty activity reports can be entered. A standard report for producing a curriculum vitae is available in the system. By entering the information from your current curriculum vitae, you will have the ability to automatically generate an updated vitae at any time.

Running and Printing Reports in Activity Insight

How do I produce a copy of my faculty activity report?
A copy of your faculty activity report can be produced in one of two ways. The first and more direct way is through the Rapid Reports function. This function is accessed through the Rapid Reports toolbar located at the bottom right of the Activity Insight screen. To use the function, click on the Rapid Reports button on the tool bar. The tool bar will expand to show four options: Report, Start Date, End Date, and File Format. For Report, choose the Annual Faculty Activity Report from the drop down menu. For Start Date and End Date, enter the appropriate dates; in the case of the faculty activity report, these would be January 1 and December 31 of the year for which the faculty activity report is being run. Choose the file format you wish to use and click Run Report. A pop-up window will appear asking if you would like to open or save the file. Choose the Open option if you wish to view the report immediately. Choose the Save option if you wish to retain the report for use at a later date and time. When you are done using the Rapid Reports function, click the Hide button on the toolbar.

The second way to produce a faculty activity report is through the Run Custom Reports function located in the menu on the left of your screen. Click on the Custom Reports link. It will pull up a screen with a number of options for which you will need to specify values. The first is “Select the Report to Run.” In the drop-down menu, select Annual Faculty Activity Report and click the “Select Report” button next to the drop-down menu. Note: You must click the “Select Report” button next to the drop down menu. Next, select the date range for which you wish to run the report. In the case of the 2008 faculty activity report, select January 1 and December 31 of the year for which the faculty activity report is being run. Next, use the “Click here” link under the Select Who to Include option to select the person (yourself) for whom you want to run the report. A pop-up window will appear with three options – Academic Division, Department, and Individual. Choose Individual. A list of individuals will appear. Select the appropriate person (yourself). Scroll to the bottom of the list and click the Save button. Choose your File Format and your Page Size. Click Build Report. A pop-up window will appear asking if you wish to open or save the file. Choose your preferred option and click OK.

How do I print my faculty activity report?
You will first need to run the system’s Annual Faculty Activity Report function either through Rapid Reports or Run Custom Reports. Once you have run the report, choose either the Open or Save function. If you choose the Open function, print the document as you would any other document. If you choose the Save function, you will need to open the newly saved file and then print as you would any other document.

Submitting the Faculty Activity Report

How do I submit my faculty activity report once I have entered all of my information?
The Activity Insight system is designed to eliminate the need for you to submit a copy of your faculty activity report. The reports can be automatically generated by the Faculty Personnel Office and distributed to the appropriate individuals. If you still wish to submit a copy of your faculty activity report, please email it as an attachment to facultyrpts@fordham.edu.