Colorado State University has installed Digital Measures as a way of automating and standardizing faculty service reports, the better to keep track of how much merit faculty have demonstrated, if there is any money for merit raises.  Which there isn't, but there's a lot of scut work for Historiann and her colleagues.
I’m sure like me you can see the advantage of this system for administrators.  “Let’s see which colleges and departments are publishing more articles?  I’ll just push this button and generate this cross-tab, and voilá!”  (In fact, we were told by a colleague in the know that the reason Baa Ram U. bought this garbageware is because the president of our institution didn’t know how many articles each department had published in a given year.)

But what exactly is the value of this system for faculty?  I can see none.  It all seems like a massive timewasting exercise, one moreover designed to disadvantage anyone working in the humanities or other book-intensive disciplines.

Of course History, Philosophy, and English departments (among others in the visual and performing arts as well as humanities) will look less productive than economists and scientists!  We write single-author articles of 25-40 pages that are often based on archives outside of the country and which use information written in languages other than English.  We don’t have graduate students or postdocs to do our research for us.  We don’t write articles with 10-15 supposed “co-authors.”  Also, we write books for the most part, not articles.

Silver lining?  There’s nothing like stupid from the central administration to bring a faculty together.  I told my colleagues that I have a rule when it comes to any technology or software:  it works for me, I don’t work for it.  End of story.
By all means, dear reader, read and enjoy the comments.  When you see unfavorable comparisons of university administrators with the Leonid Brezhnev era in the Soviet Union among academicians that might have, back in the day, cringed at President Reagan referring to an evil empire or the Mickey Mouse system of communism, and reports of information recorded on lists that are later misplaced, perhaps there might be faculty willing to make common cause with critics outside the academy when it comes to turfing out the stupid people and making higher education great again.

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