Information, Technology & Consulting

Service Spotlight: Interfolio

 

Dartmouth is an attractive place to be on the faculty. “We often receive hundreds of applicants for a single faculty position,” says Computer Science Professor David Kotz, Associate Dean of Faculty for the Sciences. “We need an efficient and effective system for collecting and reviewing application materials.”

That’s where Interfolio ByCommittee comes in.

Interfolio is an online dossier, credentials, and letters-of-recommendation service. Its application, ByCommittee, allows search committees to collect applications tailored to the needs of their positions, review applications on their own timeline, and customize evaluation criteria to suit their needs. In addition, faculty candidates experience a simplified application process, and departmental staff can avoid the need to copy and file paper materials.

Dartmouth’s Interfolio project is a collaboration between Dartmouth Computing Services and Dartmouth’s associate deans, who evaluated the platform last year.

John Carey, Chair of Dartmouth’s Department of Government, noted administrative gains after his department piloted the service.

“I think the key things Interfolio provide are reduced administrative burdens and improved real-time accuracy of job candidates’ files,” he notes. “Every candidate’s file contains a variety of components: CV, cover letter, writing samples, reference letters, teaching materials, etc. Candidates don’t always submit all their materials at the same time, and reference letters are always coming from different sources. Without Interfolio, our department administrator and assistants had to direct a huge volume of that traffic to prepare candidate files that search committee members could review and evaluate efficiently. Interfolio does most of that traffic flow work automatically, which allows us to focus time and attention on identifying the most qualified candidates.”

Because of these gains, deans of three Dartmouth schools decided to purchase an Interfolio license, which makes the service free to Dartmouth departments and faculty candidates. The cost of the license was shared among Arts and Sciences, Tuck, and Geisel School of Medicine. 

Kotz helped coordinate the rollout to departments and programs hiring this year. The service will be used for Arts and Sciences (at the discretion of the individual search committee chair), Tuck, and Geisel faculty searches.

Those authorized to use Interfolio can conveniently log in to the system with their usual Dartmouth ID and password. Dartmouth Computing Services enabled the “single sign on” approach by working with Interfolio to create a “trusted, encrypted handshake” between Dartmouth’s identity store and the Interfolio application, according to Richard King, Director of Infrastructure Services. “The ability to leverage existing credentials that are used every day rather than having to remember yet another user name and password is made possible as a result of the identity-management system investments made by Dartmouth over the past couple of years,” he says.

Currently, 24 Dartmouth positions are advertised through the Interfolio service and more are expected in the coming month as faculty search committees ramp up their activity. Last month, 42 department staff and faculty search chairs attended on-campus training sessions. There will be a second training opportunity later this fall.

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