Barriers to Implementation of Best Practices

Posted by David Mosley on May 25, 2021 4:10:02 PM
David Mosley

Have you ever dreamed of a solution to your Institutional Effectiveness (IE) challenges, but then realized that there are institutional barriers to your success?  We have all been to conferences where we sit in the audience listening to an institution present an amazing “Best Practice” in IE, only to realize that it would never work at our institution due to organizational inertia. Organizational inertia is the tendency of an institution to continue on its current trajectory due to resource or routine rigidity.

This idea came into focus this week when conducting a discovery call with a college that had just finished its decennial reaffirmation with only one recommendation for improvement: Faculty Credentials!  The frustration was clearly coming through in the voice of the potential client, from the hundreds of hours spent preparing their compliance certification submission, faculty roster, and faculty credential file folders manually, only to be found non-compliant due to a few expired licensure / certification documents that existed but were not included in their submission!  The potential client spoke with hope in her voice that the SPOL Faculty Credential module could provide the solution to expired credentials, while expressing concern about her institutional barriers to change stemming from longstanding manual processes.

This institution is clearly not alone, using the latest research that shows the “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Principles in Decennial Reaffirmation” from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) – institutions are cited as non-compliant for Faculty Credentials throughout the reaffirmation process by:

  • Off-Site Committees – #1 reason institutions (92%) are cited,
  • On-Site Committees - #4 reason institutions (22%) are cited,
  • Committees on Compliance and Reports (C&R) - #3 reason institutions (6%) are cited.

These descriptive statistics on findings of non-compliance at the three stages of reaffirmation reviews present a compelling case for institutional change.  Meaningful change to longstanding institutional processes, both manual and electronic, can be facilitated by introducing new technology.  However, the institution must recognize the opportunity that the new technology presents to overcome its own organizational inertia or else risk implementing the new technology in a way that reinforces the “business as usual” mentality.  Institutions need to assess their longstanding practices and seek opportunities to implement change to fully utilize the new technology and create a best practice!

Diamond by SPOL’s Faculty Credentials Module provides a multifaceted solution that allows for a flexible process that mirrors your institution’s best practices and/or helps create a best practice at your institution by providing the necessary framework for change. Diamond’s framework facilitates your HR department’s creation of the initial credential records, which faculty can update with new credentials using your departmental/divisional oversight and workflow approval processes. This information then forms the basis of your institution’s credential mapping for open course sections, overall credential management, and accreditation compliance best practices.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this concept further or to discover how Diamond by SPOL can provide solutions to your institutional challenges with Planning, Assessment, Budgeting, Faculty, and Accreditation practices. 


Topics: Accreditation, Institutional Effectiveness, Budgeting, Strategic Planning