• Gail Sutter

How Fast Growing Oakland University Streamlined Processes after Switching to InfoReady

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

“I feel like the internal application process through InfoReady Review has resulted in a more professional look for me as administrator and for the Research Office overall.”

- Susan Willner, Research Office, Oakland University

Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, MI, is experiencing growth across the institution, from a newly added medical school (less than 10 years old), to a record number of freshmen enrolled in 2018. The Research Office is no exception, with an ever-expanding research footprint and an innovative incubator and tech transfer program.

For Susan Willner in the Research Office, the growing pains were felt most acutely when managing internal award programs in OU’s homegrown in-house application manager. Susan says, “Routing to reviewers was done manually. As an internal award administrator, I was manually logging application details into an Excel spreadsheet. This spreadsheet would be used by the reviewers for scoring the applications. Reviewers consisted of ten faculty members from various departments. When decisions were complete, administrators would email an approved/denied letter (MS Word) to the applicant.”

Susan and the rest of the Research Office needed a way to make the application cycle for internal awards easier for students and faculty, as well as improve the process of routing applications to reviewers.

When asked how processes have changed since implementing InfoReady, Susan said, “Processing applications has become simple and easy. Review is a reliable program. It has been a wonderful upgrade over our prior application manager.” Susan has been most excited about time saved from not creating spreadsheets manually: “Downloading the application information into a spreadsheet cut down on the time it took me to do it myself.”

After switching to InfoReady, OU’s initial plans for using the system quickly expanded due to their positive experience implementing the system.

Oakland University expanded their use of InfoReady Review to the Honors College, Physics Department (REF app), and Office of Student Success areas. Here is a list of how OU is using InfoReady Review throughout the institution:

  • Research Office: Student and Faculty Internal Funding

  • University Research Committee Faculty Awards

  • Faculty Research Fellowship and Grants, promoting scholarship, research, and creative endeavors among all faculty members of the University.

  • Excellence Awards, to recognize faculty members for their significant achievements at Oakland University.

  • President’s Colloquium Award, showcases faculty research at OU.

  • Meadow Brook Hall Conference Award, to promote faculty research at OU.

  • Provost Awards

  • Provost Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research, students that are interested in carrying out an independent research project and to expose students to the challenges and excitement of research.

  • Travel Awards, to present their research findings at a conference.

  • Research Excellence Fund application - Facilitates and accelerates the development and commercialization of advanced technologies stemming from the research.

  • Honors College: Student Scholarship applications, Scholarships awarded to Honors College students who have demonstrated leadership and academic achievement.

  • Office of Student Success: Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference Scholarship and Graduate Student Scholarship - presented to higher education professionals. These conferences support the sharing of best practices and innovations in higher education among the mid-west.

Additionally, Susan stated, “We are still seeking new uses for the different areas in our department and institution. It is interesting to work with different departments, and see how they are using InfoReady Review".

Overall Benefits for Oakland University since implementing InfoReady:

Easy to Use - According to Susan, what she found most beneficial about InfoReady “Simple and easy to use”. Her colleagues agree with Susan and say the tutorials are very helpful as well.

Much Fewer Questions from Applicants - Susan gets very few questions now regarding “How to Apply”.

Time Saved - One of the outcomes Susan is most excited about is the time it saves. “Downloading the application information into a spreadsheet cut down on the time it took me to do it myself.” Says Susan.