I remember a story about a faculty member who commented that every minute that they were working on program evaluation, was a minute they were “not doing their job.” Of course what that faculty member failed to realize is that program evaluation is part of their job. It is just as critical a part of their job as program development and delivery.
I think the same can be said about the reporting component of our work. We report contacts, write situation analysis reports, complete an annual Faculty report, report impacts, and we maintain and report when required, various civil rights-related information. Does anyone use these reports? Yes, many people do. Your District Director, the Associate Director’s for Programs, communications and marketing staff, myself, and others. But the biggest user of these reports should be you. For example contacts reporting is not just so we can compile statewide participation numbers. No, the most important use of contacts reporting data is to assess how effective your outreach efforts are in reaching underserved audiences in your assigned area. The same idea can be said for all of the data you collect and report. Don’t just collect the information because someone says you have to. Reflect on and use the reports that are generated. If you take the approach that your reporting function informs your work and should improve it, then I think the burden of reporting lessens.
With that said, let me hear your thoughts or questions on reporting responsibilities that you have. Maybe there are ways we can make this part of your work more beneficial.