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The Office of Institutional Research has established the following policy related to surveys of students, faculty, or staff. The goals of this policy are:

  • to minimize individuals’ burdens for responding to surveys;
  • to ensure that data collected is valid and reliable and is used for informed decision-making;
  • to respect the academic freedom of faculty and students conducting scholarly research

This policy is in addition to, not a substitute or replacement for, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies for the use of human subjects.

General Purpose Surveys

Any administrative office or committee, student organization, or outside entity wishing to survey students, faculty, and/or staff must submit a request to the Office of Institutional Research two weeks before the proposed survey is scheduled to commence.

After consulting with the party requesting the survey, the Director of Institutional Research will approve or disapprove the request.

  • The request may not be approved if information similar to what is being sought already exists.
  • The request may not be approved if the survey places an undue burden on the individuals being surveyed, makes poor use of resources, or might unduly reduce future response rates.

If the request is approved, Institutional Research can provide the following support:

  • identify an appropriate sample of the population
  • consult on the proposed survey instrument to help reduce bias
  • create the survey instrument using our web-based software
  • send the survey to the sample electronically
  • collect responses electronically
  • provide the survey results to the party requesting the survey (maintaining respondent anonymity if appropriate).

Survey results must be shared with the Office of Institutional Research.

Scholarly Research Surveys

Faculty or students who wish to survey students, faculty, and/or staff for scholarly research should notify the Office of Institutional Research about their research as early as possible, indicating (to the degree possible without compromising the research):

  • the sample to whom the survey will be sent,
  • the nature of the survey, and
  • the timeframe for the survey.

Sending a copy of the actual survey instrument to Institutional Research would be appreciated, but is not required.

Sharing the results of the survey and the associated research with Institutional Research would be appreciated, but is not required.

Institutional Research may be able to provide support for scholarly research, depending on available capacity.