KSU one of 100 to participate in higher ed survey

Kristine Gill

Kent State will take part in a national survey through the Chronicle of Higher Education to assess employee satisfaction at the university. The survey is the first of its kind that the Chronicle has conducted, and it will involve about 100 universities across the country.

Associate Provost Stephane Booth said Kent State received an e-mail from the Chronicle asking it to take part in the survey. She said the university agreed for two reasons.

“You want to know what people say are the pluses and minuses of working at a university,” she said. “We hadn’t done a survey like this in a while.”

She said surveys conducted at the university have always been internal and never at a national level. Having comparisons with other colleges will also be important when the university answers to accreditors.

“One question we’re always asked by our accreditors is how do you stand against other universities?” Booth said. “It’s hard to get a hold of that kind of information, and this was an opportunity to get that information.”

Booth said the survey will ask 600 Kent State faculty, administrators, and professional staff such as advisers, questions about what they like at the university, what they think about the benefits and what could be improved.

The provost sent a memo to all faculty encouraging them to participate in the survey if they are randomly selected. Booth said she expects a good response to the survey because of the memo and because the survey is being conducted by an outside group.

“This is hands-off so people feel free to express their opinions, hopefully in a truthful manner,” she said. “It helps with anonymity.”

The Chronicle is not releasing the names of the other universities that will take part in the survey. The results will be published in its July 18 edition.

“The institutions were chosen based on the Carnegie classification system,” said Amy Anders, project coordinator with the Chronicle. “There are about 850 universities across the country that fit that information.”

The Carnegie classification system includes research universities, doctoral, master’s colleges and universities and baccalaureate colleges.

Anders said the survey is made up of statements that participants will rate with an agreement scale with answers such as “satisfied” or “unsatisfied.” It will also include some open-ended response questions.

Anders said the Chronicle and Modern Think, the software group analyzing the data, will fund the survey. Colleges will not be charged to participate, but Anders could not give an estimate as to how much the survey would cost to conduct.

Anders said the survey will be an annual program that will be opened to other Carnegie institutions in the future.

“It’s a busy time of year, but I hope people will participate,” Booth said.

Contact academic affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].