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In spring 2001 UPA administered a short survey via the web to deans, department heads, vice provosts, vice chancellors, and selected directors and committee chairs. The survey solicited feedback on the compact planning process, routine UPA reports, and UPA’s responsiveness to “ad hoc” requests for information or assistance.
The overall response rate was 33%. More than 90% of the respondents were associated with Academic Affairs, which is not surprising since most of our service supports that division.
Given differential response rates, the results should be interpreted as pertaining primarily to Academic Affairs. Respondents gave highest ratings to: usefulness of final compact to you, your understanding of the process, and quality of negotiation meetings. The high rating given to compact planning’s usefulness is particularly noteworthy, since previous planning processes were not considered useful except at the executive level.
Lower ratings were given to clarity of instructions and schedule. Responses to open-ended questions suggest that the issue with instructions had to do with adjustments made by the Provost throughout the process as he linked the process directly to resource allocations. The scheduling issue appears to be related to the fact that the first round took place during the summer when faculty were not available to participate in drafting of department compacts.
Responses to open-ended questions reveal that compact planning worked best between the deans and Provost, and less well between department heads and deans. More faculty involvement at the department level is desired. Instructions need to be clarified.
The survey solicited feedback on respondents’ familiarity and with the relevance, intelligibility, and timeliness of reports in these categories: student data, personnel data, survey results, performance data, and overviews.
The degree of familiarity and relevance indicate the value of a report to UPA’s clients. Highest ratings were given to the Graduating Senior Survey, First Year Student Survey, student data generally, and compact planning performance data. Lowest ratings were given to UPdAtes (a series of short reports) and the Transfer Student Survey; as a result, these two projects will be eliminated. The Employer Survey and report on graduation and suspension rates were rated high on relevance but low on familiarity.
Reports using student data – admissions, enrollment, and degrees awarded – received highest ratings on timeliness and intelligibility. Lower ratings were given to the faculty/staff census report. (It should be noted that the faculty/staff census report was late in 2000 and in 2001 due to PeopleSoft complications.) The Graduating Senior Survey report, Sophomore Survey report, and Compact Planning Performance Measures were rated lower on timeliness.
Respondents requested several new reports, as follows.
· Graduate student alumni survey
· Peer data for departments and colleges
· Placement rates in graduate schools
· Focus groups on breaking NC State issues
· Add survey questions about information technology
UPA staff provide “ad hoc” service to campus units seeking unpublished data and analyses, help with planning and assessment processes, and advice on designing surveys or interpreting survey results. Seventy-two percent of respondents ask for ad hoc assistance more than once a year; 68% of respondents rated UPA’s responsiveness as excellent, and 29% as good.
All ad hoc services earned an average rating between good and excellent on dimensions of intelligibility, timeliness, and format. Highest ratings were given to timeliness and intelligibility, while lower rating was given to format of response, particularly for unpublished data and analyses.
Responses to the open-ended question “How could UPA improve its services to you and the campus community?” included the following comments.
· Need more focus on graduate-level data and studies
· Update survey results on web faster
· Develop models for ranking departments and colleges not already ranked by national groups
· Involve the academic community in planning your projects; use an advisory committee of department heads and associate deans
· Teach department heads what data are available and how to use it
· “You’re doing an exceptional job.” “In comparison to other institutions you are doing a much better job.” “I find UPA an indispensable and responsive resource.”
1. Work with the Provost and deans to strengthen department-to-dean level of compact planning
2. Eliminate UPdAtes
3. Eliminate Transfer Student Survey
4. Publish survey results more quickly
5. Compact planning performance measures will be updated more frequently, even if not all data are available at the same time
6. Improve the format of unpublished data for client utility
7. Explore using an occasional focus group of Academic Affairs users to solicit advice about future directions
8. Work with the Provost to develop a training module for LEADS on UPA services
9. Consult with Graduate School on alumni survey
K:/upa/office/UPA survey results