Institutional Research and Effectiveness

Survey Policies and Procedures

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Policy on Survey Creation and Implementation

WNC's College Policy on Research governs survey creation and implementation within the college. Survey projects that do not meet the following criteria must be approved by the SPFIE Subcommittee on Research:

  • Regular classroom examinations, research assignments, or test studies.
  • Faculty research protected by academic freedom.
  • Survey by academic faculty of their students.
  • Survey by administrative and executive faculty of academic faculty, students or classified employees.

Survey Approval Process

To gain approval for a survey, please fill out the SPFIE Survey Submission Form and submit it to Institutional Research. The staff in Institutional Research will forward the form to members of the SPFIE Subcommittee on Research, who will then complete the review and approval process. This should take no longer than 14 days during the fall and spring semesters, but it could take longer during the summer semester.

SPFIE Survey Submission Form

Institutional Research Survey Assistance

Once a survey project has been approved by the SPFIE Subcommittee on Research, staff in Institutional Research will consider requests for assistance with special, one-time surveys conducted by individual units as time and equipment availability permits.

Assistance with external projects (e.g., grant-related projects) conducted by WNC faculty and staff will also be considered, but these may require reimbursement for associated staff time, supplies, and equipment. The Institutional Research Office reserves the right to deny a survey request if office resources are not available.

Use of Survey Results

Institutional Research staff will review the proposed survey questions and survey announcement to ensure the following guidelines have been followed:

  • If the results of the research are to be published or presented at a conference, the approval of the SPFIE Subcommittee on Research is required.
  • If assessment results can be classified under the exempt categories above, and the respondents remain anonymous, formal approval by the SPFIE Subcommittee on Research is not required, but the purpose of the research and the fact that participation is voluntary must be explained to participants.
  • Under an exempt category, if assessment results will not be published and the survey responses will be linked to an individual, individuals must be notified of the purpose of the research and of the fact that participation is voluntary, and actions to ensure confidentiality must be explained to participants.
  • If data from student records are used in assessment research, all requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) must be met. Non-public student data can be used without the student's consent by university employees for "legitimate educational" purposes provided the data are not reported in such a way that individual students can be identified. All other users must receive written consent from the students to access non-public student data.


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