May 13, 2014
By Angela Woodward
The majority of Ohio University’s faculty and staff participated in a comprehensive survey conducted spring semester, and the University plans to incorporate some of the feedback from that survey into action projects as part of its Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) procedures.
During last week’s Faculty Senate meeting, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit discussed the survey as well as upcoming plans to share the results of that survey with the OHIO community.
The Higher Education Insight Survey was held from the last week of March through April 18 and was open to all full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Administered by the Chronicle of Higher Education and ModernThink, the survey sought to identify issues that are important to OHIO faculty and staff and to provide guidance about which issues to prioritize. It was the first comprehensive faculty/staff survey at Ohio University since the Campus Climate survey in 2004.
According to Faculty Senate Chair Beth Quitslund, the highest survey response rate came from OHIO’s classified employees at 63 percent. The faculty response rate was 60 percent, and the administrative staff response rate was 55 percent.
The Higher Education Insight Survey was the result of collaboration between Faculty, Administrative and Classified Senate leadership who worked with the Office of Institutional Research. The survey was endorsed and supported by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and Benoit.
According to Benoit, the University is expecting to begin receiving results from the survey in June. Plans to make those results available to the OHIO community include the development of a website that will display survey responses and open forums that will be held during fall semester. The overall goal, she said, is to identify appropriate short- and long-term goals based on the survey results.
“It is encouraging that we had such strong numbers of responses from our staff and faculty. The Senates worked diligently to get the word out, and the turnout is impressive,” said Benoit. “The information gleaned from the survey will inform planning processes for academic programs and the workplace environments of Ohio University.”
Results from the survey will also be incorporated into the University’s AQIP action projects.
Ohio University will undergo reaffirmation of its accreditation in academic year 2015-16. Work on the accreditation reaffirmation process is already underway with the next big step in the process – a Quality Checkup Site Visit to the University – slated for the 2014-15 academic year.
Ohio University has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913.
In 2002, the HLC invited the University to adopt a new accreditation pathway known as AQIP, a program open only to institutions with strong records of maintaining accreditation. As part of its involvement in AQIP, Ohio University has adopted a philosophy of “continuous improvement” in which the University identifies and takes action to address important institutional issues through short-term action projects.
“We are a community that cares about our students and our colleagues,” said Benoit. “We know that our work is transformative for our students, and we also want to take action to ensure that Ohio University is a fulfilling place to work. I know we do our best for students when we who are making our careers here feel invested in the future of this University.”