Expected Dates of Phase Completion and Additional Information:
Phase 1: Assess the Current State of BSC in Spring 2020 - Early November
The Institutional Innovation Advisory Council (IIAC) expects to complete Phase 1 by sharing a survey report through virtual town halls with the campus community in early November and is currently focusing on analyzing the quantitative data from the survey, as well as working with an external expert in workforce development qualitative research to analyze the high volume of qualitative data generated.
Phase 2: Engage the Community in Making Sense of the Data - Early November through January
In early November and until the end of January, the IIAC hopes to begin Phase 2 of this process by engaging the campus community in virtual focus groups to gather perspectives, ideas, and stories about what the spring 2020 data means, what has changed since spring 2020, and what remains (essentially) the same as in spring 2020. These focus groups are intended to engage the campus community in identifying how we can address areas for improvement and how to better leverage our strengths related to campus culture and employee engagement and satisfaction in the next strategic plan.
Phase 3: Implement Strategies to Move from Our Past/Current State to a Desired Future State - Spring 2021
The IIAC plans to end phase 2 and begin phase 3 in spring 2021 by producing a report for the campus community summarizing the survey results, campus focus group feedback, short-term strategies to immediately implement, and long-term strategies to recommend to include in the next strategic plan to ensure that Buffalo State thrives in the future. Phase 3 will be conducted in coordination with the College Planning Council to use the survey data and short-term and long-term recommended strategies as one resource to inform the next strategic plan for the campus.
Who in our community is assisting with the survey process?
The members of the IIAC who are working on the communication, data analysis, report writing, and focus group planning for the survey process were selected based on their expertise in quantitative/qualitative analysis, workforce development, organizational development, organizational psychology, public relations, and conducting similar types of work with other institutions of higher education and organizations as consultants.
Jonathan Hulbert, Director of Leadership and Organizational Development – Project Manager
John Cabra, Professor, Center for Applied Imagination – Qualitative Analysis Team Lead and Report Writing Team Member
Kelly Marczynski, Interim Director, Center for Health and Social Research – Quantitative Analysis Team Lead and Report Writing Team Member
Robert Delprino, Assistant Dean, School of Natural and Social Sciences and Professor, Psychology Department – Data Analysis & Report Writing Team Member
Jing Zhang, Professor, Elementary Education - Data Analysis & Report Writing Team Member
Julian Cole, Interim Associate Dean, School of Arts and Humanities - Data Analysis & Report Writing Team Member
Atta Ceesay, Professor, Political Science Department - Data Analysis & Report Writing Team Member
Jerod Dahlgren, Communication Director, Marketing and Communications Office – Communication Team Lead
Maria Brickhouse, Coordinator, Academic Center for Excellence and College Senate Representative – Communication Team Member
Susan McCartney, Director, Small Business Development Center – Communication Team Member
Jamie Warnes, Officer in Charge, Human Resources – Communication Team Member
Jocelyn Tejeda, Senior EOP Counselor – Focus Group Planning Co-Lead and Communication Team Member
William Benfanti, Associate Vice President for Government Relations – Focus Group Planning Co-Lead
Gerard Puccio, Chair & Professor, Creativity and Change Leadership – Focus Group Planning Content Expert and Advisor
Buffalo State College is conducting this survey to better understand our collective workplace, campus culture, and employee engagement/satisfaction and how these factors impact institutional performance. While the survey is an extension of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work for program, our intention for conducting the survey is different than in past years. Buffalo State College will be using the survey as a part of an internal study to help the campus, administration, and the newly appointed Institutional Innovation Advisory Council (IIAC) identify the following:
The IIAC has incorporated an additional set of questions into the survey to provide a more comprehensive data set and believes that gathering faculty and staff perspectives on their work experiences will help accomplish these two objectives. Improvement occurs when we openly solicit candid and confidential feedback from all critical stakeholders and act upon this feedback. Disciplined follow-up on the survey findings will help us continue to drive our institution to future success.
Higher education is undergoing significant demographic and technological shifts, which will require us to change how our institution operates, how we collaborate across departments and divisions to solve institutional challenges (retention, enrollment, developing new revenue streams, etc.), and how we prepare our campus workforce to address the ever-changing challenges of the future. The results of this survey and our inclusive and transparent review of its results will better position us to address the challenges AND opportunities that lie ahead.
Now more than ever, we need to understand what needs and priorities are important to our faculty and staff, as these factors will drive the future direction and success of Buffalo State College. The survey will also provide a starting point (or baseline) for future input from faculty and staff on institution priorities and needs. The feedback opportunities provided by the survey will be in the form of a continuous process, not a singular event. Also, this survey will help inform our upcoming strategic planning process.
ModernThink LLC is a nationally recognized organization specializing in college culture and employee engagement/satisfaction surveys. The higher education benchmark data ModernThink will provide will give our institution valuable insight into how we compare to other schools across the nation.
A survey design team from the newly-appointed Institutional Innovation Advisory Council (IIAC) [HJD1] added 15 Likert-Scale questions and 1 open-ended question to the existing survey that ModernThink uses with institutions of higher education across the country. The additional questions added by the IIAC were specifically selected to collect feedback from the campus community and assess strengths/areas of improvement topics that were not already included in the survey. ModernThink will administer the survey, ensure confidentiality, and aid in the dissemination of the results.
The survey statements solicit feedback on a broad range of topics focused around the following themes:
In addition to the 60 core survey statements ModernThink includes in all campus surveys, the IIAC survey design team added 15 Likert-Scale questions and 1 open-ended question to the existing survey to ensure all factors Buffalo State College wanted to assess were included.
The online survey should take approximately 18 - 22 minutes to complete. If you are unable to complete the survey after you begin, you will have the option to save your responses and access them later.
The survey consists of statements that employees/faculty respond to using a five-point agreement scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Sometimes Agree/Sometimes Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Additionally, there is a Not Applicable response option. The survey instrument also includes item benefits satisfaction component and open-ended questions.
There are several demographic questions at the end of the survey (Gender, Age, Job Category, etc). Respondents are encouraged to provide responses, however you have the option of skipping any of the demographic questions if you have concerns regarding the anonymity of your responses. (See also “Are my survey responses confidential?” below.)
As a faculty or staff member of Buffalo State College, your voice matters. Every staff and faculty member have different experiences, perspectives, ideas, and solutions regarding where we are falling short as an organization and how to improve, as well as our organizational strengths that we can leverage in the future. It is critical that each of those experiences, perspectives, ideas, and solutions are heard to identify the similar and individual needs of our employees and the institutional priorities to focus on that will allow Buffalo State College to thrive in the future. Also, a higher response rates give a more accurate picture of the institution and its individual schools/divisions. This is a significant opportunity for you to share your ideas, opinions, and solutions by participating in both the survey and the action planning that will follow.
Yes, participation is completely voluntary.
All faculty and staff members of our institution are invited and encouraged to participate in the survey.
The employee emails used to administer the survey were sent on Wednesday, January 22nd. Any faculty or staff member who does not have an email registered in the Human Resources database by Wednesday, January 21st will not receive the survey.
All faculty and staff members will be invited via email on Monday, February 3rd to take the survey hosted on ModernThink’s secure website. The survey is available for two weeks, until Monday, February 17th.
You will be asked to enter a username and password, which will be provided in an e-mail invitation sent to you directly by ModernThink.
You may take the survey at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from work or from home. Internet access is required. Employees taking the survey can use the same workstation, as long as each person properly logs into, and out of, the survey.
Your survey responses are confidential and anonymous. The purpose of the survey is to get honest feedback. Buffalo State College is using an external partner (ModernThink) to administer the survey. It is web-based and automated with a secure internet connection.
Each employee will receive an email invitation from ModernThink to participate in the survey. Once you click on the survey link, you will go directly to ModernThink’s website. Buffalo State College has no access to this website. Your responses will be submitted directly to ModernThink’s database, and all processing will be done by ModernThink. You will not be asked your name on the survey. The email will include unique password information for each user. This information is stored on the ModernThink server. This information is for access only and will not be linked to your individual survey responses.
ModernThink will NOT give Buffalo State College any information in a way that would enable them to trace answers back to a specific person - even if you are part of a small demographic group. ModernThink will not report any results from demographic categories containing fewer than five respondents.
No. The survey will be completed on ModernThink’s private server. The email address is only used to access the survey and to ensure that only one survey is completed per employee. Emails are purged from ModernThink’ s system once the survey project has been completed.
The demographic information (i.e. Gender, Age, Job Role, School, etc.) will help us better understand the patterns and themes in the survey data. As the confidentiality of your responses is critical, ModernThink will not report any demographic data that would enable an individual to be identified. Group demographic data will only be reported when there are 5 or more respondents in a particular group. To make it easier and quicker for you to take the survey, and appropriately report results, certain information (below) is pre-loaded into the survey and also required for the Great Colleges program analysis conducted by ModernThink.
All other demographics are an optional component of the survey, however, we strongly encourage you to provide this information.
Your answers will be stored each time you select the SAVE & CONTINUE button at the bottom of a survey page. If you get interrupted you can come back to the survey. You will need to log on to the ModernThink survey site to re-access the survey. To protect your confidentiality, you will not be able to access the survey after you click the SUBMIT button on the last page of the survey.
For technical questions or problems with the survey site please contact ModernThink at (888) 684-4658 or firstname.lastname@example.org, M-F 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST. After hours, leave a message and your call will be returned as promptly as possible.
While a 100% response rate is not necessary, we like to see as high a response rate as possible. Average response rates for surveys of this kind typically range between 40% and 65%. During the two weeks the survey is available we will be sharing our response rate with the community at large. We hope that each of you will use this information and opportunity to encourage your colleagues to participate.
In May, the IIAC will present the survey findings to the campus community through a series of town hall meetings, providing an opportunity for the campus to ask questions about the data and survey results, while also initiating discussions and focus groups that begin to address areas for improvements and how to better leverage our strengths. In Fall 2020, the IAAC will issue a written report to the campus community summarizing the survey results, campus feedback, and potential strategies to move the campus forward.
While the formal timeline for the next survey is not yet established, our institution will be repeating this process in two years. This year’s results will provide us with important baseline data so that we chart our progress moving forward.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact the following Institutional Innovation Advisory Council survey design committee members:
Please click here to submit an anonymous question about the survey. We will post a response to your question within two business days on our website.
From Friday, May 22nd, 2020 Daily Post - The Institutional Innovation Advisory Council (IIAC) is excited to report that more than 50 percent of the campus community (928 out of 1,844 employees) responded to the Campus Culture and Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey earlier this semester. Buffalo State College conducted this survey to better understand our collective workplace, campus culture, and employee engagement and satisfaction, and how these factors affect institutional performance. This high response rate will enhance the college’s ability to better understand the complexity of our lived workplace experiences and priorities, and the needs of our campus community. This, in turn, will help us identify strengths to leverage and areas for improvement that can be addressed through immediate short-term cross-divisional initiatives and long-term strategies to be embedded in the college’s next strategic plan.
In order to ensure these beneficial outcomes and to accurately represent the narratives of the many faculty, staff, and administrators who took the time to write comments, it is essential that the results of the survey be carefully analyzed. The high volume of qualitative data generated, specifically, 2,070 total comments, which equates to 169 pages of text and 98,631 words, combined with the current COVID-19 crisis, mean that the IIAC does not have the capacity to perform this kind of analysis before fall 2020. To address this, the council will explore working with an outside partner—within the college’s current budget constraints—to assist in the analysis and interpretation of the data.
Given these considerations, the IIAC unanimously voted on Tuesday, April 14, to move the sharing of the report to the fall 2020 semester, while also acknowledging flexibility may be needed in this process as the campus continues to respond to COVID-19. The report will be shared through a series of town hall meetings (either in person or virtual), providing an opportunity for the campus to ask questions about the data and survey results, while also initiating discussions and focus groups that begin to address areas for improvements and how to better leverage our strengths. The IIAC will issue a written report to the campus community summarizing the survey results, campus feedback, short-term strategies to immediately implement, and long-term strategies to include in the next strategic plan to ensure that Buffalo State thrives in the future. We will continue to provide regular updates to the campus community about the survey process.
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