Survey Policy

Approved by President/Provost
October 17, 2017

Latest Revision
September 13, 2022

Next Renewal
August 20, 2024

Policy Contact
Office of Institutional Research
(607) 436-2844

Policy Statement

The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) will coordinate survey development, distribution, and data collection for SUNY Oneonta. OIR will maintain a survey calendar and assist offices and departments (academic and non-academic) in collecting survey data from relevant populations that include students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


Surveys are an increasingly popular method for gathering information and feedback from SUNY Oneonta constituencies. It is important to provide a coordinated approach when conducting surveys in order to:

  1. Ensure that survey design, administration, analysis, and reporting are methodologically sound.

  2. Ensure that surveys conducted on behalf of the institution adhere to high and consistent standards of quality that maintain the integrity of SUNY Oneonta’s reputation.

  3. Minimize collection of duplicate data and “survey fatigue” by combining data collection needs whenever possible and appropriate, and managing the number and timing of multiple surveys to the same group of respondents.

  4. Maintain a thorough record of survey tools and aggregate results.

Applicability of the Policy

The policy covers all instances of survey activity or use of the institution’s online survey tools (currently Qualtrics) that involves the SUNY Oneonta community (students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc..) as well as those who have a business relationship with the campus (donors, employers of alumni, Sodexo, etc..). Students conducting a survey outside of the classroom are required to follow this policy and relevant procedures (described in section below) with the guidance of a faculty or staff member.

The few exceptions to this policy include the following:

  • Qualtrics use or surveys conducted by a faculty member within their course for the purpose of course instruction, assessing course comprehension, evaluating instruction, and/or advising of students.
  • Students surveying students within a course for a course assignment.
  • Survey research utilizing the SONA System on campus that has been approved by the SUNY Oneonta IRB.
  • Surveys sent to attendees to collect feedback regarding an event sponsored by a SUNY Oneonta person, office, or department.
  • Qualtrics being utilized as an electronic form (not a survey) to collect information from those within or in relation to the SUNY Oneonta community.

Faculty/staff who do not need assistance or support from OIR with survey administration within the campus community and beyond must still email to inform OIR of the survey dates so they can be added to the survey calendar.

Acronyms and Definitions

1. Acronyms

  1. OIR: Office of Institutional Research
  2. IRB: Institutional Review Board

2. Definitions

  1. Qualtrics: Survey tool with a fairly easy-to-use interface that can also do complex research projects; primary survey tool used by SUNY Oneonta.

  2. Survey: A research method used to gather information from a sample of people to gain insights, opinions, and feedback. Surveys often include questions for the purpose of evaluating a variety of programs, functions, or services; or gathering feedback for decision-making and continuous improvement of same.
  3. Form: A structured document designed to collect specific data or information from individuals. Forms are often used for registrations, applications, or general feedback collection.
  4. Institutional Review Board (IRB): Committee that ensures ethical conduct and the protection of human subjects in research according to federal regulations and SUNY Oneonta policy.
  5. SONA System: SUNY Oneonta’ online research participant management system utilized to manage the campus subject pool. Surveys posted on the SONA System must have IRB approval.


Different procedures apply to students and faculty/staff.

To review the full procedure of this survey policy, click the URL link or copy and paste the URL into your web browser:


Survey Coordination Request Link


Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:

Office of Institutional Research


Related Documents/Policies

Effective Dates

Approved by President/Provost: October 17, 2017

Latest Revision: September 13, 2022

Next Renewal: August 20, 2024

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