Survey Policy

Policy Statement

In order to ensure that surveys of students and employees of the college are conducted in ways that optimize the usefulness of the survey results, the survey policy gives responsibility for coordinating the administration of surveys to the Office of Institutional Assessment & Effectiveness.


Surveys are an increasingly popular method for gathering information and feedback from college constituencies. It is important to provide a coordinated approach to surveying prospective students, current students, alumni, and faculty and staff, in order to:

  • Ensure that survey design, administration, analysis, and reporting are methodologically sound.
  • Ensure that surveys conducted on behalf of the college adhere to high and consistent standards of quality that maintain the integrity of the college’s reputation.
  • 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.
  • Maintain a thorough record of survey tools and aggregate results.

Applicability of the Policy

The policy applies to all individuals collecting survey data, except individuals:

  • collecting survey data for evaluating instruction and/or advising of students;
  • collecting program evaluation data at Point of Sale/Service, where respondents are individually interviewed;
  • collecting student survey data within classes for class assignments;
  • collecting survey data for faculty/student researchers to <100 respondents outside of the SONA system (may still meet IRB approval for research with human subjects);
  • conducting survey research utilizing the SONA System (subject pool);
  • collecting one-question polling data

Policy Elaboration

The Office of Institutional Assessment & Effectiveness will coordinate survey data collection for SUNY Oneonta. The office will maintain a survey calendar, and assist academic and non-academic departments with collection of survey data from students, faculty and staff in coordination with appropriate data stewards on campus. It is not the responsibility of OIAE to approve or reject surveys, but rather to help schedule surveys in a manner that reduces overlap between surveys.



  • OIAE: Office of Institutional Assessment & Effectiveness
  • ITS: Information Technology Services
  • IRB: Institutional Review Board


  • Survey: a form of data collection that presents respondents with questions in-person (using paper pencil) or remotely (via email or online survey tool) for the purpose of evaluating college programs, functions, or services; or gathering feedback from respondents for decision-making and continuous improvement of same.
  • Campus Constituent: a current student, a university employee, or an individual or organization with a business relationship with the college (e.g., Sodexo).
  • Point of Sale/Service Surveys: brief surveys transmitted to the recipient immediately after service has been rendered (e.g. an ITS customer satisfaction survey after resolution of a technical issue).
  • Institutional Review Board: Committee that ensures ethical conduct and the protection of human subjects in research according to federal regulations and college policy. They do not approve access to university resources or large groups of campus constituents for surveys. This authority is delegated to OIAE via this policy.
  • SONA System: SUNY Oneonta’ research participant management system (subject pool).


Any party seeking to survey Oneonta constituents, including faculty, staff, students and/or their parents, needs to consult with OIAE to ensure available dates for data collection, by filling out the Survey Coordination Form [linked below] outlining the following:

  • General scope or purpose of the project;
  • A copy of the questionnaire instrument, if already developed. If not developed, whether assistance is needed to compile a questionnaire;
  • Population being studied, sampling method, and number of people to be surveyed
  • A description of the data gathering methodology, as well as platform for data gathering (e.g., SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, etc.);
  • A statement of how the confidentiality or anonymity of the people being surveyed will be assured;
  • Preferred dates and timing of data collection or surveying;
  • A description of any planned incentive program for respondents;
  • Contact information required (e.g., mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers);
  • A statement about how the questionnaire data will be used; and
  • A copy of the approval granted by the Institutional Review Board, if required.

The Survey Coordination Form and necessary documentation should be emailed to OIAE will provide a response indicating available time slots within 10 business days from the initial request and when needed will:

  • Specify additional forms to fill out for approval (internal and external)
  • Outline procedures for obtaining contact information for constituents needed to be surveyed
  • Specify whether compliance with IRB guidelines is needed and when
  • Specify length of time needed for review and review process
  • Review administrative survey proposals to ensure the information sought serves university interests and is not already available in another form.
  • Coordinate the administration of administrative surveys to minimize overlap and duplication in content, sampling, and scheduling.
  • Provide support and training for administrative and research survey development, administration, and analysis, including promoting best practices in survey design and data collection and data security
  • Facilitate timely access to institutional data sources for administrative and research surveys.




Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:
Office of Institutional Assessment & effectiveness 607.436.2844

Related Documents/Policies

Effective Dates

Approved by President on: October 17, 2017

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