Online Survey Coordination Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
February, 2023
Policy Number: 

[Online Survey Coordination Policy]
[Institutional Research, Analytics, and Reporting]
Applies to: All online surveys of prospective, current, and past university community members.

Supersedes: (former policy number or numbers)

Purpose of the Policy
Surveys of prospective, current, and past university community members are essential for collecting
information that can ensure educational quality/satisfaction, enhance institutional effectiveness,
and improve student success. This policy aims to encourage that online surveys of university
community members are conducted to minimize redundancy and frequency and that online survey best
practices are followed. All online surveys (with some exceptions) of university community members
will be coordinated through the University Survey Coordination Committee. This policy defines the
role of the University Survey Committee and the coordination procedure for online surveys.

Table of Contents (optional; suggested for longer documents)

I. University Community Members:
a. Prospective university community generally refers to the potential future students and their
parents/guardians that have interacted with Cal Poly Humboldt or submitted an application. The
prospective university community also includes people who have applied for employment.
b. The current university community generally refers to the matriculated students, employees (i.e.,
faculty, staff, administrators, and auxiliary employees), and volunteers.
c. Past university community members generally refer to alums, previously enrolled students who
have not graduated, and retired employees/volunteers.
II. Data Collection Methods:
a. Survey: A survey is a data collection method that uses a list of questions designed to gather
information about a group of people.
b. Administrative surveys are conducted for the purposes of assessment, program evaluation, or
quality assurance, in which findings are solely intended for internal use in planning, development,
and program

improvement, and are not designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge.
c. Research surveys are designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge (e.g., theory building,
building upon others' work in a field or discipline), which may be disseminated through a scholarly
paper, conference presentation or poster, or other academic outlets that require IRB approval per
III. Polls, ballots, and class evaluations: The following are not considered surveys, even if they
are administered using survey software.
a. Poll: A poll is a data collection method that uses a short list of questions (1-3) designed to
gather information about a topic from a group of people.
b. Ballot: Ballots are a method of collecting votes such as elections, resolutions, etc.
c. Class evaluation: Class evaluations collect students' evaluation of teaching outlined in the
Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement sections
15.15 to 15.18
IV. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) assures ethical conduct and the protection of human
subjects in research according to federal regulations and university policy (see EM:P14-02)
V. Online for the purposes of this policy refers to electronic information transmitted over
telecommunications lines (i.e., the internet).

Policy Details (optional)

All online administrative surveys and research surveys of prospective, current, and past university
community members shall be scheduled with the University Survey Coordinating Committee (USCC) with
the following exceptions:

Exceptions to this policy
I. Ballots, Polls, Class evaluations.Surveys that utilize a student research participation pool
(e.g., Psychology Department Sona Systems).
II. Surveys from service providers to service recipients for process improvement, quality
assurance, and/or administrative assessment, such as point-of-service surveys administered during
or immediately following the service interaction or event.
III. Surveys of students by their instructor of record for pedagogical or curricular purposes
where the results will not be published or otherwise disclosed.



IV. Surveys that evaluate an individual's leadership, performance evaluation, or periodic review.
V. Fact-based administrative forms that individuals complete as part of routine business
operations (e.g., directory information updates, scholarship applications, information technology
help tickets).
VI. Student surveys of fellow students that are conducted solely to fulfill the requirements of a
course assignment (i.e., results will not be published or otherwise presented to an audience
external to Cal Poly Humboldt) under the guidance and direction of a faculty member who has
completed an approved human subjects protection curriculum.
VII. Surveys from academic programs, departments, and colleges to students affiliated with their
VIII. Any survey that is conducted in person and not online.

Scheduling a Survey
The process of scheduling a survey shall be outlined in the Online Survey Coordination procedure
and guidelines. Institutional Research, Analytics, and Reporting shall be responsible for
maintaining the Online Survey Coordination procedure and guidelines with input from the University
Survey Coordinating Committee.

University Survey Coordinating Committee Charge and Authority
I. University Survey Coordinating Committee Leadership
a. The University Survey Coordinating Committee Shall be co-chaired by the Institutional Research,
Analytics, and Reporting (Director or designee) and the Institutional Assessment (Associate
Director or designee).
II. University Survey Coordinating Committee Membership
a. Ex Officio Members (no term limits)
i. Institutional Research, Analytics, and Reporting (Director or designee)
ii. Institutional Assessment (Associate Director or designee)
iii. Information Security, ITS (ISO or designee)
iv. Institutional Research, Analytics, and Reporting staff member (selected by the IRAR Director)
v. One representative from the Institutional Review Board (selected by the IRB)
b. Terms for Appointed Members
i. Appointed staff, faculty, and administrator members of the University Survey Coordinating
Committee shall serve three-year terms.
ii. Student terms shall be one year.
c. Appointed Membership
i. One faculty representative from Academic Affairs Division


ii. One representative from each of these three divisions
1. Administrative Affairs Division
2. Enrollment Management Division
3. University Advancement Division
iii. One student representative appointed by Associate Students
III. University Survey Coordinating Committee duties
a. Coordinate the administration of surveys that are not exempt from this policy.
b. Review university survey proposals to ensure the information sought serves university interests
and is not already available.
c. Disseminate best practices and provide resources (on the web) for support and/or training for
university survey development, administration, and analysis.
d. Approve university survey requests by outside entities.
IV. Frequency of meetings of the University Survey Coordinating Committee
a. Monthly or as needed to be determined with the Co-chairs.

Data Classification Standards Data Management
All surveys shall adhere to the Data Classification Standards - HSU Implementation of the CSU Data
Classification Standards (EM:P10-03) and Data Management Policy (P16-02).

Protection of Human Subjects in Research
All surveys shall adhere to the Protection of Human Subjects in Research Policy (EM:P14-02). When
applicable, researchers shall receive approval from the Cal Poly Humboldt Institutional Review
Board before collecting data.

Email Use
All surveys that use Cal Poly Humboldt assigned email accounts shall adhere to the Email Policy

Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to being an inclusive and accessible campus for all people of all
abilities. Beyond the inclusion aspects, failure to make content accessible creates legal exposure
for the University. Cal Poly Humboldt's digital communication is legally required to be accessible
under federal, state, and California State University policy. All surveys affiliated with Cal Poly
Humboldt shall
I. Use the Survey Accessibility Guide by QualtricsXM
II. Adhere to the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Policies (1) CSU Policy on Disability
Support and Accommodations (EO 1111) and (2) Accessible Technology Initiative Memo (March 2021).


Survey Software
There are a number of free and paid survey software and services; however, it is encouraged that
all Cal Poly Humboldt surveys use QualtricsXM survey software. All current university community
members may request a free account.

Expiration Date (if any; optional)

History (required)
All changes must be listed chronologically in the format below, including all edits and reviews.
Note when the policy name or number changes. Note if an edit or revision date is exclusively for
the policy section or the procedure section:

Issued: 02/08/2023

Revised: MM/DD/YYYY

Edited: MM/DD/YYYY

Reviewed: MM/DD/YYYY