The College is doing a survey on its athletic facilities. The e-mail announcement is reprinted below, without the link to the actual survey since I don’t want to screw up the results. Comments:

1) The survey is anonymous. How does the College know who answers it and, more importantly, how many times they do so?

2) The software that they are using is unimpressive at best. For example, once I had checked an item, I couldn’t uncheck it to leave it blank. I was forced to have some answer.

3) The survey has way too many questions. I didn’t count, but there seemed to be 100+ decisions to make. Did many of our readers fill it out? Did you get through the whole thing? A better survey would have asked many fewer and more focused questions.

4) I predict that ballot stuffing will occur. If I were, say, squash coach, I would instruct all my players to answer the survey and (truthfully!) report the high priority which they placed on the squash facilities. Note that any coach who doesn’t do this may be faced with an Administration which claims that students don’t put much emphasis on the particular facilities that she cares most about.

5) The College should make the details results of the survey (the raw data) available. The more public and transparent the College is in its decision-making, the better for all concerned.

See below for the e-mail invitation.

From: Harry Sheehy
Date: Jul 10, 2006 2:56 PM
Subject: Input requested for athletic/recreation facilities assessment
To: …

Dear student,

Earlier this summer a broad-based group of faculty, students, and administrative staff was assembled to begin the process of formulating a long range plan (a “master plan”) for the college’s facilities for physical education, athletics, fitness, recreation, and intramural and club sports. The group will be working over the coming academic year in the development of this plan. As an initial step in this process, the group has embarked on an assessment of our current facilities. The attached survey is an important first step in our effort to get a better understanding of the college community’s opinions about current facilities. Please click on the link below to access the survey and share your input. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Harry Sheehy, Director of Athletics
Bill Lenhart, Provost
(for the Athletics/Fitness Master Planning Group)

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