Monday, June 14, 2004

Communicating with the 200 Club 

As we mentioned a couple of months ago, the university is using web-based surveys to help it figure out what is going on around campus. President Saigo reported results last week, and tried to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
73% of respondents said the quality of communication on campus is excellent or above average (25%) and average (48%).
One intrepid reader sent me a note about this sentence from Saigo's report:
Except that more accurately, 25% rated above average or excellent (actually only 1% rated excellent which translates into 2 respondents), while 27% rated communication as belove average or poor, with almost a majority only giving an average. Now rather than using these percentages if we use a Likert scaling with 5= excellent and 1=poor, the quality of communication would get an average score of 2.91. Ever so slightly below average. And yet the poorly worded sentance would have us intially think that 73% of respondents feel very positive about communcation. In a land were all the children are above average, to have 48% of respondents only rate your communication as average, isn't much of a ringing endorsement.
He's right, as you can easily see from the pie chart. And notably only 200 out of the 1200 or so faculty and staff at SCSU bothered to fill out this very short survey. Saigo has responded that he will be holding "open office hours" for the first time this fall. Somehow methinks that will be a short-lived experiment: 5/6 of the campus has already voted with their mouses that they don't bloody care. The ones that will show up, he won't want to see for very long.