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Proposal 8-16

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 8-16
(Voting Units: Full Senate) 

“Amending Senate Procedure 507.1.1, Procedure to Enhance Confidentiality and Anonymity in Department Chairs/School Deans Review Surveys and Balloting”

PDF version of Proposal 8-16

Proposal

The Senate proposes making the following changes to Senate Procedure 507.1.1, Procedure to Enhance Confidentiality and Anonymity in Department Chairs/School Deans Review Surveys and Balloting:

1.  Editorial changes to improve the language of the procedure; and

2.  Modifying the text on the confidentiality of the survey and the balloting process to enhance its integrity. The edited text reads as:

“Several survey tools are available; however, since the intent of this procedure is to improve the process, no particular survey tool is recommended. Hence, the University Senate’s Administrative Policy Committee should select the best available survey tool with the advice of experts in Michigan Tech’s information services. All efforts should be made to ensure the anonymity of the respondents. For example, the survey shall not record the computer identity (name, MAC address, IP address, etc.) of the respondents.”

Appendix

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Procedure to Enhance Confidentiality and Anonymity in Department Chairs/School Deans Review Surveys and Balloting

Senate Procedures 507.1.1

I. Background

This procedure formalizes the steps for the conduct of survey and reappointment ballot during a department chair/school dean review process. The procedure is designed to enhance the security, confidentiality, and anonymity of the review process.

The procedure requires the unit’s review committee to give its survey instruments and its list of constituents in electronic form to the University Senate’s administrative assistant, who will then use a secure, online survey tool to conduct the electronic ballot for the unit, and then deliver the results back to the review committee.

Several survey tools are available; however, since the intent of this procedure is to improve the process, no particular survey tool is recommended. Hence, the University Senate’s Administrative Policy Committee should select the best available survey tool with the advice of experts in Michigan Tech’s information services. All efforts should be made to ensure the anonymity of the respondents. For example, the survey shall not record the computer identity (name, MAC address, IP address, etc.) of the respondents. 

II.  Procedure for Survey Instrument 

1. The unit review committee will design the survey instrument and prepares the unit constituents’ email address list in electronic form. If faculty and staff are to be counted separately then two lists, one for the faculty and another for the staff must be submitted. The unit review committee will also submit the email list of all the members of the unit review committee, identifying its chair and the external member. The survey instruments for faculty and staff can be different (Senate Procedure 506.1.1).

2. The unit review committee will submit the constituent email list and survey instrument to the Senate administrative assistant at least ten working days before the conduct of the survey.

3. The Senate administrative assistant will design the survey instrument following the design intent of the unit’s review committee. Comments for each question will be separated from the scaled responses and stored in a bin for that question.

4. Within five working days from the submission date, the Senate administrative assistant will send a copy of the survey instrument to all members of the unit’s review committee for final approval. The chair of the unit’s review committee will inform the Senate administrative assistant of any changes to the survey instrument and will specify the start date for the survey.

5. The Senate administrative assistant will send eligible constituent an email message with a link to the online survey, and the survey will remain open for five working days.

6. The Senate administrative assistant will send the results of the survey to the chair of the unit’s review committee and the external member of the committee. The two members will inform the Senate administrative assistant of receipt of the results, after which the administrative assistant will purge all responses from the online survey tool within five working days. The Senate administrative assistant will update the survey instrument posted on the Senate website for future use by the Michigan Tech community. 

III.  Procedure for the Reappointment Ballot 

1. The chair of the unit’s review committee will notify the Senate administrative assistant to conduct the ballot for reappointment via the online survey tool.

2. The Senate administrative assistant will conduct the ballot within two working days of the notification. The balloting will remain open for five working days.

3. As per Senate Procedure 506.1.1, the ballot will read as follows:

(Name of department chair/school dean) should be reappointed or continue as the chair of the department/school:

Yes —  No —  Abstain —

4. The senate administrative assistant will email the results to the chair and the external member of the committee within two working days from the conclusion of the survey. The chair of the review committee will inform the senate administrative assistant of receipt of the results, after which the administrative assistant will purge all responses from the online survey tool. The result should record the number of electronic ballots sent, the number of votes received, and the breakdown of the number of votes received (Yes, No, and Abstain). 

IV.  Entry Page of Survey/Ballot 

The entry page for the survey/ballot should read as follows:

“This survey/ballot is being conducted by the University Senate on behalf of [department/school name] in review of Professor [administrator name]. No identifying information (computer name, user name, computer IP or MAC addresses, etc.) is stored. All comments are stored in a common bin; hence, no pattern can be discerned from your responses. At the end of survey/ballot, the results will be sent to the unit review committee of your [department/school], and all survey records will be purged.”

[Insertion of any additional information requested by the unit review committee]

Introduced to Senate:  4 November 2015
Approved by Senate:  18 November 2015
Disapproved by Administration (offered editorial changes):  01 February 2016
Administration offered new recommendations:  21 March 2016
Motion submitted by Saeid Nooshabadi:  23 March 2016
Revised Response from Administration:  25 March 2016
Motion was tabled:  06 April 2016
New recommendations offered by Administration was tabled:  06 April 2016
Senate approved new recommendations:  20 April 2016