Editor's Note: The following survey was a class project of senior students in the Department of Communication at Auburn University. The methodology and findings of the survey team are presented here. Where further explanation or response is needed, those remarks are mine. All other remarks are those of the survey team. -- Roy Summerford, senior editor, AU News Bureau and editor, AU Report







Editor's Note: To clarify: The goals were: 1.) To gain information about faculty and staff use of and attitudes about campus communication in general. 2.) To gain information to use in setting priorities for news coverage, production and design of the AU Report.


Editor's Note: Since this study dealt with on-campus audiences only, Extension employees on campus were included. ACES county staffs were not. The telephone directory was included because it contains a printout of all University employees, excluding AUM employees, as of September 2000. The students describe a stratified sampling technique that is widely used in survey research.


Editor's Note: The previous survey was actually conducted in the fall of 1996 and published in the spring of 1997. Likert Scales were used for measurement.






Editor's Note: Due to tight time constraints, the students' report included some typos and misspellings that they would likely have corrected if they had more time. The word "preformed" in the first sentence above should, of course, be "performed." Also, my letter merely informed those in the sample that the survey was coming. There was no need to "warn" them. The non-response rate was actually quite good when temporary and parttime employees are factored out.




Editor's Note: Future studies will ask respondents to rank their responses. This will provide information on the mix of media as well as the primary sources.


Editor's Note: Re: "Greatest Strength": The results do not provide enough information to infer that some faculty and staff do not feel they receive accurate information from the AU Report -- that conclusion, however, can be drawn from the following question. Accuracy, however, was cited by the fewest people as a weakness. Noteworthy is that accuracy and relevance were cited by the most people as the most important characteristics when receiving campus news and the greatest strengths of the AU Report. This was one of the key findings of the study. A finding otherwise would have indicated a disconnect between the newsletter and its audience. Greater use of e-mail and more frequent web listings will be investigated as means to address the timeliness issue, cited below as the greatest weakness of the bi-weekly AU Report.


Editor's Note: In most of the findings, the two degrees of agreement or disagreement can be added together to get a clearer picture of whether the respondents agree or disagree with the question. Questions in which a significant number cite either strongly disgree or strong agree are also important. In some cases, a large number listing themselves as neutral can also provide insight.







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