Editor's Note: The following survey was a class project of senior
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
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
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.