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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Survey Policies and Procedures

Survey Policies and Procedures

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE), in cooperation with the offices of the President and Provost, coordinates survey administration at SUNY Potsdam.  Over the past 10 years, the number of students, faculty, and staff conducting surveys has increased significantly.  While surveys are widely recognized as an important means for collecting information, over-surveying and duplication of survey content can lead to poor response rates and the potential for unrepresentative data.  The goal of this coordination is to prevent these issues by monitoring the number and type of surveys that students, faculty, and staff receive each year. 

Those who wish to recruit SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff, or students as participants in a survey or post surveys on campus affiliated sites must submit the completed Survey Approval Form, including a copy of the survey instrument and email to participants, at least two weeks in advance. Information requested in the form includes:

  • Brief summary of the study.
  • Proposed dates for the study.
  • Proposed sample size and frequency of contacting participants.
  • Population to be sampled.
  • Other characteristics of the study which may affect participation.
  • Copy of the survey instrument/email to participants.

This form will then be shared with both the Provost’s and President’s office for approval. Researchers will receive an email with final approval along with an approved set of dates and sample size for the study.  All research conducted at SUNY Potsdam is subject to review by the College’s IRB. Approval of the IRB will be required before survey administration will be arranged by the staff of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

Any questions on the Survey Policy or about planning your survey can be directed to

Please note:

  • Surveys not included in this policy are those that are smaller scale (less than 100 participants), focus groups, polls in a course, evaluations of events, and teaching evaluations.
  • Student Researchers will be limited to a random sample of students and will not be permitted to survey the entire student, faculty, or staff population. 
  • Research by colleagues at other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, provided the research has been reviewed by the Institutional Review Board. If the research request conflicts with on campus research or institutional surveys, the research may be postponed until such a date where it does not conflict with institutional priorities.
  • The OIE periodically participates in institutionally-sponsored surveys.  During the survey administration period for these surveys, OIE will generally not approve other surveys to be administered.
  • SUNY Potsdam does not approve surveys conducted during the last week of classes or finals week unless there is an emergency need for this data.
  • If there are multiple requests for surveys in a certain time period or multiple request for surveys on the same topic, the OIE will generally prioritize those with higher potential to inform institutional decision-making and planning.

Policy Updated July 2020