Survey for SACS, campus priorities

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17 percent of recipients have responded; university hopes to double that number

Louis Hannegan, Managing Editor

The University of Dallas administration is currently soliciting feedback from students on a variety of aspects of life at UD, as another step in the ongoing process to renew accreditation for 2014 and a way to develop priorities for campus improvements.

The feedback, sought through an online survey sent out in an email last week, touches on student satisfaction with each of the university’s physical resources and services, from the library’s book collection and the fitness center facilities to Campus Ministry and Student Life.

Photos by Rebecca RosenAre  you satisfied with the library’s resources? Does the gym meet your needs as well as it does those of sophomore Jack Friddle (above)? The survey aims to gather student input on these and other questions about campus facilities and services.
Photos by Rebecca Rosen
Are you satisfied with the library’s resources? Does the gym meet your needs as well as it does those of sophomore Jack Friddle (above)? The survey aims to gather student input on these and other questions about campus facilities and services.

“The library resources (books, electronic databases, etc.) meet my instructional needs,” “The speed of accessing the Internet meets my instructional needs,” and “The athletic facilities meet my needs for exercise and recreation” are among the statements with which students are asked to express their level of agreement or disagreement.

The university will compile these responses into a “compliance report” and submit that report in September to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional agency that accredits UD. The report details to what extent the university is meeting student needs as determined by SACS and the U.S. Department of Education.

Compiling and submitting this report is one of several steps that UD aims to complete in the coming months as part of its decennial process to renew its SACS accreditation.

“I certainly expect that we will be reaccredited, but it is important we do all the work necessary for that to happen, such as getting survey results from students,” Dean of Constantin College Dr. Charles Eaker said in an interview.

Eaker sought to point out the significance of earning reaccreditation.

“All universities to receive federal funding have to be accredited by a regional accrediting agency,” Eaker said.

The vast majority of UD students receive some sort of federal financial aid.

Transferring credits from one school to another also requires that each institution be accredited.

Sophomore Jack Friddle pumping iron in the school gym.
Sophomore Jack Friddle pumping iron in the school gym.

“Even more important than that [transferring credits], you as a student want to go to an accredited school,” Eaker said.

In addition to forming the basis of the compliance report, the survey results will also play a role in shaping university priorities.

“The answers to the questions will help us develop priorities for making improvements to student life programs and campus facilities,” Eaker said, highlighting how the questions aim to come down to brass tacks in considering the quality of campus facilities and services rather than hovering in generalities.

As of Friday, 428 students—a mere 17 percent of recipients—had completed the survey, Eaker said. The survey link was sent to about 2,500 students. The lion’s share of links has gone unopened.IMG_5849

“I am pleased at the initial numbers and hoping we can double the number of complete surveys next week,” Eaker said, noting that a second email with the survey link will be sent out soon.

“I really appreciate students taking the time to complete the surveys,” Eaker said. “Having a good response rate will be viewed favorably by SACS.”

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