The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 16-14
(Voting Units:  Full Senate)




The review processes of department chairs, and school deans require conducting a survey and a vote on reappointment. Many academic units use paper survey instruments and paper ballots. The review committees usually use double envelopes to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of the respondents. Nevertheless a perception exists that the process is not sufficiently anonymous and confidential, causing some respondents not to participate in the process. Furthermore, if a constituent is on travel or leave, then they have they must either inform a designated person of their views or not participate in the process at all. Lack of participation is detrimental to the concept of shared governance. The procedure described in this proposal significantly improves the anonymity and confidentiality of the survey respondent.


The proposed procedure does not change the authority vested in the review committees of the academic units. It is simply a mechanism that replaces paper ballots, double envelopes, and hand counting of the survey result. The essence of the procedure is that the review committees will give their survey instruments and the list of constituents in electronic form to the Senate Administrative Assistant, who will then put it into the online software  Survey Monkey ( for the units and then deliver the results back to the review committee. Survey Monkey is an application that resides on servers external to Michigan Tech and thus should be more reassuring to the Michigan Tech community with respect to the anonymity and confidentiality of the process. Furthermore, by using a person not within the unit, any personal knowledge that could be used in identifying a respondent by the pattern of reply is nullified.


The timing, the process, and other details form the steps of the proposed procedure.


Procedure for survey instrument

1. The unit's review committee will create the survey instrument and the constituent’s e-mail address list in electronic forms that can be used for cut and paste by the Senate Administrative Assistant (SAA). If faculty and staff are to be counted separately then a list for faculty and another for the staff must be submitted. The review committee will also submit an e-mail list of all the members of the review committee identifying the chair and the external member of the committee. The survey instruments for faculty and staff can be different.


2. The review committee will submit the required material to SAA at least 10 working days before the launch of the survey date.


3. SAA will create the survey instrument on Survey Monkey. Comments for each question will be separated from the scaled responses and stored in common bins per question.


4. SAA will send a copy of the survey instrument to all members of the review committee for a check within 5 working days from the submission date. The Chair of the review committee will inform SAA if the instrument is acceptable and the start date to launch the survey.


5. Survey will be conducted for 5 working days.  Each person will receive an email with a link that they select to be allowed to fill in the survey.  The survey will be designed to not save the IP address of the respondents.


6. SAA will send the results of the survey to the chair of the review committee and the external member of the committee. The two members will inform SAA of receipt of the results and inform SAA to clear all responses from Survey Monkey within 5 working days. SAA will update the survey instrument posted on the Senate website for future use by Michigan Tech community.


Procedure for reappointment ballot


1. The chair of the review committee will inform SAA to launch the ballot for reappointment via Survey Monkey.


2. SAA will launch the ballot within two working day of being informed. The ballot will be conducted for five working days.


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


(Name of department chair/school dean) should be reappointed or continue as the Chair of the Department / Dean of School


Yes---------------     No-------------------                       No Opinion---------


4. SAA will e-mail 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 SAA of receipt of the results and to clear all responses from the Survey Monkey.



Introduced to Senate: 22 January 2014