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May 12, 2003

Survey says … you (pretty much) like us

The surveys have been tallied and, especially for those of us who work on the CSUS Bulletin, the results are encouraging.

Those who responded to our recent survey about the Bulletin cite the Bulletin more than any of 11 choices as one of their top three sources of campus news. Nearly everyone who responded thinks the newsletter is “very” or “somewhat” informative and most said it should continue to be printed weekly.

Those results came from both those who chose to fill out the survey we printed in the Bulletin and online, and those in a randomly selected group of campus employees.

In all, 76 people filled out the survey. Among them were almost half of the 100 people randomly selected to receive it. We received surveys from 41 staff, 28 faculty, two administrators, one student and four people who checked “other.”

The responses to the question about their “three favorite” parts of the Bulletin were all over the map, which didn’t surprise us given the diverse group of people who make up our readership. Faculty and staff, as we’ve found in prior surveys, simply have different interests and want different things from their employee newsletter. As we have before, we’ll try to do some adjusting to make everyone a bit happier.

In the “least favorite” section, “campus and work policies” was a popular (unpopular?) choice. But the truth is that – least favorite or not – such things have to be shared someplace and the newsletter is an obvious choice.

The space we provided for general comments generated a number of interesting responses.

Two respondents suggested the Bulletin could be sent via e-mail. One person suggested the same thing for campus memos. Another suggested a classified ads section, and yet another urged us to publicize all job fairs on campus.

We received many positive comments. They included:

  • “It’s great!”
  • “As a staff member I read the Bulletin every week.”
  • “I read it in full!”
  • “It was difficult to choose my favorite topics or my least favorite topic. I enjoy the Bulletin and find the contents of interest.”
Of course – you knew this was coming – not everyone thinks the Bulletin is wonderful.

One respondent checked the box for “essentially useless” when asked about the Bulletin overall, and two respondents said it should be eliminated.

The most negative responses didn’t come from our randomly selected respondents. When we chose to do a random survey, we assumed we would find people who didn’t read the Bulletin, and that they would let us know it. But the toughest comments came from the survey printed in the Bulletin.

One person said the Bulletin was “Lots of wasted print.” “No imagination!” wrote another respondent. Another wrote that it was “silly” to do summaries of faculty who were recently quoted by the media.

Finally, one professor asked us to capitalize days of the week in the calendar. “It’s hard to teach students to do that when campus publications violate it.” For the record, the lower-case days of the week in the calendar is part of the current design rather than an ongoing error.

Public affairs would like to thank everyone who responded. As usual, we’ll use the results of the survey to make improvements to the Bulletin next year. We’ll also combine the results with results from another survey about the public affairs office as we consider changes to our efforts.

If you have any questions about the survey or public affairs in general, contact us at (916) 278-6156 or visit www.csus.edu/pa.
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu