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UPDATE: Concerns over faculty survey persist – Letter from Provost Jerry Baldasty

On Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, the Provost wrote to faculty about a survey that generated concerns among faculty members. (See: Letter from Provost Jerry Baldasty, January 22) The administration got involved because faculty were asking how the research firm got their contact information, and whether the administration was at all connected to the survey.

On Saturday, January 23, the organizing committee of Faculty Forward acknowledged that the survey had been “commissioned by Faculty Forward,” “was not done well,” and “has been stopped.” While this was a welcome development, it is unclear whether the range of concerns expressed from faculty members about the survey has been fully addressed.

In particular, we continue to hear concerns about how survey recipients were selected, the manner in which they were solicited, how their contact information was obtained, and what if any steps were taken to ensure responses were collected anonymously (especially given the existence of individual PIN numbers on the surveys, and a reminder email that included the promise of a being entered in a gift card raffle for responding). The resulting confusion and concerns over lack of transparency has also added to some frustrations, including the fact that the withdrawal of the survey was not sent to all who had received the survey.

Due to prohibitions on taking certain actions that might be deemed unfair labor practices, the administration is not able to undertake a fuller examination of many of these issues at this time.  We hope there is more information forthcoming voluntarily.  It remains our goal to have a fully transparent discussion of these important issues, without any hiding behind unaccountable entities. 

If you have additional concerns, please feel free to write: uwpres@uw.edu.