University Survey Identifies Top Areas of Improvement

Posted: February 5, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Edgerly

Every two years, Mason’s University Process Improvement Council (UPIC) collects information from faculty and staff on the university’s performance in the areas of student support; university facilities; technology; research; faculty and staff support; financial services and support; university relations and development; and other support services including library, police, legal and safety.

The latest survey was sent to 3,232 faculty and staff members and had a 35 percent response rate.

“We believe the UPIC Processes/Services Survey is a very valuable tool to help identify specific situations where performance improvement is needed,” says Dave Harr, chair of UPIC. “By comparing the survey from year to year we are able to measure whether action plans were implemented and recognized as having changed things for the better.”

Respondents chose from among four options (excellent, satisfactory, unsatisfactory and not applicable) that expressed their opinions on the university’s performance of 96 services or processes. The majority of the service ratings (87 percent) fell into the first two positive categories. This year, for the first time, participants were allowed to submit comments, which was helpful to the service providers.

The top areas of improvement since the last survey were:

Processing the payroll (timeliness and accuracy)

Facilitating student registrations online

Advising and counseling on legal issues

Providing applications software training

Scheduling space for events

Maintaining accurate student records

Responding to requests for assistance from University Police

Coordinating copyright for course material

Providing and maintaining an e-mail system

Welcoming and integrating students and parents to Mason

“I am pleased with how the university has progressed since the survey was last conducted,” says Maurice Scherrens, senior vice president. “We listened to faculty and staff about where they felt changes were not only needed but also what was important to the continued success of Mason. Based on the results of the survey we have made improvements in many areas, but there continues to be other areas where we can still get better.”

UPIC’s mission is to improve administrative and operational policies and procedures. Membership comprises representatives from Mason’s administrative and academic support areas.

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