Bellarmine's Official Policy on Survey Administration:

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness shall coordinate all surveys of Bellarmine community members. IR&E shall have primary responsibility for administering surveys or evaluations where the purpose is academic or operational assessment, accreditation, compliance, program evaluation, or other research connected to the University’s institutional effectiveness efforts. Survey sponsors shall be responsible for demonstrating the extent to which collected feedback leads to meaningful and quality continuous improvement practices.



Surveys and evaluations are important tools for educational measurement. Researchers use these methods to assess needs, evaluate processes, and explain outcomes. The purposeful collection of data through survey instruments is an essential part of the continuous improvement cycle through which universities and colleges define and monitor institutional effectiveness. At Bellarmine University, staff and faculty use survey data to inform evidence-based decisions. Survey and evaluation data enhance the University’s ability to achieve and maintain institutional effectiveness, which is a critical component of accreditation and compliance. These data also allow campus leaders to establish benchmarks and evaluate progress toward strategic goals.

Policy Rationale

Changes in the culture of higher education accountability and the availability of cost-effective, web-based questionnaire technology have led to an increase in survey and evaluation activity at Bellarmine. Coordination between campus stakeholders will reduce excessive surveying of the same or similar populations, leading to higher response rates. Well-developed research questions and distinct themes will encourage greater engagement by students, employees, and alumni when survey collection periods happen to overlap. Linking collected feedback to meaningful and high quality assessment practices will enhance Bellarmine’s continuous improvement efforts.

Policy Purpose

  1. Prevent survey fatigue in specific populations;
  2. Prevent redundant and/or overlapping surveys;
  3. Promote effective survey design and research methodology;
  4. Create training opportunities for the community on survey and evaluation best practices;
  5. Centralize key aspects involving the administration of assessment, accreditation, and compliance-related surveys and evaluations;
  6. Safeguard the security of collected data and the confidentiality of respondents; and
  7. Support data-informed decision making by ensuring that the community uses survey and evaluation data in alignment with BU's holistic culture of continuous improvement and institutional effectiveness.

Revision History

January 22, 2021 Policy approved by Bellarmine Cabinet
March 9, 2020 Policy approved by Institutional Effectiveness Committee
February 10, 2020 Further discussion of draft policy at subsequent IEC meeting
January 13, 2020 Latest draft policy shared with Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC)
March 4, 2019 Revisions based on feedback from AALT shared via email
February 14, 2019 Initial draft policy shared with Academic Affairs Leadership Team (AALT)