The Core Team sent invitations to participate in the Strategic Directions survey to alumni, students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The survey was online, and the invitations were sent by e-mail. We received 2308 survey responses during the three weeks that the survey was open. Respondents were asked to indicate their primary affiliation with USD, and all but 170 respondents did. The estimated size of each group is as follows:
|Alumni||5784 e-mail invitations opened|
|Undergraduate students||5388 enrolled fall semester|
|Graduate students||2813 enrolled fall semester|
|Staff and administrators||1085 employed full time|
|Faculty||481 employed full time, on phased retirement, or on annual contracts|
|Trustees||32 members on the Board in November|
In most cases, we do not know how many of the e-mail messages were actually received by the intended recipients, so we can only estimate response rates for the groups. Our estimated response rates are as follows:
|Staff and administrators||1085||314||29%|
The response rates were highest for faculty, staff, and administrators. Overall, these groups are probably more invested in strategic planning for USD than students and alumni. The response rate for trustees is underestimated because the e-mail invitation was sent to them late, and some had already responded as members of other groups.
We would have preferred higher response rates, but we were pleased to have received input from 2308 people. We are confident that feedback from people who were interested enough in the topic to respond to the survey gives us a good basis for charting USD's next strategic directions.