By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Initial results for the 2005-06 Quality of Life survey taken by faculty and staff reflect an overall improvement in the quality of life for employees at the university and their commitment to its mission, said Dr. Dana Hood, associate professor of education and co-chair of the Quality of Life Committee, in an e-mail.
Hood said the 55 percent response rate, with 455 faculty and staff out of 801, was excellent, especially considering it is the second year of the survey. Last year’s response rate was 61 percent.
Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, implemented the Quality of Life Committee in the fall of 2004 after budget cuts eliminated pay raises for faculty and staff.
Of those who responded to this year’s survey, senior administrators made up 3 percent, while exempt staff (monthly paid) were 36 percent, non-exempt staff (hourly paid) were 28 percent and faculty were 34 percent.
“I believe it demonstrates an overall trust in the process and a belief that the committee and the administration truly want to hear from the faculty and staff,” Hood said.
Because of last year’s survey results, the university made changes during the past year to help boost faculty and staff morale. The school made the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day vacation time, and faculty and staff no longer pay a fee to use the South Exercise Room and the Powell Fitness Center.
Two new questions on this year’s survey were, “As a result of the changes implemented since the last survey, I believe that the overall quality of my work environment at ACU is improved,” and “The changes recommended by the Quality of Life Task Force improved the morale at ACU.”
Hood said the responses to the two questions were overwhelmingly positive, with almost 90 percent of those responded answering affirmatively.
“This was very encouraging and challenges us to continue seeking ways to make our staff and faculty valued and appreciated,” she said.
The survey results generally represent a positive outlook by faculty and staff on their jobs and work environment, though some questions had mixed responses, especially when they were concerned with salary, workload and time management.
For instance, on the question “I feel my workload is appropriate,” 15 percent strongly agree, 32 percent moderately agree, 20 percent slightly agree, 13 percent slightly disagree, 10 percent moderately disagree, and 10 percent strongly disagreed.
On the question “I have more work to do than I am able to do well,” 60 percent strongly agree, 17 percent moderately agree, 26 percent slightly agree, 17 percent slightly disagree, 14 percent moderately agree, and 11 percent strongly disagree.
In addition to varied opinions on workload, questions pertaining to salary brought differing responses. “Considering my capabilities, I believe my pay is satisfactory,” had 6 percent strongly agree, 20 percent moderately agree, 17 percent slightly agree, 13 percent slightly disagree, 20 percent moderately disagree, and 24 percent strongly disagree.
“I would consider leaving ACU if a comparable job at the same level or a slightly higher pay level was available in another organization” had 10 percent strongly agree, 18 percent moderately agree, 19 percent slightly agree, 20 percent slightly disagree, 17 percent moderately disagree and 16 percent strongly disagree.
Fifty-four percent of responders fell into the agree categories for “Job-related stress significantly affects my ability to enjoy my work at ACU,” and 47 percent agreed in some way to “Senior administrators are unapproachable.”
Hood said the Quality of Life committee is carefully examining the survey results and will make recommendations to Money, adding that she anticipates he will discuss these recommendations at a faculty and staff meeting in late April.