Additional Information


Case 58. "Informal" Surveys for Policy and Planning
that "Trigger" Research Projects


There are many committees at State University. In the attempt to gather relevant information to proceed with their various charges, many of the committees decide to send out short, informal surveys to faculty, staff or students to get a sense of what they think. These surveys appear in the campus mailboxes of target population. Professor Timothy Martindale is on one of these Committees that has taken up the issue of the perceptions of and responses of faculty to tenure reviews. The committee sent surveys to all faculty who received tenure in the last academic year. At some point, in looking over the returned surveys, Professor Martindale decides that the findings are both important and useful for understanding the current crisis of higher education. He proceeds to write up and article, based on these data, for one of the higher education journals.


  1. Are these surveys subject to review by human subjects committees?
  2. Do these procedures sufficiently protect human subjects?

Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.