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Roles & Policies

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Roles & Policies

The SVSU Office of Institutional Research is dedicated to offering excellent service and support to the University by providing statistical reports to external and internal constituencies.  With respect to external reporting, the OIR regularly makes timely responses to legally mandated government surveys and to college guide publications.  The OIR also produces standard statistical reports for university and external constituencies and honors special internal or intra-campus ad hoc requests for customized data reports for a variety of university offices.  In addition, on request, the OIR assists university personnel with survey research projects and coordinates with key stakeholders to assist in strategic planning and program assessment.  In these activities, the SVSU OIR must adhere to the following policies in the interest of standard research ethics and best practices in IR office procedure.

  • The SVSU OIR adheres to university policy with respect to human-subjects research.  All requests made to the OIR for research support for projects that involve human subjects, including survey work, must include advance written verification by the SVSU Institutional Review Board to ensure the projects meet prevailing ethical and legal standards.

    For student research projects (including surveys):

    • Full-time and adjunct instructors assigning their students to conduct research projects and/or surveys of members of the SVSU community, such as the student body, the ListServe of full-time and/or part-time faculty, and/or staff, should first notify in writing the Academic Dean’s Office.  The Dean’s Office must make sure that the project is referred to the SVSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review and approval and then notify the Provost’s Office in writing.  The instructor of the course must seek these authorizations for students to conduct research projects and/or surveys, not the student(s). This authorization process must be complete with the approvals of the Dean’s Office, IRB and the Provost’s Office before the research project and/or survey is actually implemented. 
    • If the proposed research project and/or survey is to be conducted by an SVSU student and is not part of any particular course, then the student must work under the supervision of a full-time SVSU faculty or staff member and this employee would need to follow the same authorization process outlined above. If the staff member is not in Academic Affairs, then the IRB referral must be facilitated by the supervisor of that staff member’s office along with the written notification of the Provost’s Office.
    • The same authorization process applies to hard copy research projects, surveys, and other research designs in which the respondents/subjects are members of the SVSU community.
    • All research projects and surveys are considered human subjects research and must first be reviewed and approved in writing by the SVSU Institutional Review Board before any respondents are surveyed.  In addition, all research projects and surveys must adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • On request, the Office of Institutional Research provides assistance with research projects and surveys after the authorization process has been completed. Such assistance may include collaborations on design and methodology, sampling of respondents, data analyses, and data presentation. 
  • The OIR abides by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which protects the privacy of individual student educational records.
  • The OIR renders assistance to administrators, faculty, and staff with a variety of research projects and surveys; however, the office's role is mainly supportive.
  • The OIR receives frequent ad hoc requests for customized data reports from internal and external constituents. The OIR will attempt to fulfill these requests in a timely manner; however, the timeline for report delivery depends on when the request is made during the semester and the volume of requests in the OIR queue.
    • Faculty members that would like to request contact information on students by major or minor should confer with the department chair.
  • On request, the OIR provides guidance on conducting research to specific university offices.

Please note: In the first several weeks of a semester, the OIR places priority on the generation of a series of standardized official reports, including enrollment, retention, graduation, first majors, and credit hours. During these times, all special or ad hoc requests are temporarily placed on hold.