This KU Climate Study strives to provide all respondents with confidentiality through use of an experienced outside consultant, Rankin & Associates, as well as a sophisticated and secure survey process. Students, staff, faculty and administrators at KU will never see raw data or who provided which responses.
To get the most informative report, it is important that as many students, faculty, staff and affiliate employees as possible participate in the survey. Strong participation across the institution also provides greater confidentiality protection.
What is the level of confidentiality?
Rankin & Associates offers this Statement of Confidentiality for Participation at the start of the survey:
“In the event of any publication or presentation resulting from the assessment, no personally identifiable information will be shared. Your confidentiality in participating will be kept to the degree permitted by the technology used (e.g., IP addresses will be stripped when the survey is submitted). The survey is run on a firewalled web server with forced 256-bit SSL security. In addition, the external consultant (Rankin & Associates) will not report any group data for groups of fewer than 5 individuals that may be small enough to compromise confidentiality. Instead, Rankin & Associates will combine the groups to eliminate any potential for demographic information to be identifiable. Please also remember that you do not have to answer any question or questions about which you are uncomfortable. The survey has been approved by the KU Institutional Review Board.”
Anonymity for Comments
Rankin & Associates offers this Statement of Anonymity for Comments at the start of the survey:
"Upon submission, all comments from participants will be de-identified to make those comments anonymous. Thus, participant comments will not be attributable to their author. However, depending on what you say, others who know you may be able to attribute certain comments to you. In instances where certain comments might be attributable to an individual, Rankin & Associates will make every effort to de-identify those comments or will remove the comments from the analyses. The anonymous comments will be analyzed using content analysis. In order to give “voice” to the quantitative data, some anonymous comments may be quoted in publications related to this survey."
All qualitative responses are aggregated and open-ended responses will be reviewed using standard methods of thematic analyses. As such, similar comments across all respondents in a single question are read and coded to discern an overall theme for that particular question. Qualitative comments are not tied to individual respondents and potentially identifiable content or information is removed prior to being offered within the final report. Additionally, comments are not analyzed by college, division, or unit.
To conduct this portion of the project Rankin & Associates sought and achieved approval from KU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which has as a goal, to protect the rights of human research subjects.
Servers where the survey is located and data are collected are not associated with the University of Kansas or under its control. They are, instead, controlled and managed by Rankin & Associates Consultant.
Respondents must answer at least 50% of the questions for their responses to be included in the final analysis.