2018 Employee Engagement Survey

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did we conduct this survey?

As part of DU IMPACT 2025, the University aims to strengthen engagement and to be an exemplary employer. This survey is one of several methods to gather information, and to give leaders and teams the information to think holistically about strengths and challenges. The data from this pilot-year survey will provide a baseline for measuring improvement. It also allows us to compare DU to peer institutions.

Who participated in the survey?

All faculty, adjunct faculty and benefitted staff were invited to participate. The questionnaire was offered in English and in Spanish, and sessions were held to ensure access for second- and third-shift employees. A total of 1,650 employees — 54 percent of all faculty (including adjunct members), staff (exempt, non-exempt and union) and administration — completed the survey.

How was the survey administered?

Our survey partner, ModernThink, LLC, conducted the survey online, through an email link sent to all members of the DU community. Survey participation was encouraged but completely voluntary. The University worked to ensure that all members of the community were aware of the survey and had access to participate. Email reminders were sent throughout the two- week period.

Are the responses confidential? And was participation (or not) confidential?

Absolutely. Survey participation and responses were (and continue to be) held in the strictest confidence by ModernThink. No one at the University can tie individual participants to their responses or to their departments. To protect confidentiality, departmental reports were only provided to areas with five or more employees.

How were open-ended question responses handled?

ModernThink provided verbatim responses, as well as a summary of common themes. No verbatim comments or themes were traceable back to the individuals who provided them.

How were the results shared with the DU community?

The results were first shared with the Chancellor and Provost, and with all Vice Chancellors and Deans. Presentations also were made to University Council, Staff Advisory Council, Women's Leadership Council and the Faculty Senate. During October and November 2018, HRIC shared overall data and common themes, through a series of Town Hall meetings open to the entire community. For more specific discussions, members of the HRIC staff met with 33 divisions and departments, to share results, discuss opportunities for growth, and create measurable action plans. The slides presented at the Town Hall events are here.  

How did we do?

Of the 17 dimensions, DU’s highest scores were associated with Job Satisfaction/Support and the Chancellor's Office — both 70 percent positive — followed by Facilities, Supervisors/ Department Chairs and Institutional Pride — all earning 69 percent positive scores. The lowest scores were associated with Communication — 51 percent positive — and Faculty, Admin & Staff Relations — 49 percent positive. The overall results can be found here. The results of the separate benefits survey can be found here.

How does DU compare to other schools?

At this time, we don’t have enough data to compare DU to its direct peer institutions. However, we can compare DU to the average among the "Honor Roll" schools in the Great Colleges to Work For program. By looking at those top employers, we can better understand our scores and our aspirations, as we continue on our journey to fulfill the promises of DU IMPACT 2025.

When will we conduct the next survey?

As planned, we will conduct the next survey in May 2020. Two years is the recommended interval for follow up, as it allows institutions and divisions enough time to process the data, address priority areas, and implement recommendations.

How does this survey relate to other surveys conducted on campus?

The Office of Institutional Research is reviewing the University’s overall survey activity, and will create a comprehensive strategy and schedule for the future. Meanwhile, to extend what was learned from faculty through the comprehensive 2018 engagement survey, the Faculty Senate launched a separate survey — the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) — which studies the work lives of faculty with a focus on actionable data to support academic administrators. Results are currently being reviewed and processed.

Between now and the next survey, how will we know we are making progress?

Over the past year, the University has sponsored many initiatives to improve the areas of greatest need and potential. For example, DU’s Community + Values Initiative, which was launched in May 2019, is engaging the community in meaningful conversations about community and identity. The Bridge newsletter is fostering improved campus-wide communication. And divisions and departments — from Shared Services and University Advancement to the Graduate School of Social Work and the Morgridge College of Education — have been creating and implementing their own plans to improve upon their specific results. Examples of recent progress can be found here.