Surveys Need Employee Input

NMU faculty and staff will be receiving two surveys this month that support major university initiatives: the Northern branding study and the Academic Quality Improvement Program’s (AQIP) action project on improving campus communication and feedback mechanisms.

The branding study survey will be looking for employee perceptions of NMU’s current and future selling points as it relates to recruiting future students and employees.

The branding study will provide the university empirical data on Northern’s perceived strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of distinction across a wide range of stakeholder groups, according to Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration), coordinator of the project on behalf of the NMU Board of Trustees.  “It will tell us what people believe is NMU’s brand promise – the elements that define the NMU education and student experience.  This information will in turn help the university make decision in the future regarding that promise of what is the Northern experience,” said Leach.

Leach said that along with NMU employees, the survey is also being sent to random samples of current and prospective students and parents, community members, alumni and donors, as well as K-12 guidance counselors and teachers. 

Stamats, a nationally recognized higher education marketing and research firm, is doing the branding study for Northern and will handle the survey distribution and collection of the data.

The survey for the AQIP action project will ask employees for their perceptions of current campus communication, departmental communication, current feedback mechanisms and potential communication tools and methods. 

Northern’s Master of Business Administration BUS 500 course is using the survey as an academic service learning project.  In addition to the survey, class members will hold small-group focus discussions with a cross-section of campus employees.

“We’re pleased that Dr. Claudia Hart’s MBA class is assisting with this portion of our action project,” said Sandi Poindexter (Business), NMU’s AQIP coordinator.  “Ultimately, the goal of the overall project is that we’ll identify ways to improve communication up and down the lines of authority as well as put into place feedback mechanisms that Northern employees are comfortable using in a professional manner.  We encourage all NMU employees to complete the survey when they receive it.”

For more information on the AQIP action project, go to



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Updated: September 30, 2011

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