Frequently Asked Questions

 

2019 Engagement Survey Process and Content

2019: Taking the Survey

Confidentiality

 

2019 Engagement Survey Process and Content

Why is UAB conducting a survey of its faculty and staff?
Who was involved in decisions relating to the survey?
How was the survey timeline decided?
Who will administer the survey?
What areas will the survey focus on?
Why is my participation important?
Is my participation in this survey optional?
Once all the results are received, what's next?
How often will this type of survey occur?
Who can I contact with additional questions about the survey?

 


Why is UAB launching an engagement survey process for faculty and staff?

UAB is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that attracts and retains world-class faculty and staff. Gathering faculty and staff perspectives on their work experiences and the university’s functioning helps leadership understand what works and what needs to be improved. The 2019 Campus Engagement Survey also will help inform UAB's institutionwide strategic planning process.

Improvement occurs when we openly solicit candid and confidential feedback from all critical stakeholders and act upon this feedback. Disciplined follow-up on the survey findings help us continue to drive our institution to future success.

The 2017 Campus Engagement Survey provided a starting point (or baseline) for future input from staff and faculty on university priorities and needs. The feedback opportunities provided by the survey will be in the form of a continuous process, not a singular event. The Campus Engagement Survey conducted in 2019 will provide comparative data to help measure our progress.


Who was involved in decisions relating to the survey?

The UAB Campus Engagement Survey is a joint initiative of the Office of the President, the Office of Financial Affairs and Administration, and the Office of the Provost. A Steering Committee (see membership) with representation from the Faculty Senate and Staff Council was charged with directing the survey process.


How was the survey timeline decided?
The survey is timed to enable ModernThink to process responses and provide UAB with results that can be presented in spring, before the semester ends.


Who will administer the survey?
ModernThink LLC. ModernThink is a nationally recognized organization specializing in surveys of this kind for higher education. The higher education benchmark data that ModernThink provides gives our institution valuable insight into how we compare to other schools across the nation.


What areas will the survey focus on?
The survey statements solicited feedback on a broad range of topics, focused around the following themes:

  • Job Satisfaction/Support
  • Shared Governance
  • Teaching Environment
  • Pride
  • Professional Development
  • Supervisor/Department Chairs
  • Compensation, Benefits & Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Leadership
  • Facilities
  • Faculty, Administration & Staff Relations
  • Policies, Resources & Efficiency
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Fairness
  • Respect & Appreciation

In addition to the 60 core survey statements, the Survey Committee included several additional statements that focus on institution-specific initiatives, with input from focus groups and informational sessions conducted prior to the 2017 survey. The survey also includes a series of questions about UAB benefits. The 2019 survey questions are unchanged from 2017.

 

Why is my participation in these Campus Engagement Surveys important?

First, as a UAB faculty or staff member, your voice matters. Second, higher response rates give a more accurate picture of the university and its individual departments. This is a significant opportunity for you to share your ideas, opinions, and solutions by participating in both the survey and the action planning that will follow.

 

Is my participation in the Campus Engagement Surveys optional?

Yes, participation is completely voluntary.

  

Once all the results are received, what's next?

The President, Expanded Cabinet and Steering committee are committed to gathering feedback, identifying priority areas of action, sharing the findings with you and developing follow-up plans to address them.

 

How often will this type of survey occur?

UAB is committed to continuing this process every two to three years so that we can use comparative data to chart our progress.

 

Who can I contact with additional questions about the survey?

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the survey and/or the survey process, please do not hesitate to contact Susan Coan at (205) 934-3359 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Liz Flood, UAB's Project Manager at ModernThink, at (888) 684-4658 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

2019: Taking the Survey

How do I take the survey?
How much time will it take to complete the survey? What is the format?
Who is eligible to participate in the survey?
Do I have to complete the survey on my own time?
What if I don't have regular access to a computer?
Once I start the survey, can I access it again?
What if I have problems accessing the survey site?
Are there incentives for taking the survey?

 

How do I take the survey?

All faculty and all full-and part-time employees of UAB’s Workgroup A will be invited via email to take the survey, hosted on ModernThink’s secure website. The survey will be available for two weeks; that window may be extended depending on the response rate. You will be asked to enter a username and password, which will be provided in an e-mail invitation sent to you directly by ModernThink. You may take the survey at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from work or from home. Internet access is required. Faculty or staff taking the survey can use the same workstation, as long as each person properly logs on and off the computer.


How much time will it take to complete the survey? What is the format?
The online survey should take approximately 18-22 minutes to complete. If you are unable to complete the survey after you begin, you will have the option to save your responses and access them later.


The survey consists of statements that faculty and staff respond to using a five-point agreement scale (Strongly Agree, Agree, Sometimes Agree/Sometimes Disagree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Additionally, there is a Not Applicable response option. The survey instrument also includes a benefits satisfaction component and open-ended questions. There are several demographic questions at the end of the survey (Gender, Age, etc). Respondents are encouraged to provide responses; however you have the option of skipping any of the demographic questions and if you have concerns regarding the anonymity of your responses. (See also “Are my survey responses confidential?” below.)

 

Who is eligible to participate in the survey?

The UAB Campus Engagement Survey will be sent to UAB faculty and all full-and part-time employees of UAB’s Workgroup A, including adjuncts, part-time staff and postdocs. 

 

Do I have to complete the survey on my own time?
No. Completing this UAB Campus Engagement Survey is an important business function of UAB. Time spent completing the survey, and participating in focus groups, may be considered work time. No UAB faculty or staff member should be charged personal time for completing the survey.


What if I don't have regular access to a computer?
Faculty or staff members who don't have regular access to a computer may use the computer lab in Medical Towers, Room 418, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, during the survey window from Jan. 29-Feb. 12. Individuals driving to Medical Towers to take the survey should park in the building's parking deck. Parking tickets will be validated. Medical Towers is located at 1717 11th Ave. South (click here to get directions to Medical Towers on the UAB Map). 

 

Once I start the survey, can I access it again?

Your answers will be stored each time you select the SAVE & CONTINUE button at the bottom of a survey page. So if you get interrupted you can come back to the survey. You will need to log on to the ModernThink survey site to re-access the survey. To protect your confidentiality, you will not be able to access the survey after you click the SUBMIT button on the final page of the survey.

 

What if I have problems accessing the survey site?

For technical questions or problems with the survey site please contact ModernThink at (888) 684-4658 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., M-F 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST. After hours, leave a message and your call will be returned as promptly as possible.

 

Are there any incentives for completing the survey?

No prizes are awarded. However, everyone who completes the survey is making an investment in improving their own workplace and the present and future of UAB. 

 

Confidentiality

Are my survey responses confidential?
Can’t my email address be used to track my responses?
What information will I need to enter?

 

Are my survey responses confidential?

The purpose of the survey is to get honest feedback. That is why UAB is using an external partner (ModernThink) to administer the survey. It is web-based and automated with a secure internet connection.

Each faculty or staff member will receive an email invitation from ModernThink to participate in the survey. Once you click on the survey link, you will go directly to ModernThink’s website. UAB has no access to this website. Your responses will be made directly on ModernThink’s website and all processing will be done by ModernThink. You will not be asked your name on the survey. The email will include unique password information for each user. This information is stored on the ModernThink server. This information is for access only and will not be linked to your individual survey responses.

At no point will your manager or any other institution employee see your individual survey results; they are combined and only reported back to your institution in the aggregate/grouped format. No one in the university will know how you personally responded. Any aggregate/group with fewer than five members will not be reported back, so that responses can not be traced to a specific individual or demographic.

Individual answers to open-ended questions are not shared verbatim; leaders receive a qualitative summary of responses to ensure anonymity.

 

Can my email address be used to track my responses?

No. The survey is completed on ModernThink’s confidential website. Your email address is only used to access the survey and to ensure that only one survey is completed per faculty or staff member. Emails are purged from ModernThink’s system once the survey project has been completed.

 

What information will I need to enter?

To make it easier and quicker for you to take the survey, and appropriately report results, certain information is preloaded into the survey:

  • Job Status (e.g. full-time, part-time, irregular)
  • Job Category (e.g. faculty, administrator, professional staff, clerical & secretarial)
  • School/College or Unit
  • FLSA status (exempt or non-exempt)

Other demographic information will be gathered by self-report.