Spring 2011 Faculty & Staff Survey

VCU Technology Services conducted a satisfaction survey of VCU faculty and staff, spring 2011, using the TechQual+ survey instrument.    TechQual+ is a 5 year old survey based on the same methodology used successfully for many years by the Association of Research Libraries’ LibQUAL+ survey.  While the relative immaturity of the TechQual+ project means that the results are unlikely to be as reliable as LibQUAL+, the survey does provide us with insights into where we need to concentrate on improving services.


VCU Technology Services greatly appreciates the time and effort that many of you put in to complete the Spring 2011 Faculty & Staff Satisfaction Survey. 

This same survey instrument was using to survey VCU faculty and staff the previous 2 years.  The most striking change in this year’s survey results from last year’s results is the rising expectations demonstrated.  For all 18 questions the “Minimum Service Level Expectation” rose.   While the “Perceived Service Performance” also rose for 12 of the 18 questions,   the minimum expectation rose faster than the perceived performance for all but 1 of the 18 questions.

Two additions to this year’s survey were open-ended questions asking what VCU Technology Services is doing well and what VCU Technology Services most needs to improve upon.  We are pleased that customer service in general and the helpIT Center specifically were identified as things that we do well almost 9 times for each 1 time identified as something that we need to improve upon.   eServices and the myVCU Portal were the technologies most frequently mentioned as being done well.
Based on the survey findings and on analysis of the open-ended questions and suggestions, we identified the following 4 items as the areas faculty and staff would most like to see improvement:

1. Wireless - There were numerous comments about wireless access and performance.


  • At the time of this survey, there were 1050 wireless access points, of which 170 are the ‘N’ standard (up from last year’s 894 wireless access points, 10 of which are the ‘N’ standard) across both campuses.  Central funding has not been provided for wireless.  Funding to implement wireless access points comes from individual schools, departments and student technology fees.  The current budget climate will severely limit our ability to expand wireless coverage significantly. 
  • Modest expansion implementing the wireless “N” standard in targeted areas will be done as funding permits.
    • Update October 2011:Expanded and upgraded wireless access to provide better building coverage and reliability in Snead Hall/Engineering East, Engineering West, Shafer Court Dining, Oliver Hall Science Wing, Perkinson Building, Lyons, Woods and Sanger 1044.  With this upgrade and with the separately funded completed residence hall upgrades, there are now 1270 wireless access points, 821 of which are the ‘N’ standard.

    • Update May 2012:
      • Expanded and upgraded wireless access to provide better building coverage and reliability in Pollak, Sports Medicine, Hibbs, Fine Arts, Medical Sciences Builds 1& 2, and Temple.
      • 1461 access points are now installed with 1140 (approx. 78%) at the 'N' standard.

2. Network reliability and performance - The need for a more reliable, high performing network had the highest expectations of all the survey questions.  A network with consistently good network speed was identified as critical by instructors, researchers, and administrators.  Based on the comments, reliability seems to be more related to slowdowns in the network rather than outages in the network.  Speed seems to be inconsistent based on location or time of day.


  • Begin implementing improvements to network devices to increase the network capacity 10 fold from (in some buildings) 100 Mb/sec (megabit per second) to 1 Gb/sec (gigabit per second) from the backbone to all buildings on campus.
    • Update October 2011:
      • Funding approved and Gig to building project initiated May 2011 with planned completion May 2013.
      • Initial “quick turnaround buildings” in progress.
    • Update May 2012
      • 68 buildings completed and documented. 11 additional buildings upgraded but waiting on documentation for close-out. Additional information can be found at http://www.ts.vcu.edu/askit/4286.html .
  • Implement redundancy for Internet connectivity and for network traffic within VCU network.
    • Update October 2011:
      • Implemented a complete network redundant path using identical devices in secondary Harris Hall location for failover purposes should the primary network path in the VCU Computer Center fail.  Each site has a 1 gigabit connection to the Internet supplied by different Internet service providers.  Each site can also independently all internal VCU network traffic.

3. Email - Email was identified as the technology that most needs to be improved upon.


  • Plan and implement an Electronic Communications Modernization Project.
    • Update October 2011:
      • Faculty committee identified functions required in next electronic communications system.
      • RFP drafted and in final revisions.
      • A number of issues remain to be decided, including
        • Migration of very old accounts and very old data – is there a cut off, or does everything get migrated?
        • Budget for migration costs and on-going archiving fees.
    • Update May 2012:
      • RFP awarded to migrate faculty and staff from Lotus Notes to the Google Apps for Education suite.
      • appsforVCU, the Google Apps implementation for VCU, underway.  See GoneGoogle site for more information.

4. Timely resolution to problems - Getting timely resolution to technology problems had the second highest expectations on the survey just below the expectations for network reliability and performance.  Timely problem resolution was described as inconsistent.


  • Measure problem resolution time, then establish and publish a goal.
    • Update October 2011:  Established method to measure VCU TS problem resolution time.
    • Update May 2012:  Due to limitations of the current Remedy software, measurement of problem resolution time is unreliable.
  • Develop a plan to reduce problem resolution time.
    • Update May 2012:  Plan put on hold pending upgrade or replacement of Remedy software.  However, the need to consistently respond to and resolve problems quickly is being emphasized in all VCU TS groups.

Again, thanks to the many of you who took your time to provide your feedback about how we are doing and make suggestions on how we can improve.  This document will again be updated over the next year with our progress as we work to address the issues that were pointed out.  It is always helpful to us for you to report problems that you have to the VCU helpIT Center (828-2227, help@vcu.edu) with as many specific details as possible. 

Your comments on these plans are welcome below.  You will be asked to authenticate to ensure that comments are from VCU, but your comment will be stored anonymously.  Please include your name and contact information if you would like a response.

Complete Survey Results


This article was updated: 01/22/2018