Spring 2012 Faculty & Staff Survey

VCU Technology Services conducted the 6th annual satisfaction survey of VCU faculty and staff, spring 2012, using the TechQual+ survey instrument. TechQual+ is a 6 year old survey based on the same methodology used successfully for many years by the Association of Research Libraries’ LibQUAL+ survey. This year, the TechQual+ project modified and shortened the survey which was an improvement, but also made comparing our results to previous years more difficult. As always, we evaluate the survey and comments to provide us with insights into where we need to concentrate on improving services and put serious efforts into making improvements. As one individual pointed out in a comment,

“Since I started participating in these surveys, I have seen a marked improvement and would like to see VCU in a position of 'highly desirable' on students and faculty lists of the best university in the technology services arena.”

We may not be among the best yet, but we are proud that our efforts are moving our services in the right direction.


VCU Technology Services greatly appreciates the time and effort that many of you put in to complete the Spring 2012 Faculty & Staff Satisfaction Survey. 

This year the survey instrument was somewhat modified and shortened from 18 to 12 questions from the instrument used to survey VCU faculty and staff the previous 3 years, making comparisons more difficult. However, it is clear that expectations continue to rise. Of the 9 questions that can be directly compared to last year’s survey responses, the “Minimum Service Level Expectation” rose for 8 of those questions. The “Perceived Service Performance” rose this year over last year for all 9 of those questions. While the perceived performance rose for all but 1 of these 9 questions, the minimum expectation rose higher than the perceived rose on 4 of the 9 questions. 

For the second year, we asked two open-ended questions about what VCU Technology Services is doing well and what VCU Technology Services most needs to improve upon. We are again pleased that customer service in every area was frequently mentioned as something that we do well. As always, there is room for improvement as some individuals identified customer service and an area that we need to improve upon. 

Based on the survey findings and on analysis of the open-ended questions and suggestions, we identified the following as the areas faculty and staff would most like to see improvement:

  1. Wireless coverage 
  2. Network reliability and speed 
  3. Email and collaboration 
  4. Banner usability 
  5. Classroom technology
1. Wireless - The demand for and use of wireless continues to outpace our efforts to improve wireless services. While there were fewer complaints about wireless performance than in previous years, the desire by many for ubiquitous wireless coverage is clear.
  • At the time of this survey, there were 1461 wireless access points, of which 1140 are the ‘N’ standard (up from last year’s 1050 (894 the previous year) wireless access points, 170 (10 the previous year) 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.
    • Modest expansion implementing the wireless “N” standard in targeted areas will be done as funding permits.
      • Update April 2013:
        • There are now 1,973 wireless access points installed between both campuses.  Of these 1,718 are the ‘N’ standard.
      • Update April 2014:
        • There are now 2,218 wireless access points installed between both campuses.  Of these 2,020 are the ‘N’ standard.  The access points now being installed also provide support for the new 'AC' standard.
    • Develop plan and present cost estimate to the IT Governance Committee for fully covering both campuses with wireless.
      • Update April 2013:
        • Plan under development, but not yet presented to IT Governance Committee.
      • Update April 2014:
        • Plan developed, but not preseented to IT Governance Committee.  Additional funding provided to further increase coverage in student areas summer, 2014.  Funding model for non-student areas is under consideration.
2. Network reliability and speed - The need for a reliable, high performing network continues to have among the highest expectations of all the survey questions. The perception of network reliability and speed increased this year over last year, but remained below expectations. The improvement in perception is almost definitely because of the in-progress Gig-to-building project and the implementation of redundant Internet paths.
  • Complete implementation of 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 April 2013:
      • Complete.
  • Increase total Internet bandwidth.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Total Internet bandwidth for the University increased from 2 Gb/sec to 3.5 Gb/sec.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Total Internet bandwidth for the University will be increased to 7 Gb/sec summer, 2014.
  • Present plan and seek funding through the IT Governance Committee for the next phase of a network modernization plan.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Presented and received approval to add second network path to the University Computing Center from Sanger Hall to eliminate a single point of failure in the network.  Work is underway with expected completion Summer 2013.  This project is the small first step of the next phase of network modernization.  Funding beyond this step is not yet approved.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Second fiber path from the University Computing Center to the MCV Campus completed.  Due to the flood in Sanger Hall B3, the path was terminated in a different building and network equipment relocated to a different building.
3. Email and collaboration - Email and collaboration were identified as technologies that need improvement.
  • Migrate all faculty and staff to appsforVCU, VCU’s Google Apps for Education implementation.
    • Update April 2013:
      • 72% of total faculty and staff are migrated.  Excluding School of Medicine and Massey Cancer Center, 95% of all faculty and staff are now on appsforVCU.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Excluding School of Medicine and Massey Cancer Center, 100% of all faculty and staff are migrated. Currently working with the Information Security Officer to complete HIPAA Security Rule Controls Matrix for the School of Medicine/Massey Cancer Center.  Extensive training underway focusing on Google Drive and Google Docs for faculty and staff.
4. Banner usability - The ease of use of Banner was frequently identified as one of the technologies that most needs improvement.
  • Work with functional groups to identify specific areas for improvement.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Worked with, and continue to work with, Enrollment Management, Finance and Human Resources to identify areas for improvement.
  • Work with functional groups to implement improvements to Banner and/or to functional processes for specific areas identified.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Designed and installed the technical environment for DegreeWorks.
      • Developed a process for faculty to upload grades from an file into Banner, replacing individual data entry.
      • Enhanced web admission user PIN requirements and related email notifications.
      • Developed a custom student self-service page to display bank account information to be used for direct deposit refunds to reduce telephone calls to Treasury Services.
      • Developed a process for receiving vendor invoices electronically and posting into Banner.
      • Developed a modified Banner process to close purchase orders for grants during the fiscal year in order to streamline both grant accounting and year-end processing.
      • Achieved the first milestone of the Human Resources On-Boarding project, successfully migrating a new position and funding information from the eJobs system into Banner HR.
      • Enhanced the employee/job separation process to include adjunct faculty.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Launched the DegreeWorks system for faculty advising and tracking student progress and expanded its scope to include newly accepted students and include data for multiple academic levels.
      • Developed a two-way data integration with the Chrome River system for travel expenses, speeding up the traditional process significantly.
      • Implemented payroll encumbrance processing to improve financial management.
      • Implemented method to automatically update contract start and end dates for part-time faculty.
      • Enhanced emergency contact data and implemented method to apply registration holds as needed and to display that data in the myVCU portal.
      • Implemented the Schedule Planner system linked to eServices to assist student course scheduling.
      • Developed extensive data feeds to the Education Advisory Board for analysis of student performance and prediction of academic success for use in advising.
      • Deployed new Banner application and database servers to improve system performance during high activity periods such as advance registration.
5. Classroom technology - Inconsistency in the technology available in classrooms and available training materials were identified as problem areas in classroom technology.
  • Work with school IT support staff to clearly identify centrally scheduled rooms and school supported rooms, then identify ways to improve consistency of technology in classrooms.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Centrally scheduled rooms that are centrally supported are now clearly identified.  Efforts are still underway to improve consistency of technology in classrooms.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Obtained funding to update 16 non-centrally scheduled classrooms with work to be completed by start of Fall 2014.
      • Planned pilot for Fall 2014 with Humanities and Sciences IT staff to centrally support AV equipment in school supported classrooms.
  • Develop on-line classroom technology training materials.
    • Update April 2013:
      • On-line video training materials of current mini-podiums are now available, http://ts.vcu.edu/askit/1293.html .  Additional on-line video training expected Summer 2013.
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, helpIT@vcu.edu) with as many specific details as possible. 
Your comments on these plans are welcome. 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

SpringĀ 2012 Faculty & Staff Technology Satisfaction Survey (Comments Removed)

Comparison of faculty/staff and student responses for computing and mobile device use from the Spring 2012 surveys.


This article was updated: 06/20/2014