In September 2011, the SDFA conducted an attitudinal survey of its membership over several issues relevant to the UCSD faculty. The survey was emailed to 108 members and 55 replied, yielding a response rate of 51%. To protect the anonymity of respondents, personal identifying information was not collected, so it is not possible to break the results down by categories such as gender, rank or departmental affiliation. Although far from exhaustive, the results nevertheless suggest extensive agreement amongst respondents about almost all of the issues.
The results are summarized in the slideshow given below; here are some major findings:
- Over 80% of SDFA members believe that state taxes should be raised to fund education
- 90% believe that salaries are lagging behind inflation
- 85% believe that high tuition is restricting access to UCSD, but only 67% hold that it is unfair to offset vanishing state funds with tuition increases
- 80% are skeptical about the value of long-distance learning, although 38% feel that it is more “acceptable” in some courses than others
- Just under 80% are dissatisfied with the lack of diversity amongst students and faculty
- Just under 90% feel that UCSD needs greater transparency in budgetary/administrative issues
- 80% are concerned about the growth in the ranks of senior administrative personnel
- 80% feel that faculty do not have adequate opportunity to influence budget issues while 50% of all respondents feel that faculty apathy stems from a feeling that their involvement would not make a difference to budgetary decision-making.
The survey was conducted primarily to give the new leadership a sense of members’ opinion. The results suggest faculty are concerned about the future of UCSD, even if they seem to appreciate that the university is dealing with harsh economic realities.