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Requesting Access to Detailed Individual-level CU-Boulder Survey Data, Including Comments

Access will be granted only to individuals who complete and submit a Nondisclosure Agreement.

Background

Survey responses are collected by CU-Boulder's Planning, Budget and Analysis from individual students under conditions of confidentiality. For example, in the 2010 Student Social Climate Survey invitees were told "Any information that would permit identification of individuals will be kept strictly confidential." Furthermore, student survey responses fit the definition of education records under the US Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act of 1974 (FERPA). Details: http://registrar.colorado.edu/regulations/ferpa_guide.html

Survey responses are of two types: Multiple choice (e.g., a 1-5 rating, yes/no, male/female) or open text response (e.g., list what class you liked best; what should UCB do to improve this situation?)

Either response type has the potential to identify individuals. For example, if there is only one respondent who is female, Asian American, in Classics, she may be the only female Asian American majoring in Classics. Her multiple-choice responses could reveal her identity and allow association of her opinions - in other multiple-choice responses and ratings, or in open comments with her name, if only to a few knowledgeable people.

Open text comments also have the potential to identify individual students based on response content. (E.g., "When I came from tiny XX high school, and selected the huge major integrated physiology," . . . or "To improve, UCB should enroll more females in engineering. Thanks, Jane Doe.")

All survey results posted by PBA are based on aggregate results for at least five respondents combined, plus excerpts from open text comments screened to ensure confidentiality.

Sometimes analysts seeking to use PBA student survey data for improvement and/or evaluation of University units or programs, and/or for understanding and describing the University situation, may need more fine-grained, detailed data than PBA has released. For example, a dataset with gender, major, race/ethnicity, and several rating-scale responses may be needed. Or all comments made by a subgroup of students may be needed.

We wish to grant such access, because the purpose of all PBA student surveys is to produce data useful for improvement or evaluation of University units or programs, or for understanding and describing the University situation.

To grant such access, however, we must ensure that all those who work with the data maintain full confidentiality for students and other individuals in any published or circulated materials.

We will release data to CU-Boulder faculty, CU-Boulder administrators, and others who can document a need for detailed data not met by posted results. All must pledge to maintain confidentiality.

To request data access, please complete and submit the nondisclosure agreement at the link below. We will get back to you within three business days after we receive a completed agreement.

Request for data and nondisclosure agreement

Last revision 10/16/12


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