Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IIT Survey Summary

IIT Survey Summary
 
The data that follows has been collated from a survey sent to Shimer Alums,
Friends, Former Faculty, Former Staff, Parents and Friends by Bill Rice and Jim
Donovan, asking them for feedback on the College’s proposed expansion to IIT’s
main campus on Chicago.
 
The following numbers represent the respondents from each specific group
involved in the survey:
 
1. Alumni: 377
2. Former faculty: 9
3. Former staff: 4
4. Parents: 16
5. Friends: 40
    TOTAL: 446
 
Below, the alumni responses are separated by decade. The numbers don’t add up to
the alumni total, as some alums did not mention the decade in which they
attended the school.
 
1930-1939: 4  
1940-1949: 12  
1950-1959: 55  
1960-1969: 110
1970-1979: 69 
1980-1989: 20 
1990-1999: 27  
2000-2005: 24
 
Responses to the Questions on the Survey
(not every respondent replied to every question)
 
1. Do you believe that the proposed move to IIT will help improve Shimer’s
enrollment?
   Yes: 328; No: 83
 
2. Do you believe that the proposed move to IIT will help attract donors to the
College?
   Yes: 262; No: 134
 
3. Do you believe that Shimer will be able to maintain its institutional
independence if it relocates to the IIT campus?
   Yes: 250; No: 150
 
4. Do you believe that Shimer will be able to maintain its identity and sense of
mission if it relocates to the IIT campus?
   Yes: 252; No: 141
 
5. What is your overall opinion of the proposed move to IIT?
Strongly in favor: 185 (42%); Somewhat in favor: 124 (29%); Somewhat opposed: 53
(12%); Strongly opposed: 73 (17%)
 
6. Main Factors that concern you about the move:
The most-often mentioned area of concern was loss of Shimer’s uniqueness and/or
identity.  Second was the south side of Chicago, especially with respect to
student safety.  Next most often cited were three factors: loss of community,
loss of isolation needed for a college like Shimer, and concern about the
preservation of the academic program, especially the core curriculum.  Also
receiving several mentions were institutional independence and autonomy, the
benefits Shimer offers Waukegan and Lake County, and concern about the College
being swallowed up by a larger institution.
 
7. Main factors that please you about the move:
The most often mentioned areas of optimism were expectation of increased
enrollment, additional course options for Shimer students, and the amenities
and activities available in Chicago. (The first two of those were often
mentioned together.) Next most often cited were facilities improvements
(including lack of need for maintaining the current campus) and the expectation
of a better financial situation (including both improved fundraising
opportunities and reduced costs).  Also receiving several mentions were better
amenities and resources for students, diversity of interpersonal interactions,
and benefits to IIT of Shimer’s presence. 

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