Survey Results: Cedarville University Stakeholders Speak
Summary Facts about Survey
To date, more than 550 individuals have used this survey to express their opinion. There was a 100% completion rate of the 8-question survey. And it took the average person just over 90 seconds to complete the survey. All entries were IP verified. The two most important questions in the survey are Q2 and Q7.
Q2: Are you in agreement with the Trustees decision?
Q7: Should the Trustees stand by their decision?
Consequently, those two charts and their results should be given the greatest attention. The other 6 questions give context and greater understanding to those answers, and are captured in the other three charts or are included as supplemental in the Charts for Questions 2 and 7. The relevance of Question 8, which asked, "What is your relationship to Cedarville University? (Check all that apply.)", is captured in the callout on the Chart for Q7. More than 23% of participants are former or current employees.
Participants in the Survey
Perhaps what is most significant about this survey is that 97% of those who participated were not simply interested onlookers, but committed stakeholders: alumni, students, parents, current and former faculty and staff, local residents, pastors and donors. And though 60% of the stakeholders are alumni, more than 42% of the alumni indicated at least one additional relationship to the school (local resident, faculty, staff, parent, donor), and sometimes multiple relationships. In other words, most of participants not only have a strong connection to the University, but have also made and continue to make a significant contribution to the school.
Charting Q2 (and Q1)
97% of the participants fully read the Trustees’ June 26th statement in which they revealed some of the results of law firm’s findings and as well as their decision to reinstate the president. While 7% were undecided, the clear majority (8 out of 10) disagreed with the Trustees’ decision. The strength of that disagreement is not only captured by the numbers, but also by the terms used to describe the stakeholders’ reaction to that decision in the second chart (Q3).
Understandably, the 11.5% that agreed with the Trustees’ decision responded with gratitude and/or relief, and some chose the term expected. Clearly, the strongest responses were disappointment and/or outrage by the 81% who disagreed with the decision. What was interesting about those who disagreed with the decision is that some also added the response, expected. In other words, many did not have confidence in this board of trustees to “get it right”. So while they were disappointed and/or outraged, some were not surprised. This is a sad commentary on the moral values and integrity of the current board.
Equally disappointing to the Trustees’ decision is their neglect to gain the perspective or input from ANY stakeholders. The fact that the Trustees only considered the law firm’s report and its narrowly defined focus—as condemning and troubling as it proved to be—was a major deliberate misstep by the Trustees. This again indicates how either out of touch or indifferent they are to the community, both locally and on campus. A simple look at the transition in the make-up of the current board members over the past decade shows the growing disconnect with the regional community and historic constituency.
Charting Q5 and Q6
Whether survey participants read the open letter was a secondary matter at best, and only ancillary to the primary questions of "what the trustees have done" (Q2) and "what the trustees should do" (Q7). But those who did read the letter indicated that they found far more with which to agree than to disagree. While vindicating at one level, it is far more telling and disappointing at another. The fact that there would ever be such a situation at Cedarville University that ANY significant percentage of stakeholders would find themselves unable to trust the board and president to act with integrity is disgraceful.
Charting Q7 (and Q8)
Question 7 is debatably more significant than Question 2, for it is not simply a commentary on the Trustees’ past action, but a call for the Trustees to take action on behalf of its stakeholders. If Q2 was an indictment of the Trustees’ first decision, Q7 is a plea to and an opportunity for the trustees to reconsider and reverse their decision. The results of this question clearly indicate that the majority of those who were undecided concerning the trustees reinstatement decision, are now confident that the trustees should reconsider and remove the president. And especially note the breakdown by relationship, and remember that these all love the school and want what is best for it. Not a single donor in this survey believed the President should retain his position. And more than 9 out of 10 current and former faculty and staff, local residents, and parents, believe the president has lost the credibility to lead. Even the students, who are the most favorable, are nearly 2 to 1 against his reinstatement. Remove the students and pastors, and 95% of survey participants believe the trustees should reconsider their decision.