2022-2023 Policy Library 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Policy Library [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Survey Policy (CMC)

Category: Academics/Research
Title: Survey Policy
Approved By: Executive Cabinet
Date Approved: October 31, 2016
History: Issued: 5/5/2004; Revised 11/5/2012, 12/1/2014, 8/7/2017
Related Policies: Consortial Survey Policy  , Institutional Review Board (IRB) Policies  
Responsible Official: Office of Institutional Research

Entities Covered by this Policy

  • Any person or group wishing to conduct survey research with CMC constituents, or wishing to use CMC resources to conduct a survey of any kind, will require permission.


CMC Office of Institutional Research
Bauer Center, First Floor
500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-8650

Components of the Process

1. Surveys from external constituents, including entities from the other Claremont Colleges, are NOT typically approved for distribution to CMC students, faculty and staff.  The relevant Vice President shall make this determination based on survey saturation and management of the rapidly increasing number of requests.

2. Institutional surveys administered by College departments which are used to track trends and information over time are given priority.  Requests from faculty committees are part of the governance of the college, and everything will be done to accommodate them. Requests from individual faculty members and research institutes will be carefully considered by the relevant Vice President in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research; they may need to adjust their timeline or the request may be declined during peak survey times (most commonly during the spring semester).  It may be helpful to review the CMC survey inventories to get a sense of the regular annual survey schedule.  It is imperative to contact the Office of Institutional Research in the early stages of planning for a survey

3. Research involving human subjects falls under the purview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and requires IRB approval or exemption before research can begin. Research must first be approved, or exempted through the IRB before submission to any Vice President.  After IRB approval or exemption is received, the request for the research project may be sent to the Vice President responsible for the body (or a subset of that body) being surveyed. If the Vice President approves of the project, the research may commence.

Group Being Surveyed 1st Approval From 2nd Approval From
Students IRB VP for Student Affairs
Faculty IRB VP for Academic Affairs
Donors IRB VP for Advancement
Alumni or Parents IRB AVP for Alumni & Parent Relations
Staff IRB AVP for Human Resources
Trustees IRB VP for Administration & Planning
Prospective Students IRB VP for Admission & Financial Aid
Outside Individuals IRB None Required

4. IRB approval is valid for 12 months from the date of approval unless otherwise indicated.  The same timeline (12 months) applies to VP survey approvals. Ongoing research requires annual submission of an IRB renewal application along with annual VP approval.

5. If a study is approved, the data will be controlled by the person/group conducting the survey. The person/group conducting the survey must adhere to informed consent procedures and ethical standards regarding data-management, as specified by the IRB.

6. The person/group conducting the survey will be responsible for maintaining the privacy of the records collected, in accordance with ethical standards specified by the IRB.

7. CMC may conduct surveys for the consortium, if approved by the IRB and the appropriate Vice President, as illustrated in #2.  Additional approvals from other colleges IRB’s and administrators may apply. This policy applies equally to other members of the consortium (including CUC) who want to survey CMC constituents.

8. Non-CMC students from The Claremont Colleges DO require approval from the CMC IRB and VP for Student Affairs if they wish to recruit and use CMC students in their research.

9. Survey policies should be maintained on the Institutional Research website and in appropriate college handbooks (faculty, staff, and student).  The Office of Institutional Research will maintain a list of routine surveys on its website.

10. CMC’s IRB is staffed by a member of the Office of Institutional Research.  The Office of Institutional Research may require a detailed copy of the survey results or output, as appropriate.

11. Appeals: If the responsible Vice President does NOT approve a request, the body requesting the survey may appeal to the Enterprise Risk Management Committee (ERMC) for approval.  ERMC decisions are final

12. Exemptions:
See IRB Policies  for exemption classifications under HHS federal regulations and the process for achieving exempt status under the CMC IRB.

Examples of the types of surveys common to CMC that typically qualify as exempt under HHS [45 CFR 46.101] include:

  1. Self-studies conducted by the College for the purposes of informing educational activities, programming, curriculum, or classroom management. Ex: Course evaluations, OCS Study Abroad Preferences
  2. Optional, anonymous, evaluative feedback surveys offered to participants of a college-sponsored event, or to individuals who receive a service offered by the college. Ex: Board of Trustees meeting feedback, Dorm Housekeeping feedback.Students conducting surveys for Research Methodology classes are an exception to this policy, and need not seek Vice President approval, but may file an IRB exemption form.

13. For a complete list of CMC IRB policies, please see the IRB website.


*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulations [45 CFR 46.112]