News and Announcements

Early survey data: effectiveness of risk management initiatives

March 22, 2021

In early Fall 2020, SFU participated in an omnibus survey along with seven other Canadian universities to get high-level data on pandemic response. The survey was conducted by Customer Relationship Index Inc. Because the survey was conducted so early in the pandemic, it is not comprehensive. The intent was to extract key insights from administrators, faculty and staff on SFU’s initial response to the pandemic. Information gathered will be used to improve crisis management.

Summary of findings

  • All stakeholder groups rate SFU’s prioritization of faculty, student and staff well-being as a primary strength
  • Communications, transparency, timeliness and accuracy are strengths
  • Pedagogical support and career support are areas that require additional focus and attention from administration
  • Clear research support policies need to be a priority in future crises
  • As with other universities surveyed, risk management and institutional preparedness are perceived as areas that require attention, particularly clarifying roles and responsibilities of faculty and staff in crisis management and communication from faculty and staff to administrators to inform decision-making. Note that names of participating universities were not shared.
  • See the CRI survey results


Next steps

Though this research is preliminary, there are useful insights that are being put in place for recovery planning:

  • Gathering additional information from faculty and staff through townhall events has been prioritized
  • Working groups that will manage recovery have been broadened to include more faculty and staff
  • Deans will lead academic decision-making for their faculties, with advisory support from the central Academic Planning Group and the VPA
  • There are two working groups being led by Research; one focuses on Research on Campus and involves faculty and staff, the other, the Back on Campus Advisory Group, is composed of faculty experts who will provide data-driven advice to Executive to support a safe return to campus
  • Post-pandemic there will also be a full debrief of the crisis to inform ongoing crisis management