Each higher education institution has its own IRB procedure. In our experience, the faculty and staff survey is exempt from IRB requirements pursuant to Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Public Welfare, Section 46, Protection of Human Subjects because it is a confidential survey. Specifically, exemption number two of 45 CFR 46.101(b) provides in relevant part:

(2) Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior, unless: (i) information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and (ii) any disclosure of the human subjects’ responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects’ financial standing, employability, or reputation.

During the ModernThink Higher Education Insight Survey© process, data is collected in an anonymous and confidential manner and then tabulated and reported in the aggregate. Responses are never tied back to an identifiable individual. In addition, the demographic information is requested on a strictly volunteer basis.

Even though the survey is highly likely to qualify as “exempt”, some institutions still may require an expedited review. Consult your internal IRB requirements.

We have created a document for you to use internally to communicate with your Institutional Research / Institution Survey process available on the Important Forms & Documents page.