Friday, October 17, 2008

WIU using survey data

Cited for not providing opportunities to meet the needs and interests of its female students and not providing equitable amounts of publicity to its current male and female teams, Western Illinois University will be submitting evidence to explain these alleged disparities to the Office of Civil Rights next month. The report is required as part of the resolution agreement between OCR and WIU that resulted after a complaint was filed with OCR. It doesn't sound like much of a resolution really. After all WIU is not admitting any wrongdoing. It seems that the submission of evidence is normally part of an investigation that might lead to some kind of resolution agreement. One of the interesting aspects of the report, though, is that WIU will be using recent survey data to support its claim that it is meeting the needs and interests of its female students. (Though for some reason this data will not be submitted until April of 2009.) The survey, according to above link, asked students about their interest in sports the NCAA has deemed "core" or "emerging." We have noted the issues with surveys that ask current students about their interests in sports that do not exist at their institution--along with other problems in assessing interest via a survey. No mention of how the survey was administered or what the return rate was. According to this article, though, WIU does such surveys every few years.
WIU maintains that it is in compliance with Title IX. The evidence of this is due to OCR by November 1.