OSU Energy Privatization Survey

On April 7th, 2017 (following a Senate vote three days earlier), the OSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a 50-year energy agreement with ENGIE-Axiom consortium that effectively privatizes OSU’s energy infrastructure.

Concerns regarding both the substance of the agreement as well as the procedure by which it was arrived at have been documented elsewhere, including the Columbus Dispatch and the AboutOSU news and commentary website.  The goal of this survey was to record OSU faculty opinion on issues surrounding the agreement.

The survey ran from April 21 to May 14, 2017. 2,039 faculty of the ASC, ENG, BUS, and LAW colleges were invited to participate, and we received 480 completed responses.

The summary appears below. As with our previous surveys, a PowerPoint presentation as well as a compilation of the complete set of responses is available for previewing or download in our document repository (linked here).

In the interests of further illuminating the data associated with these surveys, we have added graphical cross-tabulations associated to all three. For convenient reference we list them here, with links to the page in which they appear:

*) ASC Academic Wellness Survey results by rank (linked here)

*) ASC Financial Wellness Survey results by rank (linked here)

*) OSU Energy Privatization Survey results by rank (linked here)

*) OSU Energy Privatization Survey results by college (linked here)

 

For those interested in evaluating and analyzing the data for themselves, the spreadsheets for all three surveys are available for download (for the first two surveys, you will want to go to the subfolder labeled “Spreadsheets”, then open or download the zipped folders for either the summary or complete responses data).

ASC Financial Wellness Survey document folder (linked here)

ASC Financial Wellness Survey document folder (linked here)

OSU Energy Privatization Survey document folder (linked here)

 

OSU Energy Privatization Survey summary

1. Given that the (partially redacted) Full Concession Agreement was released a day after the Senate vote, following legal action to force its disclosure, do you believe the University Senate was given adequate information to make an informed decision regarding CEMP?

Emphatically NoEmphatically Yes
0%100%
59.5%​31.9%​

2. Faculty Senators may not have had time to seek the opinion of the faculty members in their departments, in which case they expressed their own opinions. Did your faculty Senator(s) seek your opinion?

NoYes
0%100%
89.4%​

3. In general, do you want your Senate representative(s) to solicit your opinion before voting on matters of importance to the faculty and OSU community more generally?

Emphatically NoEmphatically Yes
0%100%
42.4%​47.0%​

4. Do you think the university administration should have sought the opinion of the entire faculty before committing OSU to such enormous long-term debt, as it has with the CEMP agreement?

Emphatically NoEmphatically Yes
0%100%
29.0%​57.8%​

5. How would you rate the financial wisdom of OSU privatizing its assets?

Extremely foolishExtremely wise
0%100%
36.0%​

6. Based on your current understanding of the CEMP agreement, do you believe the Comprehensive Energy Management Plan will benefit Ohio State University financially?

Emphatically NoEmphatically Yes
0%100%
26.6%​43.6%​

7. Based on your current understanding of the CEMP agreement, do you believe the Comprehensive Energy Management Plan will benefit Ohio State University academically?

Emphatically NoEmphatically Yes
0%100%
37.2%​35.9%​

8. How confident are you that the OSU administration will use the upfront money of over $1B provided by this agreement to effectively advance the academic mission of the university?

Not at all confidentCompletely confident
0%100%
32.6%​

10. The CEMP Proposal as Adopted by the University Senate on April 4, 2017 can be found here. Had you been asked to approve this proposal, how would you have voted?

AgainstFor
0%100%
89.1%​

New website cites FaST Survey results

A new website offering alternative analysis and commentary to the OSU community has published a lengthy article on the problem of administrative growth at OSU. It cites the results of the Academic Wellness Survey; specifically the responses to Questions 4 and 6.

It seems that much of the faculty opinion expressed in that first survey has been factually corroborated by a recent University Senate report on the administrative growth at OSU (in comparison to other peer institutions). The Senate report is also discussed in the article.

Financial Wellness Survey Summary

  • Q1

    ASC’s purposes, revenues and costs are aligned

  • Q2

    Culpability for the ASC budget crisis

  • Q3

    ASC’s budget transparency

  • Q4

    OSU’s budget transparency

  • Q5

    Faculty participate in ASC’s financial decisions

  • Q6

    OSU/ASC admins funding for instruction within ASC

  • Q7

    OSU/ASC admins commitment to academic and research excellence in ASC

  • Q8

    OSU admin preserves the financial integrity of ASC

  • Q9

    OSU/ASC admins vision of ASC’s financial future

Download complete responses

Academic Wellness Survey Summary

  • Q1

    The teaching environment in ASC has been improving over the last five years.

  • Q2

    Research and scholarship have been improving over the last five years.

  • Q3

    OSU’s budget model has served ASC well.

  • Q4

    OSU’s senior leadership has served ASC well.

  • Q5

    The concept that OSU is a business and should be run using corporate strategies and practices is a useful one.

  • Q6

    Over the last five years, the bureaucracy at OSU has…

  • Q7

    During your time here at OSU, faculty participation in the governance of academic affairs and initiatives, faculty hiring, etc., has…

  • Q8

    The idea of ‘monetizing’ OSU’s assets (e.g., the recent 50-year lease of the parking facilities, and the planned sale of OSU’s power plants and power grid) is a good one

  • Q9

    OSU’s major investments in the Discovery Themes is academically sound, and will serve the University well in the long run.

PowerPoint Presentation summarizing the survey results

Discussion of ‘Academic Wellness’ at OSU

Help us to interpret the first survey. Clearly there is a strong consensus on nearly every issued raised, be it the ‘corporate’ vision of the university, the growth of bureaucracy, the quality of OSU’s senior leadership, and the impacts on our educational mission.

View the 810 page PDF containing the complete responses

The full set of documents associated with the survey may be found here.