Dave Unze’s article about the Great Place to Work Trust Index Survey included this interesting paragraph:

The survey was offered to all 1,582 university employees and generated a response from 40 percent of them. The university released the answers to two questions that were asked of those employees: What makes St. Cloud State a great place to work, and what would make the school a better place to work?

The administration needs to tell us why they’re hiding the Trust Index Survey results on a password-protected webpage that only people with a St. Cloud State account can access. Why wasn’t the entire survey released to the public? Why were only two open-ended questions released?

The St. Cloud Times needs to answer the legitimate question of why they didn’t demand that SCSU release everything from the survey, including the PowerPoint presentation. That PowerPoint presentation includes the results from some questions that I’m sure President Potter and his senior administration would rather see buried in the deep blue sea.

I’m certain President Potter would rather people not see this graphic:

Why would President Potter want people to see that only 20% of his employees think that “Management shares information openly and transparently”? President Potter certainly wouldn’t want the community to know that only 26% of his employees think that “Management delivers on its promises” and that only 24% of his employees think “Management’s actions match its words.”

It isn’t difficult to understand why President Potter doesn’t want the community to know that 28% of his employees think that “Management makes sound financial decisions” and that only 32% of employees think he’s competent. A university president doesn’t want it getting out that the vast majority of his employees think he’s incompetent and makes foolish financial decisions.

The past couple of weeks, the editorial page of the St. Cloud Times criticized a local school board and a city council for not being transparent. They’re right in calling for greater transparency from the school board and the city council. What’s puzzling is why the Times didn’t demand that same type of transparency from President Potter. Shouldn’t St. Cloud State be held to the same level of scrutiny as the Sartell-St. Stephen school board and the Cold Spring City Council?

Don’t St. Cloud residents deserve the same level of information-sharing that Sartell residents deserve.

If the Times won’t demand it, I will. President Potter, make all of the information from the GPTW Trust Index Survey available to the public. The Survey was paid for with taxpayers money. Public employees participated by filling out the Survey. Therefore, all information, including the PowerPoint presentation, should be public property. Period.

That level of secretiveness shouldn’t be tolerated from university presidents. The only thing worse is a media outlet that won’t push public officials for public information. Not pushing public officials for public information lets the University escape scrutiny and accountability.

The Times needs to ask itself an important question, namely, do they value accountability more than access to President Potter? If they prioritize accountability, then they’ll have to push President Potter.

President Potter needs to ask himself a question, too. Is being popular more important than doing the right thing? Based on this survey, his employees think President Potter puts a higher priority on staying popular in the community than he puts on doing the right thing.

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5 Responses to “GPTW Trust Index Survey questions”

  • Jarrett says:

    Could someone not file a Data production request from St Cloud State so that there is zero (mis)interpretation as to the results that they actually have?
    Are they not a public entity?
    Are they not REQUIRED transparency?
    Is the public being well served by this?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jarrett, yes people could file a Data Practices Act Request with SCSU for this type of information. Since the information isn’t of a sensitive personnel issue like a discipline notice or a termination, this information should be public. In an ideal world, we shouldn’t have to request that information but this isn’t an ideal world.

  • wonderer says:

    Well said. This survey provides objective data to support allegations of discord and bad decision-making that have, up to this point, been dismissed as simply complaining by a small number of individuals. Far be that from the case. Now those who have been attempting to let the public what is actually going on (plunging enrollments, closing of viable academic programs, questionable expenditures, lack of transparency by the president’s office, selectivity in reporting information) are vindicated. Finally, too, somebody at the St Cloud Times has had the guts to say things publicly – isn’t it amazing that it is a citizen writer and not a Times staff member who has revealed the implications of the data to the public? Mr. Unze’s article reported on the study but in the blandest manner possible; still, we can hope that now there will be some genuine investigative reporting? The problems at SCSU are community problems because of the wide economic and social impacts.

  • Gary Gross says:

    At this point, W, there’s little hope that the Times will actually start doing investigative reporting because that’d harm their access to President Potter, the sacred cow that must be protected at all costs.

    The Times didn’t report the important facts. I reported those facts in spite of the Times’ attempts to hide this information from the community.

    If you want extensive coverage of what matters to St. Cloud, the St. Cloud Times isn’t the place to look for it.

    Dropping a few coins in the tip jar, aka the Donate button, in the upper right corner of this page would help keep my reporting going.

  • Crimson Trace says:

    Not only is there a lack of serious investigative journalism covered by the Times, it is incredible that our political leaders are silent. Clearly, SCSU employees are getting shorted by this type of corrupt leadership. How about the students at SCSU? Do the political leaders, chancellor, and trustees actually believe our students are getting the very best education that money can buy? How do you build a multi million dollar science building that sits empty? The Coborn’s apartments is another big money loser. Enrollments are dropping quickly. Potter yelling at students and employees. The Great Place to Work Results were atrocious. Employee morale is very low. Is this the new expectation for SCSU? Apparently so…Potter got a huge bonus! When are people going to wake up? If it wasn’t for Gary’s investigative reporting, a lot of this horse manure would have been swept under the carpet.

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