Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor

Sandi Tams Mulconry '75
Associate Vice President for
University Communications; Publisher

Jeffrey Charboneau

Jay Cox

Jo Roback-Pal

Carol North Schmuckler '57, G'85

Tammy DiDominico
Gary Pallassino

W. Michael McGrath
Amy McVey

W. Michael McGrath

Jennifer Merante

Kimberly Burgess '99,
Ann Mearsheimer '99,
Melissa Sperl '99

Zoltan Bedy G'84,
John Robert Greene G'83 Judy Holmes G'86,
Wendy S. Loughlin G'95,
William Preston

Syracuse University Magazine
(ISSN 1065-884X) is published
four times yearly in summer, fall,
winter, and spring by Syracuse
University and distributed free of
charge to alumni, friends, faculty, and staff members. Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, New York, and additional mailing offices.

Development Information Services,
820 Comstock Avenue, Room 009,
Syracuse, New York 13244-5040.
Telephone: 315-443-3904.
Fax: 315-443-5169.
For duplicate mailings, please send
both mailing labels to the
address above.

Syracuse University Magazine,
820 Comstock Avenue, Room 308,
Syracuse, New York 13244-5040.
Telephone: 315-443-5423.
Fax: 315-443-5425.
Contents 1999 Syracuse University,
except where noted.
Views and opinions expressed in
Syracuse University Magazine
are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the opinions of
its editors or policies of
Syracuse University.

Send address corrections to
820 Comstock Avenue, Room 009,
Syracuse, New York 13244-5040.

To promote learning through teaching,
research, scholarship, creative
accomplishment, and service.

To be the leading student-centered
research university with faculty,
students, and staff sharing responsibility
and working together for academic,
professional, and personal growth.



Last year, following the introduction of the "new and improved" Syracuse University Magazine,we created a survey to assess what readers thought about the many changes in the publication.
      With the assistance of SU's Center for Support of Teaching and Learning (CSTL)—which coordinates and supports University initiatives and national projects focused on student learning and success—we developed a representative sampling of the magazine's reader base, to which we sent a questionnaire that centered on three key areas:

  • How well the magazine is communicating the SU message;
  • To what extent our readers rely on SU Magazine for information; and,
  • Whether readers like how SU Magazinepresents this information.
      Throughout the survey preparation process, a nagging question lingered in the back of my mind: What if the results show that readers hate what we've done? It's a scary thought, but one most editors must grapple with when launching a survey. Sure, we believed the revamped magazine was beautiful, informative, and engaging. But would survey respondents agree? Or would they politely inform us that we were deranged word pushers without a clue?
      Anxiety aside, down deep we knew this survey was a crucial step in the evolution of Syracuse University Magazineand its mission to serve this institution and its alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and other supporters. So we printed it up, mailed it out, and hoped for the best as we waited for one of the longest months of our professional lives to tick by.
      After the questionnaire results were tabulated, it was a relief to see we had little to worry about—readers ranked highly the overall quality of the publication.
      More than 80 percent of respondents ranked the magazine number one as a source of SU news and information. That same number gave high ratings to the overall changes in the design of the magazine and the scope and accuracy of information provided.
      The top-rated sections of the magazine were Alumni News & Notes, feature stories, and Quad Angles. This tells us that our readers like to check up on fellow alumni and friends first, then turn to our feature stories for a "big picture" look at the University, before moving on to shorter news briefs about specific happenings at SU.
      In estimating time spent reading the magazine, 99 percent said they spend up to a half hour or more (65 percent up to an hour or more; 34 percent up to half an hour). The remaining 1 percent said they spend no time reading the magazine, which made us wonder why they were willing to spend time filling out the survey. Go figure.
      While we naturally revel at all the good news the survey revealed, the results were not all confetti and flowers. For example:
  • When asked to what degree readers feel the information they receive through the magazine provides an accurate picture of SU, 23 percent gave a neutral response (neither positive nor negative) and 8 percent gave a negative response.
  • While 75 percent rated the quality of our story content quite high, more than 30 percent were neutral about their overall satisfaction with story content.
  • While the majority of our features and departments ranked high in reader satisfaction, two departments-Research Report and Campaign Update—ranked relatively low.
      Our task now is to review the survey results, both positive and negative, and consider what we must do to further improve Syracuse University Magazine.Beyond that, we, of course, encourage all of you to jot us a note or fire off an e-mail with any suggestions that will help us bring the magazine to the top of your reading pile.

                    Jeffrey Charboneau
                   Managing Editor

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