Differences in perception regarding the process of internal communication among administrators, faculty, and staff at a comprehensive southern university
Institutions of higher education are faced with an unprecedented and sometimes bewildering array of challenges to their growth and prosperity. Taxpayers and decision-makers are reluctant to continue funding higher education without a clearer sense of where their dollars are going and assurance their investment is being used wisely. In the context of this environment, the University needs to plan for efficient use of limited resources and develop a strategic marketing plan to educate and inform stakeholders on the progress and worth of their investment. To accomplish this task, the University plans to implement an integrated marketing program but, before this process can begin, it is necessary to know the depth of understanding and perception existing within the University community on the process of internal communication among administrators, faculty, and staff. Other factors to be considered are perception by gender and numbers of years employed for the selected southern comprehensive University. A twenty-item questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of participants in each category. Five items concerned perception of being kept informed on University activities, five items concerned perception of two-way communication process, five items concerned participants perception of understanding of University goals, and five items dealt with preference in receiving University information. Multiple regression was used to determine if there were statistically significant differences in perception between groups on the internal communication process. Results indicated that there were differences in perception on being kept informed and understanding of University goals by the faculty. There were no other differences or interactions found on the perception of internal communication by gender or number of years employed by the University. Results also indicated specific preferences for the mode of communication for receiving University information. The overall preference was for e-mail, a fact that the University will need to consider in future communications. Further research should be conducted by the University to conduct the survey at the college level to acquire more specific and definitive data to help in strategic planning of an integrated marketing program.