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Center For Survey Research on the Move

October 11, 2000 -- The Center for Survey Research, the University's polling organization, is on the move – literally and figuratively.

CSR, created in 1987 to do research and analysis for University clients, has departed the cramped basement of Cabell Hall for a spacious suite of offices on Fontaine Avenue at Fry's Spring. The new accommodations provide significantly more flexibility for CSR's growing opinion research operations.

"We've nearly tripled the space available for survey research," says Thomas M. Guterbock, CSR's director, "and it's a tremendous location for our student labor force." More than 50 percent of CSR's 100-plus interviewers are students.

These physical changes are a necessity as CSR expands its role both on and off grounds. This summer, CSR, which had been a free-standing unit of Arts and Sciences, became a division of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, which is the University's primary link to state and local government in Virginia.

A ribbon-cutting and reception marking the official opening of the new CSR center will be held 4 p.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12.

The switch to the Cooper Center is a natural fit for both organizations.

Over the past decade, CSR has increased its research service for local governments and state agencies in Virginia. Its current projects include surveying employees at the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles; measuring citizens' satisfaction with services provided by Prince William County; assessing planning needs for the city of Charlottesville, and conducting a transportation study for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.

The Cooper Center has decades of experience in staffing and managing applied research projects and has developed close working relationships with state and local government officials through its many programs, including those run by the Virginia Institute of Government.

"There's a very clear synergy," Guterbock said. "The work we do matches the Cooper Center's mission. There is clear potential for growth in the scope of our survey services." Six specific areas he cited included:

    • Citizen satisfaction surveys;
    • Customer satisfaction surveys for particular state or local agencies;
    • Labor force surveys for regions seeking to promote economic development;
    • Membership surveys for associations
    • Surveys on planning and land-use issues
    • Program evaluation surveys

Meanwhile, CSR will continue its on-grounds work. Currently it is providing data collection and/or analysis for seven University projects, including the second part of Sociology Department Chairman James Davison Hunter's study on American political culture and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership's study on the U.S. Senate campaign between Charles Robb and George Allen.

"We really have three major clients," Guterbock noted. "The University, the Cooper Center and its links to state and local government, and the broad, general public. This is part of the University's greater commitment, as emphasized by President Casteen, to public service to the Commonwealth. We are very appreciative of the University administration's support."

Contact: Carol Wood, (804) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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