Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

ECU Center for Survey Research Re-Opens in Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

March 8, 2017

By Lacey L. Gray
Director of Marketing and Communications
Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences


East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research has re-opened for the research needs of the campus and community and is now housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

Formed in 1989, the center provides survey research expertise to various public and private agencies and organizations, university scholars, students and interest groups in eastern North Carolina and beyond. The center ensures access to widely-used methods of professional public opinion assessment.

Under the leadership of Dr. Peter Francia, director of the center and professor of political science, affiliated scholars Dr. Jonathan “Jay” Morris, professor of political science; Dr. Mark Bowler, associate professor of psychology; and graduate assistant Randy Knebel, are available to assist clients with their research needs.

The Center for Survey Research provides research, education and outreach to a broad number of constituency groups while developing students that are uniquely positioned to make an impact on future generations.

“Whether working with undergraduate or graduate students, the CSR will provide an opportunity for students to ‘learn by doing,’” said Francia. “Survey research is a big part of so many areas, including political science, psychology and sociology – to name a few. The CSR will help students not only gain a deeper understanding of survey research in the social sciences, but also will provide students with skills and knowledge that will be beneficial for them on the job market.”

Recently completed projects of the CSR examined teacher burnout and its impact on intentions to leave the profession, as well as alternative methods for making employment decisions that maximize diversity while ensuring a high-quality workforce. A future project will examine the characteristics that make individuals more or less susceptible to fake news.

The center provides various services for projects that involve web-based, mail and telephone surveys, as well as for focus groups and multi-mode projects. Services include survey design consultation, data collection methods and statistical analysis. Other types of services include practical and academic research, preparation of proposals, grant application assistance, public opinion polls, targeted market polls, needs assessments, program evaluations and participatory appraisal techniques.

Francia not only sees the center as a valuable resource for students, but also hopes faculty and the local community will take advantage of the center’s resources.

“My hope is for the CSR to become the recognized ‘go-to’ resource for faculty and other researchers at ECU who need assistance with questionnaire development, grant proposals and statistical analysis,” said Francia. “Beyond ECU, the CSR intends to work with regional partners and clients throughout the local community and state that are in need of survey research and expertise. Perhaps my most ambitious goal for the CSR is the establishment of a state-wide public opinion polling arm that will emerge as a widely-recognized and respected source of public opinion research.”

“As a university we’re pledged to serve the public, and to do so we must accurately measure public attitudes and preferences,” affirms Dr. William Downs, dean of the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “The rebranded and revived Center for Survey Research will be a true university asset, and as both dean and social scientist I am excited to see what impact we can make.”

Staff of the CSR provide numerous services to local government agencies and regional organizations, including employee engagement surveys, leadership assessments and training, 360-degree feedback and employee selection systems.

CSR staff are members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and Southern Association for Public Opinion Research. The center is an institutional member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations.

To learn more about ECU’s Center for Survey Research, visit To discuss a project with one of the center staff members, please call 252-737-5390, or email your request to