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Statistical and Qualitative Software and Support Advisory Panel Principles

DRAFT (Updated 9/15/09)

The Advisory Panel is committed to:

1. Ensuring excellence in teaching and research through access to analytic software tools.

In an institution which prides itself in its excellent teaching and research, it is vital that tools (including software) that are fundamental to teaching and research be centrally accessible and supported.

2. Ensuring centralized access and support.

The commitment of Kent State University to embody "Excellence in Action" necessitates that students and researchers have access to the best research tools. Centralized funding, access, and support of these tools saves the University money and boosts the quality and quantity of our contributions to findings in the fields represented by KSU.

3. Serving a diverse KSU community of stakeholders.

The software housed in and supported by University Libraries is used by students and researchers in fields as diverse as biology and sociology. The statistical and qualitative software tools are used by nearly every department in Kent State University. The complement of packages available must be regularly reviewed to assure the needs of the KSU community continue to be met.

4. Supporting learning in the classroom and through distance technologies in the KSU community with statistical and qualitative software while recognizing the constraints of licensing agreements.

The Advisory Panel recognizes that some vendors provide limited or no access to their software for students. Some vendors provide access, but not to distance learners. The Panel will continue to explore ways to work with the vendors and to assess which software tools provide the most support for teaching and learning.

5. Promoting the ethical and legal use of statistical and qualitative software at KSU.

The Panel has embarked on a two-pronged approach to promoting the ethical and legal use of statistical and qualitative software. We will continue an education campaign aimed at bringing awareness to the ethical and legal implications of unlicensed use of software. We will also continue to update our management of software protocols to provide mechanisms for tracking licenses and promoting a culture of software license compliance.

6. Providing support services for statistical and qualitative software centrally licensed through University Libraries.

University Libraries offers services to KSU faculty, staff, and administrators, their graduate students, and both undergraduate and graduate students taking statistical and qualitative courses: online documentation and tutorials, help in selecting the appropriate statistical packages, development of on-demand seminars tailored for specific class requirements to assist instructors in providing necessary skills for students, on-demand workshops for SPSS, NVivo, and SAS, consulting support for Kent State licensed statistical and qualitative software packages.

7. Periodically reviewing university-licensed software to address the need for a suite of university-licensed tools that serve both the social and physical sciences while balancing budgetary constraints.

The Advisory Panel is committed to supporting the mission of KSU in promoting excellence in scholarship, teaching, and research. The Panel will periodically review statistical and qualitative software to assess which packages meet the community's needs. In particular, the Advisory Panel will make recommendations acknowledging the need for software that supports the physical sciences in addition to the social sciences and with an understanding of the need to provide software that is state of the art and encourages progress in teaching, research, and scholarship.

8. Providing KSU students with no cost or low cost access to statistical and qualitative software.

The Advisory Panel is committed to promoting student research and learning by providing the necessary software tools at the lowest cost possible while balancing budgetary constraints.

9. Providing KSU faculty, staff, and academic units with subsidized access to statistical and qualitative software.

The Advisory Panel recognized the crucial need for faculty access to research and teaching tools. The need for access must be balanced with static funds and increasing need.