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Dean Inessa Levi and Dr. Charles Helm

Western Survey Research Center Opens at WIU

December 8, 2004

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois UniversityÂ’s College of Arts and Sciences has opened the Western Survey Research Center (WSRC), a new service outreach of the college designed to benefit the community as well as WesternÂ’s students and faculty.

Area business and government representatives joined University faculty and administrators at a recent dedication of the WSRC, which is located in Currens Hall 552 on the WIU-Macomb campus.

“The WSRC can help individuals and organizations in the development and administration of survey questionnaires measuring the attitudes and opinions of their constituents - - i.e. Satisfaction with alumni programs, assessing the quality of life in rural communities,” said Charles Helm, chair of Western’s political science department and the WSRC director. “We’ve been working for nearly a year with colleagues from the departments of sociology and psychology as well as Western’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) to get this College of Arts and Sciences initiative up and running.

“Our staff includes faculty researchers from a variety of fields with extensive survey, policy and public opinion research expertise,” Helm added. “In addition, undergraduate and graduate students in research methodology classes will be active participants. The pedagogical aspect of the WSRC is crucial to its overall educational and service missions.”

Students and faculty are currently engaged in projects including a rural life poll, sponsored by the IIRA; a Macomb-area social survey; civic engagement projects; and an evaluation survey for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The Western Survey Research Center can assist with telephone, mail, self-administered, web and e-mail surveys. Center staff also can assist in developing additional data analysis services including focus groups, secondary data analysis and program evaluations.

“I’m so pleased that the College of Arts and Sciences can offer the services of the survey research center to assist on-campus and local organizations, businesses and the community at large,” said Inessa Levi, college dean. “This is an important partnership within our College, the University and the greater community.”

For more information about the Western Survey Research Center, contact Helm at 309/298-1055 or e-mail

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