Survey Research Center Closing

The University of Kentucky Survey Research Center (UK-SRC) is closing June 30, 2020.

UK-SRC was established in 1979 to provide university researchers and agency officials with the facilities, expertise and staff to conduct survey interviews. Since that time, in response to the increasing demand for a better understanding of the attitudes, needs and practices of Kentuckians and others, SRC has conducted more than 600 studies for the university and external communities. Using telephone, mailed, face-to-face, internet, and intercept survey methods UK-SRC has promoted socially significant research with public policy implications for state and local government agencies and non-profits, as well as research of theoretical or academic interest.

UK-SRC assisted faculty and research staff with data collection expertise on sponsored projects that have brought tens of millions of dollars of research grants to UK. The center assisted UK’s administration with surveys of prospective students and conducted a large number of surveys with previous UK reaccreditation efforts.

Additionally, UK-SRC provided hundreds of pro bono consultations with faculty, staff and students to assist with their questionnaire design, sampling and survey methods for projects that did not use the center to collect their data. The center provided hands-on data collection experience and jobs to more than 1,000 students. UK-SRC supported the university’s education mission by regularly hosting undergraduate and graduate survey methods classes in our labs or in their classrooms to discuss questionnaire design, sampling, and nuances of different modes of survey administration.

UK-SRC staff conducted interviews with a wide variety of subject populations, including prisoners, adolescents, elderly, teachers, veterans, business owners, recovering substance users, recovering cancer patients, and parents of children with special education needs. Topics of interviews have ranged from the ordinary to extremely sensitive personal questions regarding attitudes about race relations, sexual practices, domestic violence, suicide ideation, and drug use. 

Data collected by UK-SRC about community attitudes regarding Toyota building a plant in Kentucky played a role in Toyota coming to the Commonwealth. Dozens of surveys for local health departments have informed communities in their decision to pass smoke-free laws over the last 20 years.

UK-SRC is well known and respected nationally as a leader in survey and public opinion research. The center was an original member of the consortium known as the National Network of State Polls (NNSP) and founding member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO). In 2015, UK-SRC became a Charter Member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative. This initiative encourages broader and more effective disclosure of research methods by all organizations that collect and report survey and public opinion data.

Ronald E. Langley, Ph.D. has been at UK since 1989 and director of UK-SRC since 1998. During that time the center conducted more than 300 survey projects. Langley served his profession as a member of the Executive Council of AAPOR in his role as Standards Committee Chair, President of AASRO, and President of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, and Chairman of the NNSP. He has served UK in a variety of capacities including the last 18 years as a member of the Nonmedical IRB. In 2016 he was awarded AASRO’s John M. Kennedy Achievement Award for lifetime service to his profession.