Projects

Fall 2017 Sangamon County Economic Outlook SurveySentencing and Criminal Justice Reform SurveysSangamon County Citizen SurveySangamon County Economic Outlook Survey Illinois Tobacco Quitline EvaluationIDOT Traveler Opinion SurveyIDOT Telephone Survey ProjectAttitudes towards the “T” in LGBTSurvey of Illinois VotersPrevious Projects

The Survey Research Office has conducted public affairs research for the past several decades. We have a long history of providing excellent services to a variety of different clients. We list below some of our most recent projects and their accompanying reports. As an AAPOR Transparency Initiative member, we strive to provide open access to our data when possible. If you would like access to our data please contact SRO.

Criminal Justice and Sentening Reform Surveys

Sponsor: Institute of International Education

In collaboration with the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, the SRO developed four surveys in order to gain greater understanding of the current corrections programs and practices. Four separate survey instruments were sent to members of specific populations involved in corrections in Illinois: correctional officers, parole agents, judges, and probation officers. Respondents included 240 corrections officers, 40 parole agents, 80 judges, and 184 probation officers and managers. Questions were developed by the Survey Research Office with input from Commission members. The report also examines the attitudes of respondents towards current sentencing statuses, their opinion of the sentencing reform process carried out by the Commission and their reaction to several policy proposals brought forth by the Commission in order to achieve the goal to reduce the prison population of the State of Illinois by 25% by 2025.

Sangamon County Citizen Survey

Sponsors: UIS Center for State Policy and Leadershipthe Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, and the United Way of Central Illinois

The Sangamon County Citizen Survey (SCCS) is a collaborative project between the University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, and the United Way of Central Illinois. The purpose of this biennial survey is to establish benchmarks and evaluate changes in residents’ assessments of the quality of life in Sangamon County. The first survey, conducted in 2013, provided local leaders, community organizations, and citizens with insight into issues facing local residents. The inaugural survey consists of over one hundred questions across nine topical areas, including: culture and recreation, social well-being, health, education, economy, infrastructure, government and civic participation, environment, and public safety. The second iteration of the survey, conducted in 2015, expanded to examine issues surrounding education in the county. The third iteration, conducted in 2017, focuses on economic and infrastructure questions facing the county.  A total of 746 respondents participated in the 2017 survey (687 via mail; 59 via web). In addition to its focus on economy and infrastructure, the current survey contains questions on the state budget impasse, the future of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and other issues of the day. Each survey is conducted using probability sampling and is weighted to match estimates provided by the US Census Bureau.

2017 SCCS Info Sheet • 2017 Report (PDF) • 2015 report (PDF) • 2013 report (PDF)

Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey

Sponsor: University of Illinois Springfield Office of the Chancellor

The Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has released the Fall 2017 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey. The study examines the economic perceptions, expectations, and evaluations of Sangamon County employers.

The fall 2017 survey shows that expectations for the economy of Sangamon County have changed little since the fall of 2016, with about a third of respondents in each year expecting things to improve over the next 12 months. Expectations for employment have brightened some, with 32% of 2017 respondents saying they expect job increases compared to 27% in 2016. Two-thirds of respondents expect inflation and interest rates to rise, about the same as a year ago.

Survey respondents’ expectations for their own firms/organizations are somewhat more optimistic than for the economy overall. More than half of those surveyed (55%) say they expect their sales/revenue to increase in the next 12 months. Likewise, 46% expect profitability to rise in the next year, and 50% think the overall status of their businesses/organizations will improve in the coming year. These percentages all show improvement compared to fall 2016, when 49% of respondents expected sales to go up, 45% looked for profitability to increase, and 43% believed the overall status of their firms would get better.

Despite the resolution of Illinois’ budget impasse, the condition of state finances remains the top concern of local employers. Fifty-eight percent identify state government finances as one of the biggest challenges facing them in the next 12 months. Consistent with past surveys, responding employers also see consumer confidence (45%) and government regulations and taxation (40%) as significant challenges during the coming year.

Nearly four in ten employers (39%) indicate that they sell goods and services online. A plurality of respondents (38%) say online competition has not affected their firm’s growth, while another 36% say the effect has been positive and the remaining 27% report a negative effect.

The Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey has been conducted biannually (spring and fall) since 2008. The results for fall 2017 are from 233 local organizations that were contacted in October via mail surveys and email invitations using Qualtrics Research Suite, a platform for online surveys.

Illinois Tobacco Quitline Evaluation

Sponsor: Illinois Department of Public Health 

Since 2010, the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has conducted a user satisfaction survey for the American Lung Association to gauge the effectiveness of the Illinois Tobacco Quitline.  This survey is made possible through funds provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and works ensure that participants calling the Quitline are receiving quality services. The survey allows Quitline users to provide feedback on the various components of their experience. Quitline users provide feedback throughout the survey which is used to improve services to users. The survey also measures quit rates and tracks tobacco use patterns.

IDOT Traveler Opinion Survey

Sponsor: Illinois Department of Transportation 

The Survey Research has conducted a survey of Illinois travelers since 2001. The survey asks respondents to rate the quality of a variety of different IDOT infrastructure improvement projects and assess the quality of the agency as a whole. Opinions are solicited for a number of topics: maintaining highways and traffic flow, passenger rail, road repair and construction, services to travelers, driving behaviors, media awareness, quality of IDOT employees, and funding for infrastructure improvements. The survey was historically conducted via mail but moved to a mixed-mode design in 2015, and a panel-based design in 2016.

IDOT Telephone Phone Survey Project

Sponsor: Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Public Safety (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration federal pass-through)

In coordination with the IDOT Division of Traffic Safety, the SRO conducts surveys concerning highway safety three times per year: in April/May prior to Memorial Day, in June/July after Memorial Day, and in September/October after Labor Day.  Containing questions pertaining to various aspects of traffic safety, the project seeks to inform IDOT of the effectiveness of its media campaigns surrounding the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. he post-Memorial Day survey included both seat belt and DUI-related questions, serving as a post-test of the Memorial Day enforcement and media campaigns and as a pre-test of Labor Day DUI enforcement campaigns. The third survey, conducted in September and October following Labor Day addresses both seat belt and DUI-related questions and served as a post-test for the Labor Day DUI enforcement campaign.

Having been conducted since April of 2002, the project is one of SRO’s longest running projects. The sampling methodology is random digit dial (RDD) stratified by regions of the state as identified by IDOT.

Attitudes towards the “T” in LGBT

In the past several decades, a great deal of attention has been paid to lesbian and gay rights, particularly the issue of marriage equality. While the transgender rights movement is often conflated with the lesbian and gay rights movement, transgender individuals face unique challenges that require a different policy response in many circumstances. Unfortunately, not much public opinion data exists gauging levels of support for transgender-supportive policies. In addition, very little is known on how much individuals know about issues surrounding transgender persons including awareness of specific terms and policies. This survey begins to fill in this knowledge gap by establishing baseline measures of questions dealing with knowledge, awareness, and support for specific policies.

For more information, please visit the “Examining the T in LGBT” survey webpage.

Survey of Illinois Voters

The purpose of the 2014 Survey of Illinois Voters conducted by the UIS Survey Research Office, a unit in the Center for State Policy & Leadership, is to examine whether online methods can provide reliable election polling. In July 2014, The New York Times and CBS News announced that as part of their routine telephone polling, they will begin including online panels in their election polling results. This change in methodology from relying almost exclusively on telephone surveys (in which participants are randomly chosen from a specific population) to including surveys of online recruited samples (not randomly selected) marks a significant change in polling. In an effort to test the effect of this change in election polling methodology, the UIS Survey Research Office conducted an online panel using Qualtrics of registered Illinois voters from October 2-October 8, 2014.

Previous Projects

To see a complete searchable database of projects conducted by the Survey Research Office since 1977, please visit our archive