PublicMind Wrap Up
In 2005, PublicMind™, the University’s polling institute, conducted 32 polls. Although the New Jersey governor’s race dominated the topics (13 polls on this topic), a dozen investigations were conducted on other issues of statewide importance. These included: race and gender on the Supreme Court, eminent domain, state spending, government response to disasters, cell-phone use, consumer intentions, attitudes toward farming and a constitutional convention. Results, tables and commentary for each poll are posted on the PublicMind Web site at http://publicmind.fdu.edu.
“The growth and success of PublicMind has been extraordinary,” said President J. Michael Adams. “It not only has become a well-respected and high-profile source of opinion and analysis, but it has generated tremendous recognition on a local and national basis for the University. While there are many people to thank for the development of PublicMind, Peter Woolley [political science (Flor)], as the director, deserves special applause for guiding its actions and serving as an articulate and insightful spokesperson.”
Reporters, commentators and media outlets in the metropolitan area regularly feature PublicMind polls. In addition to reports by the Associated Press, The New York Times, WNYC and 101.5 radio, PoliticsNJ.com and daily papers in New Jersey, PublicMind polls appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The television bureaus of CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN also regularly report PublicMind research.
A number of faculty members are PublicMind associates. John Schiemann, administrative science (Flor), the polling institute’s director of research, is primarily responsible for conducting survey work for private clients (http://publicmind.fdu.edu/standards.html). Krista Jenkins, political science (Flor), consults on methodology and design. James Almeida, chair, marketing and entrepreneurial studies, Silberman College of Business (Metro/Flor), comments on consumer intentions; Caroline Munoz, marketing (Flor), has collected data for projects by PublicMind and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; Gloria Gadsden, sociology (Flor), has commented on race relations. In addition, several PublicMind associates are certified to conduct focus groups. “The University faculty are rich in professional skills and intellectual curiosity,” said Woolley, “and PublicMind provides a vehicle, an outlet and a showcase for these talents.”
PublicMind plans to offer its faculty associates space on its surveys to pursue a variety of topics. “Our next goal is to make PublicMind a survey-research vehicle for a cross section of faculty in a variety of disciplines on all three campuses,” said Woolley.
To accommodate requests for radio interviews, Carl Kraus, director, and Barry Sheffield, assistant director, telecommunications (Metro), recently designed and installed broadcast equipment in Woolley’s office. The new equipment permits high-quality recording for broadcast, allowing radio reporters to interview Woolley from his office and delivering the same sound quality as if he were in the studio. The radio actualities that accompany each PublicMind poll can be recorded on this equipment.
A by-product of the broadcast equipment is a new mini-news segment, “Conversations in the Hallway,” in which Woolley acts as interviewer and engineer. It is broadcast on WFDU-FM on Sunday at 6:45 a.m., and plans call for the show to be distributed to regional radio stations free of charge.
Woolley invites faculty and other experts into his office for an informal conversation — in the past several months he has discussed the youth vote with Jenkins; nation building with Schiemann, who recently published The Politics of Pact-Making, the art of polling with Joseph Calvanelli, president of TMR, Inc.; the role of election consultants with Rick Thigpen, partner, The Strategy Group, and Essex County coordinator for the Democratic Party, and replacing Jon Corzine in the U.S. Senate with Congressman Rob Andrews.
In the near future, these “conversations” will be podcast. The programs could then be downloaded and listened to at any time — on the go with an iPod or at home on the computer. “Our faculty have insights and expertise to share, and I think it should be shared well beyond our campus walls,” said Woolley.
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