Loras College Receives Anonymous Donation; Creates Loras College Survey Program
President Jim Collins (’84) announced today that Loras College is establishing a Public Opinion Survey Center which will conduct periodic professional polls on political and social questions. The first Loras College Poll of the races in Iowa’s June primary election will be conducted this month.
“Loras College strives to give our students practical, real-world experiences which allow them to apply what they’ve learned in their classes,” said Collins. “This is another program which helps students better prepare to be contributing members of our community, in this case, by engaging with professionals in public opinion research. With Iowa such a focus of the political world, this is a great opportunity for Loras. It will be interesting and practical for our students, and it will make a contribution to the public dialogue in Iowa and the nation.”
The Loras College Poll will serve as a periodic professional public opinion tool to measure public opinion on issues related to society and the state and federal governments, including ballot tests on key elections.
Professor of Political Science, Christopher Budzisz. Ph.D., will oversee the ad hoc program including participation of Loras students. Professor of Mathematics, Matt Rissler., Ph.D., will provide oversight on the methodology.
Republican campaign consultant, Steve Grubbs, and Democrat campaign consultant, Dave Heller, will provide consulting and feedback on script development and methodology.
The Loras Public Opinion Survey Center is being established by an anonymous donor as part of the college’s $75 million capital campaign, Inspiring Lives and Leadership: the Loras Legacy. The Loras College Poll will be conducted several times each year. Loras College faculty and student researchers will work with the survey research team to develop poll questions, analyze and interpret the data and assist with sharing the final results with local, regional and national media.
"The Loras College Poll is an amazing and exciting opportunity for students interested in politics, analytics, and social issues to get first hand research experience,” said Christopher B. Budzisz, Ph.D., associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll. “The Loras College Poll demonstrates the commitment of the institution and its generous alumni to providing students with a first-rate education. You just do not find these opportunities elsewhere."
Capitalizing on its location in the politically vital and vibrant state of Iowa, the Iowa Presidential Caucuses will be the cornerstone of the Loras College Poll with additional surveys focused on current events, social issues, economic issues, politics and more. The first survey will take place in mid-April, 2014 and will focus on the Iowa senate and congressional seats.
Launched on October 10, 2013, Inspiring Lives and Leadership: The Loras Legacy is the largest fundraising campaign in the 175-year history of the College. In addition to raising funds to support student aid and faculty/staff professional development, the campaign seeks funds to build upon the launch of its MBA program, business analytics initiative and other key academic programs. As of March 31, 2014, the campaign has raised more than $53 million thanks to contributions made by over 15,500 donors.