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Faculty Forum Papers

February 1977 - Survey Report, AD HOC Committee on Word Processing By

Pat Wells
Administrative Office Mgmt.

January 18, 1977

At the beginning of the 1975-76 academic year an ad hoc committee consisting of Dr. Pat Wells, chairman, C.W. Peckham, Emma Raymond, Irene Sears, and LaDonna Whitney was established to study the campus-wide needs for word processing and how best to provide secretarial support to the campus. In order to understand these needs, the committee solicited the cooperation of schools and colleges in responding to a relatively simple survey.

Secretarial and faculty or administrator questionnaires were prepared by the committee. The spring, 1976 class in Office Organization and Management assisted in the distribution, collection, and preparation for the computer, and the analysis of the questionnaires.

Following are the conclusions drawn from the data collected:

1. From 81 to 100 percent of the typing time is involved with typing from longhand for the majority of secretaries.

2. A limited amount of typing is done from machine-dictated material.

3. A minimal amount of material received for typing is through shorthand dictation.

4. The greatest problem campus secretarial personnel face is the lack of legibility of handwriting received from faculty and administrators.

5. The majority of typed material done on campus goes through one or more revisions.

6. Most material which is typewritten when generated does not require revising.

7. The majority of the faculty and administrators responding to the questionnaire spent between one and two hours a day generating written material. Twenty-nine percent spent between three and four hours a day in this task.

8. Between 41 and 60 percent of all written material in the departmental offices consists of one page or less.

9. Normal turnaround time is between one-half and one full day for most short documents in most offices.

10. The overall quality of secretarial services on campus meets with approval.

11. The most highly rated secretarial services deal with written material which is less than four pages in length.

12. The more involved research-type material is not being produced satisfactorily.

Based on the data collected and conclusions drawn, the following are recommended guidelines for providing better secretarial support to meet campus needs:

1. As much material as possible should be generated through the use of machine dictation.

2. Instruction on the art of dictating should be made available to all faculty and administrative personnel.

3. An OSU style manual or recommended reference books which include acceptable formats, punctuation, capitalization, etc., should be available to faculty, administrators, and secretarial personnel.

4. The possibility of using more form-type letters and paragraphs should be investigated.

5. Word processing equipment should be available in at least one centralized location for handling the more complicated research-type material.

6. Any future purchase of word-processing equipment should be reviewed by a university-wide committee appointed by the Dean of Administration.