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Response by Jerry Murphy '48, '49 to SaveCRS April 19 critique of Alumni Survey (No replies)

8 years ago
SaveCRS 8 years ago

Dear Friends & Alumni of CRS,

Our friend Jerry Murphy '48, '49 previously asked SaveCRS to post his concerns about our April 19 critique of the Alumni Survey. We regret we did not share his thoughts sooner. You can see our April 19 response to the LAJF Alumni Survey on a separate post in this Forum "Alumni Survey & LAJF Governance" signed by 48 distinguished Alumni.

It has been almost 3 months since the Alumni Survey was first distributed on April 7 and alumni still have no word yet on the results. We believe that based on Jerry's comments below, the full results and comments by Alumni could and should be made available before the next Board meeting that will take place on July 18, 2015.

We believe Alumni and Friends of Rising Sun deserve no less than the full transcript of all of the Alumni Survey responses. How long should alumni have to wait for the results? Should an edited version or summary of the alumni responses be enough?

What do you think?

We look forward to seeing all of you at the "Camp Rising Sun Alumni Open Forum" we are sponsoring on July 18 at the Rhinebeck Town Hall from 1:30 to 3:30pm. Free and open to the public with live music, more details will follow and can be found on Facebook at:

Thank you.


J.C. Calderon '81, '82, '84K
Shared on behalf of the SaveCRS Group of Concerned Alumni & Friends

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 2:13 AM
Subject: Re: Response to LAJF Survey
To: SAVE CRS Group of Concerned Alumni

Response to LAJF Survey critique

Background of Survey

I first became aware of current CRS issues in October/ November 2014 when I read various emails from LAJF and Save CRS group re;The New Dawn.. I realized that there was a lot of controversy about this plan which was eliciting a wide range of sentiments and that there was need for a survey among a representative sample to determine on a quantitative basis where alumni stood on the issues underlying these sentiments . I believed this information would lend some direction to additional strategic planning. and perhaps even point out ways to solve controversy.. I proceeded by talking to some alumni from my days at camp and then contacting various foundation leaders. I offered to design and conduct a survey and analyze results.. I thought it was important to get the cooperation of the board and foundation on this project because I believed the results would be more credible to them if they participated in the design. I also talked to some leaders in the Save CRS group to get their perspective and also to let them know that I was putting my own opinions aside in order to get a detached viewpoint of what opinions are among key subgroups of the foundation and alumni community.. This is a difficult line to walk but one I had walked many times in my long career. An example would be telling the ad agency I worked for that the advertising campaign they were excited about was going to backfire and they needed to go back to the drawing board.

I offered to do this work pro bono except for out of pocket expenses I might incur for data processing and hosting of an online survey. I proposed this work to the board and they accepted with the proviso I work with a board appointed survey committee. I agreed to work with this group which vacillated in size even though I believe in the old adage that a camel is a horse formed by a committee. The important thing was to get something of value accomplished which we are in the process of doing.. The results are still coming in..

Response to Criticism of Survey

In reading the emails and Facebook comments of the board and alumni I realized their were more concerns and differences in opinions than could be easily covered in one survey. The current survey covers some of the most salient issues but not all.. Additional issues such as governance, board performance financial priorities and camp programming can be covered in additional surveys..

A couple of specific criticisms of survey questionnaire were unwarranted . There were three not one open end questions in the survey and the open end responses (still coming in ) were rich in substance and content. Some respondents went on in multiple paragraphs and many did not pull any punches. . All the topics the questionnaire was criticized for not covering were elicited by the open ends and will be coded and tabulated . The structured choice questions were based on frequent comments made by alumni in various recent communications. and give us a choice to find out how many alumni agree or disagree..

My suggestion is that the critics of this survey hold their fire until the results are in.. My hope is that the results will be useful and encourage the foundation to undertake more research in their ongoing planning process. In any event I personally feel good about making an earnest contribution to the CRS mission.

Jerry Murphy -'48-49

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Save CRS
Date: Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:28 PM
Subject: Re: Response to LAJF Survey
To: jerry murphy

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for your note. We will hold our fire now that we have expressed our concerns. Of course we thank you for helping to improve the transparency and communication of the board in light of the poor transparency and communication that preceded the news last year. We also look forward to future additional surveys. Thanks again.

One thing that is not clear is when the survey ends. Is there a date?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 1:36 AM
Subject: Re: Response to LAJF Survey
To: Save CRS , "J.C. Calderon" , Pete Comas , Christina Busso , Chris Varrone , Tim Conners

Alumni Survey


In answer to your question, the response to the survey has been excellent, (close to 400 completed interviews so far) and still coming in.. Alumni have spent an average of 46 minutes and a median of 13 minutes filling it out.. We have a rich lode of data to mine.. We plan to send out survey reminders until response trickles that we have the opportunity to analyze response of smaller subgroups such as west coast alumni.. I'm not sure when that will be but 6 to 8 weeks is a good guess.

I have found that one of the values of survey research is that it often brings together and promotes bonds between various segments of a community.. This is particularly so when the type of research being done is new to the organization.. Your holding back fire is one example of that.. Your publishing of my response to your critique of survey in forum would be a another good example of that process.. So I hope that ypu do. .

At some point I l look forward to discussing specific findings of the survey with you.


Jerry Murphy- Tent mate of Seth Frank ;48-49, and college roommate of Ray Chen '49-50 brother of Franny Chen '44-46 and class mates of Bill Soule, Don Fern and Fran Clark.