Electronic Version F1 (12.5.2023)

This Agreement, (which includes any and all Exhibits or Addendums attached hereto or executed subsequently), is made between the Survey Sciences Group, LLC, d/b/a SoundRocket (SR), and the school identified in the preceding online enrollment form (“School”), for the School to take part in a Campus Climate Study – Base Service (“Study”).


The Study is a research study conducted by SoundRocket, a social science survey research business.  SoundRocket sets the Study design and executes the Study.  In general, the Study involves the administration of a set of questions to the School’s students, staff, and employees via email invitation to a web-based survey.  This Study is conducted on behalf of the School, which, to be part of this Study, is required to pay a fee to SoundRocket to cover the cost of implementation, as described below. This is a standardized service, not a custom service.

NOW, THEREFORE, the parties agree as follows:

  1. Study Enrollment.  To participate in the Study, the School must complete the study enrollment form and agree to these terms. The enrollment form serves as an application by the School to participate in the Study.  SoundRocket must approve the school seeking to enroll in the Study before the School may participate in the Study.  SoundRocket reserves the right to deny enrollment to any applicant or to close enrollment at any time.
  2. Study Design.  The scientific and implementation design of the Study are at the direction of SoundRocket.  Participation in the Study does not grant the School the opportunity to modify or change the design of the Study in any way, except as otherwise noted in this document or where the Study design is purposefully left to the School to determine. Any offered customization may be withdrawn if necessary to meet study timeline or other requirements. Additional information regarding the Study Methodology and the implementation of the Study is set forth in Exhibit A.
  3. SoundRocket Website.  Additional information regarding the conduct of the Study may be made available on a SoundRocket-operated website.  When services and/or terms described in online information conflict with this Agreement, or Addendums,  this Agreement, and any Addendums, shall prevail.
  4. School Fee.  To participate in the Study, the School must pay a fee.  The fee is non-refundable, once paid.
    1. School Participation Fee.  This standard fee is currently set at $10,000.  This fee is due within 30 days of enrollment. The School may cancel in the first 30 days by sending an email to requesting cancellation. The School will be considered to have been canceled if 30 days have passed without payment. Once payment is made, the school is considered enrolled, and the fee is non-refundable, even if within the 30-day window. The School understands that immediately upon enrollment and payment, SoundRocket will incur a significant portion of the cost of participation.
    2. Discounts Offered. SoundRocket may offer a discount from time to time. The discount may involve specific requirements, such as time of enrollment.
    3. Payment Received. The School will be considered PAID on the successful completion of a credit card transaction or on receipt at SoundRocket’s office (PO Box 1104, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106) of a check.  With either payment approach, PAID status may be revoked if the payment transaction ultimately fails. No work will commence until payment is received.
  5. Study Schedule. The school may request a preferred data collection schedule on enrollment. If not specified, SoundRocket will assume that the desire is to be implemented in the next upcoming term. However, the schedule for study implementation may change once enrolled. Changing data collection timing will not incur any costs unless a change is made within 30 days of the planned data collection launch or unless one full year has passed since enrollment. Additional fees will be assessed for any late rescheduling or for going beyond the one-year term.
  6. School Cancellation / Refund Policy.  The School may cancel its participation in the Study, effective upon written notice received by  SoundRocket.  Cancellations received by 5pm Eastern Time any day, will be considered received on that date.  A cancellation received after 5pm Eastern Time on any day will be considered received on the following workday. 
  7. Overall Study Cancellation.  The Study may be canceled due to lack of interest, or any other reason by SoundRocket at any time. Cancellation shall only impact Schools that have not yet launched data collection. If data collection has been launched at a School prior to a Study cancellation, SoundRocket will fulfill the data collection. However, any services that are impossible due to the cancellation (i.e. benchmarking) may warrant a refund of a portion of the fee.  If the Study is canceled under this section, all fees paid for schools that have not yet launched data collection will be refunded in full (including what was designated as the nonrefundable fee).
  8. Use of Data/Reports.    The School may publish data collected from communities at the School in any manner the School wishes, including in scholarly articles and in presentations at conferences, so long as the published information does not include individual participant identifiers and no IRB, human subjects, or policy requirements are violated.  If any normative (benchmark) data is included in the deliverables, they may not be used in any tables, presentations, reports, or publications without permission from the Study  SoundRocket reserves the right to present aggregated (multi-school) data in articles and other settings.  All uses of the Study report data must attribute the source of that data to the Study, and a requested format for attribution will be made available by SoundRocket.
  9. Notice of Publication.  The school will give SoundRocket prior written notice if anyone acting under the auspices of the School wishes to publish or otherwise disseminate information regarding the Study beyond internal assessment purposes, for the purpose of affording SoundRocket an opportunity to respond to the published information in the same forum.  SoundRocket reserves the right to terminate this Agreement, effective upon written notice to the School, if anyone acting under the auspices of the School violates this clause or any other term of this Agreement. 
  10. Additional Services and Terms.   The School may request that SoundRocket provide services or information in addition to the deliverables described herein.  SoundRocket may accept such a request, subject to the agreement by the School to pay an additional fee for such additional work and subject to mutually agreeable additional terms of use related to the additional services or information provided by SoundRocket.
  11. Deadlines.  The School is responsible for meeting all deadlines as provided by SoundRocket in the planning, development, and implementation of the Study.  Schedules will be provided to and updated through the School and will be provided to the School after enrollment.
  12. Additional School Requirements.  The School shall perform such additional tasks as otherwise reasonably requested by SoundRocket to conduct the Study.
  13. Deliverables.  The School will receive:
      1. Progress Reports.  Reports on the progress of data collection, including response rates, completion rates, and other measures of the Survey progress will be provided and updated periodically during data collection.
      2. Individual Data.  A dataset in SPSS file format of all the Survey responses (excluding identifiable data) from the individuals in the study communities at the School.
      3. Standard Final Report.  An electronic report of research findings that details the aggregated results of the Study from respondents at the School and the overall aggregated results for all participating schools.  The form and content of the report shall be determined at the sole discretion of SoundRocket.
      4. Any additional deliverable as specified for the service level agreed to between the School and SoundRocket.
      5. SoundRocket may (but has no obligation to) archive the deliverables described in this section.  The School is responsible for saving to its own control or archiving all deliverables received by it from SoundRocket.  SoundRocket may deliver to the  School additional copies of any deliverable still retained by SoundRocket, upon request by the School, and upon payment as defined by SoundRocket for document retrieval.
  14. Data Ownership.  SoundRocket shall own all rights in all information and data collected and/or generated in connection with the Study including, but not limited to, the survey instrument, survey responses, and survey methodological data.  SoundRocket gives the School consent to use the dataset it receives hereunder for its internal business and educational purposes, including in any presentation or publication; provided, however, that all such presentations and publications must include appropriate citations acknowledging the Study, as detailed in this agreement.
  15. Confidentiality.  The identity of the School and its participation in the Study may be publicly disclosed by SoundRocket. All survey response data published in any reports, publications, and presentations related to the Study will be reported in the aggregate only, and no individually identifiable information linking such data to a respondent or any participating school will be made publicly available except as required by law.  The identities of responders who respond to the Survey will not be disclosed to the School; nor will the identities of those who do not respond to the Survey.  SoundRocket reserves the right to destroy the link between identifiable respondent information and survey data at any point during the Study if it determines it must be done to protect respondent confidentiality.  SoundRocket will destroy the link between identifiable respondent information and survey data per SoundRocket standard policies for safeguarding confidential data.  The School agrees not to attempt to identify any individual respondent in any resulting data file provided to the School.  The School agrees to follow procedures outlined by the Study on how to securely communicate any confidential data, including but not limited to, the list of students selected to participate in the Study.
  16. Data Confidentiality.  As described above, SoundRocket may make available to the School a case level analytic data file.  Unless the analytic dataset is designated by other elements of this Agreement to include identifiable data, prior to delivering that data set, SoundRocket will use commercially reasonable, good faith efforts, consistent with best practices in the survey industry, to protect respondent confidentiality.  Nevertheless, SoundRocket cannot warrant that a case-level data set could not be used (alone or in connection with other data) to identify individual survey respondents.  SoundRocket strongly recommends that the School utilize security considerations and data protection efforts to minimize the risk of the disclosure of the survey respondent identities as a result of the use by the School of any case-level analytic data set provided to the School by SoundRocket.  None of the data files produced by SoundRocket for the Study are intended for public use or disclosure.
  17. Force Majeure.  Each party shall be excused without liability for failures and delays in performance caused by war, civil war, riots, or insurrections; laws, proclamations, ordinances or regulations of any federal, state or local government; loss or lack of the Study grant funds; strikes, floods, fires, explosions, or other occurrences or disturbances beyond the control and without the fault of such party.  Any party claiming any such excuse for delay or nonperformance shall give notice thereof to the other parties.
  18. Disclaimers and Limitations of Liability.
    1. In no event shall SoundRocket be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages by virtue of any performance or breach hereunder, regardless of whether SoundRocket has been advised of the possibility of such damages and regardless of whether the damages were foreseeable.
    2. Any and all materials, information, and/or services provided by SoundRocket are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranties of any kind, either express or implied including, without limitation warranties of title, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose.
  19. School Contacts.  The contact information for the School personnel who are responsible for administering the School’s responsibilities under this Agreement is listed in the Study Enrollment Form completed by the School.  SoundRocket may rely on directions given and commitments made by the person listed as the School’s Primary Contact for the Study.
  20. Study Contacts.   Contact information for the person(s) at SoundRocket who is responsible for the Study will be provided to all enrolled schools.  The School may rely on directions given and commitments made by those persons.
  21. Term. The agreement term will be one (1) year from payment being received. An additional six (6) months will be added automatically if the data collection is not started within the first six (6) months of the agreement. The term may be extended for an additional one (1) year on request of the school and written agreement from SoundRocket.
  22. Independent Parties.  The parties are independent parties, and nothing herein shall be deemed to create an agency, joint venture, or partnership relationship between or among them.
  23. Entire Agreement.  This Agreement, and any Addendums executed hereto,  represents the entire understanding among the parties and may only be modified in writing and duly executed by the parties.


Study Scope and Methodology 

Exhibit A details the specific scope of participation for the School in the Study:

  1. Campus Climate Survey – Base Service Purpose. The campus climate base service (Study) is designed for the school that cares to understand its climate and take action to improve but who may lack the resources of an institution with a large dedicated budget. This is an excellent choice for schools implementing their first campus climate survey (ever or in many years) to give themselves a strong baseline understanding of what the current issues are on campus. Because it is standardized, it will also carry the most benchmarking capabilities as the study grows.  Implementation can be quick, and results can be delivered within weeks of data collection.
  2. School Guide.  The specific details of participation in the Study will be documented and kept updated in a “School Guide” that will be made available to the School after enrollment. 
  3. Study Language.  The official language of the Study is English.  All services, support, and reports will be in English.  The School is expected to provide a fluent English speaker to coordinate with the Study team.  If approved by SoundRocket, surveys may be made available in additional languages for School community member responses.  Alternative languages will require additional fees, and may not be available for given data collection timeframes. However, the inclusion of a language other than English in the survey does not mean that the Study team will also allow for alternative languages in general Study communications.
  4. Study Questionnaire.  SoundRocket designed the Study questionnaire in content and format.  Other than where specifically allowed in this Agreement, the School must accept the questionnaire as is without change. The questionnaire is designed to automatically tailor the questions and questions to the stakeholder groups (students, staff, faculty). To accommodate both administration styles (see Anonymous vs. Confidential Administration below), questionnaire flow will driven based on a question asked within the survey rather than any institutional data provided.  Customizations of any kind beyond what is provided in this agreement will require an upgrade to the Campus Climate Survey – Tailored service.
  5. Study Sample Size.  The School will provide SoundRocket with a simple random sample or full population of community members.  The standard community members selected for inclusion in this study include students, staff, and faculty. The School is required to identify which members belong in each of these groups when they provide the list to SoundRocket. The full study sample size may be up to the full population of students, staff, and faculty at the School.
  6. Anonymous vs. Confidential Administration. After study enrollment, the school will be asked to identify if they will participate in a fully anonymous administration or in a confidential administration.  The administration type may be changed consistent with the schedule requirements noted in this agreement or in materials provided by SoundRocket during enrollment and Study kickoff. There is no cost implication of this decision unless it is made beyond the deadline indicated above. The following differences apply:
    1. Anonymous Administration. An anonymous data collection allows the institution to collect data from their stakeholders (students, staff, faculty) in a fully anonymous manner. This is a great way to collect perceptions without raising concerns about how the data will be linked to their individual identities. However, as with any anonymous survey, while we will take measures to reduce multiple responses per person, this cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, we cannot target efforts to engage nonresponders in follow-up contacts. And, there is no way to link responders to any institutional data (i.e. departments, affiliation, etc.) As such, this is only recommended where anonymity is a significant concern or where there are barriers to providing the stakeholder information to an external organization. Anonymous participation will also limit some services, such as the use of incentives. The study results will have the caveat of an uncontrolled sample, which may or may not be representative of the school population.
    2. Confidential Administration. Confidential data collection provides a third-party assurance that all data will remain confidential. SoundRocket will place a firewall between the School and the stakeholders. No identifiable data will be shared with the institution. This will allow the study protocol to include targeted reminders to raise overall response rates, it will ensure that there are no duplicate responses, and it can provide some basis for nonresponse analysis to identify potential sources of error coming from those who participated. To engage in a confidential survey administration, the institution must be able to share a list of stakeholders’ names, emails, and their affiliations (student, staff, faculty). Additional data is also encouraged for nonresponse analysis (common variables include gender, race, ethnicity, student status (if applicable), job classification, etc.) Additionally, if Confidential Administration is selected, the following requirements and recommendations will apply:
      1. Study Sample Required Information for Confidential Administration.  The School will be required to provide the following information for each community member in its sample file:
        1. First Name
        2. Last Name
        3. Email Address
        4. Community Member Type (Undergraduate Student, Graduate Student, Staff, Faculty)
      2. Study Sample Recommended information.  SoundRocket highly recommends that the School provide the following information for each individual in its sample file.  The School acknowledges that without this information, some elements of the Study may not be possible:
        1. Gender
        2. Race
        3. Ethnicity
        4. Local Department / Unit / School
      3. Study Sample Custom School Variables.  The School may also provide up to five additional Custom School Variables. These variables will be appended to the final dataset as-is.  The variables will be named in a standardized way by SoundRocket.  Any provided variable or value labels will be provided back with the final deliverables.  Custom School Variables may not include unique identifiers.  Custom School Variables will not be reported in the Study reports unless the specific scope of work has been agreed to between SoundRocket and the School to do so.
  7. Coordination with Local School IT. SoundRocket will provide a worksheet to inform the local School IT office about the planned effort, and SoundRocket will be available for a meeting with IT personnel if necessary to coordinate the effort. SoundRocket will send a test email to a specified mailbox on request.
  8. Respondent Communications. Standard respondent communications (email invites, reminders) will be used. Emails will have basic tailoring to identify the school/institution of participation. Otherwise, no other customization will be allowed.
  9. Data Collection Design
    1. Data Collection Design – Confidential Administration.  Data collection will be completed through a web-based survey, with email invitations and reminders to students requesting their participation.  The following email contacts will be made, at the approximate intervals noted below (specific intervals are subject to change).  Only respondents who have not responded and not refused to participate will be reminded.  These protocols may be modified for any reason under the direction of SoundRocket or an IRB that is involved in the Study:
      1. Pre-invite Email
      2. Invitation Email (1-3 days following Pre-invite Email)
      3. Reminder #1 (3-5 days following Invitation Email)
      4. Reminder #2 (3-5 days following Reminder #1)
      5. Reminder #3 (3-5 days following Reminder #2)
      6. OPTIONAL Reminder #4  (3-5 days following Reminder #3).
    2. Data Collection Design – Anonymous Administration. If anonymous administration is selected, the data collection design will be left to the School to determine.  The School will be provided with a URL and a QR code that may be used to distribute to its stakeholders so that they may access the survey. The School must submit their plan to SoundRocket no later than 30 days prior to the data collection launch, and be willing to integrate quality assurance steps into the process to ensure that the data collection runs smoothly. The specific QA processes will depend on the final design planned. In the Anonymous administration, the school is responsible for sending all study communications to their communities. SoundRocket reserves the right to require changes to be made to the plan to ensure the quality of the Study.
  10. Data Collection Schedule.  The School will be given an opportunity to select a Data Collection Batch that works best for its school calendar.  Batches may be limited in size and will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.  The  Schools participating in the Study that provide all required information for participation on time will be given priority.  SoundRocket reserves the right to adjust batch dates or batch assignments.  The Data Collection schedule will not be finalized until all school-required inputs are received.
  11. Additional Confidential Administration Services Available
    1. Participant Incentives (National).  Consistent with quality survey methodological standards, the Study will offer incentives for respondents to participate.  This will consist of a single random drawing of one $100 value award for each batch of data collection (regardless of the number of schools participating in each batch). The random drawing will be held 2-4 weeks following the close of data collection for the batch.  SoundRocket may modify the incentive strategy or remove it entirely for an institution to comply with state and local laws.  All students eligible for the Study participation will be given an opportunity to be included in the drawing, regardless of their participation in the Study.  The Schools participating in the Study may opt out of the incentive if they prefer that their students not participate or if their state or local laws forbid such random drawings. School must notify SoundRocket at least 30 days prior to Study launch if they intend to not participate in the drawing. Later withdrawal may incur a change fee.  Schools opting to participate in the Anonymous Administration are, by default, opting to not participate in the national incentives.
    2. Participant Incentives (Local).  SoundRocket may offer the School the ability to engage in an additional incentive for their local communities. If approved by SoundRocket, the School will pay the full cost of providing any additional incentive in addition to any fee associated with the administration of the incentive. SoundRocket will provide a fee quote to the school once a final design is determined, and the school must decide no later than 30 days prior to data collection launch if they will proceed.. To maintain student confidentiality, the Study will select random winners. Under no circumstance will the school be provided a list of responders and nonresponders from which to make their own selections, as this will breach the confidentiality promised. Once winners are identified, any incentive offered must be fully delivered to the winners by the School.  The School must define for the Study what constitutes eligibility for inclusion in the incentive.  The School is responsible for developing incentive plans that are consistent with local laws or institutional policies. SoundRocket reserves the right to require winning community members to approve SoundRocket to share their contact information with the school for incentive delivery.
  12. Additional Services Available to Both Data Collection Designs:
    1. Custom Questions.  For a fee of $2500, the School will be provided with the opportunity to include up to 10 custom questions as part of the basic service.  There is no fee difference between 1 and 10 custom questions (it is a flat fee to include up to 10), and no more than 10 will be allowed without engaging in a Tailored or Custom survey administration upgrade. Custom questions must be submitted to SoundRocket no later than 60 days prior to the data collection launch.  All custom questions will be programmed as optional, non-mandatory questions, and placed at the very end of the survey on one single survey page.  Custom questions will be reported in an appendix to the main report in a format defined by SoundRocket.

The following will NOT be allowed within the custom questions:

      1. No skip logic will be allowed within the custom questions.
      2. No “Grid” style questions will be allowed.

Custom questions will be limited to the following question types:

      1. Single Response Question – Vertical Categories (Radio Button) – NOTE: “Other Specify” is allowed if requested, but it will count as a separate question towards the block of 10.
      2. Single Response Question – Horizontal Categories (Radio Button) – NOTE: “Other Specify” is not allowed with a horizontal category display.
      3. Multi-Response Question (CheckBox) – NOTE: Only vertical display allowed and  “Other Specify” is allowed if requested, but it will count as a separate question towards the block of 10.
      4. Numeric Response – NOTE: Range validation allowed if lower/upper limits are provided.
      5. Text Response – NOTE: Single line, up to 200 characters input space maximum.
      6. Memo Response – NOTE: Text box, allowing up to 5,000 characters.
  1. Final Reports. 
    1. Benchmarking: Benchmarking is not available as of this agreement execution; however, institutions will be given an opportunity to purchase a benchmarking report up to 1 year after data collection if sufficient participation allows for a benchmark to be created. Once a benchmark is available, it will only be reported once per term, regardless of when the data collection was completed within the term.
    2. Standard Report: A standard report (based on a template defined by SoundRocket) that presents all survey responses by stakeholder type (student, staff, faculty) will be included. Report customizations of any form will require a Campus Climate: Tailored design or greater. A minimum of 50 total responses must be received to have a report generated. Any cell with fewer than 10 responses will be suppressed.
  2. Response Rates.  The total responses received will be dependent upon the participation rate of the community members at the School.  The School is fully responsible for evaluating whether its sample size is sufficient to provide enough statistical power for any desired analysis planned by the School.  SoundRocket assumes no responsibility or liability for any problems associated with the response rate, including, but not limited to, low student participation, bad contact information, failure of email delivery, and/or failure of incentives. While it is highly unlikely, it is possible that the response is too low to generate a meaningful response. SoundRocket will be providing updates on study progress, so such a situation will be identified early in the data collection and SoundRocket will work with the School to implement strategies to attempt to reverse this result.
  3. Human Subjects / Institutional Review Board Approval.  SoundRocket considers the study exempt from IRB because it is designed to help the institution improve the quality of its services, so no IRB review will be conducted by SoundRocket. However, institutions may obtain their own IRB approval if required. Any work required for SR to support such an effort will be billed at an hourly rate. If IRB approval is obtained, the School agrees to share the full application submitted and any resulting approval with SoundRocket.
  4. File Hosting / Archival
    1. SoundRocket will provide a secure platform for the School to post Study-related documents, including respondent lists, and to receive all deliverables during the course of the Study. The School agrees that only the assigned individuals will use the login credentials to access this space and that every individual accessing the space must have a unique login and password, provided by SoundRocket.  The School agrees to give SoundRocket immediate written notice of termination or change of responsibility of any individual who has access to the Study system, so that SoundRocket may remove that individual’s access to confidential data.  To ensure the confidentiality of the data, access to this space will be terminated for all users as of contract termination or acceptance of all deliverables, whichever occurs first.  Additionally, SoundRocket may impose access restrictions that cause accounts to be disabled if not actively used for some period of time (requiring a positive contact with SoundRocket to re-enable the account.)  Upon the start of the Study, SoundRocket will provide access to the Study space to up to TWO individuals, named by the School.  The School may request access to extend beyond two individuals or for a duration beyond what is described above.  Such extensions may require additional fees or other limitations.  The School acknowledges that access to this space beyond the termination of this contract may not be possible.  SoundRocket reserves the right to change the software used for document sharing as necessary to fit their business needs.