WMU Qualtrics Survey Acceptable Use Rules and Guidelines

Responsible officeInformation Technology
Enforcement officialDirector, Strategic Project and Service Management

Statement of Rule 

Western Michigan University has contracted with Qualtrics to provide the Qualtrics Research Core surveying platform to all eligible* WMU students, faculty and staff. Eligible users may not share the licensed software with others. Use of this service is governed by University policies as well as terms and conditions of the contract with Qualtrics.

* Currently enrolled students and currently employed faculty and staff.

1. Purpose of Rule

Sets forth the rules for using the Qualtrics Research Core surveying platform.

2. Stakeholders Most Impacted by the Rule

These rules and guidelines apply to any student, faculty or staff using the Qualtrics Research Core services, whether on campus, at home, at regional sites, or via any other means.

3. Key Definitions

3.1. Qualtrics is the company that provides the Qualtrics research core surveying platform. The Qualtrics research core surveying platform is often referred to as Qualtrics. 

4. Full Rule Details

4.1. Any faculty or staff member using Qualtrics must ensure that their use will comply with any data storage requirements of their school, department, unit, or Western Michigan University.

4.2. All surveys must comply with the University’s Data Collection Through Surveys Policy.

4.3. Collection of private information is prohibited unless it has been authorized by the information security team and/or the Western Michigan University Institutional Review Board. 

4.4. Qualtrics may not be used to store, maintain, or transmit any kind of restricted/confidential data, including, but not limited to social security numbers, driver's license numbers, financial account or credit card numbers, or any other personally-identifiable data.

4.5. Student data protected by FERPA is permitted in Qualtrics Research Core services provided that the information is shared only between the student and those who have a legitimate education-related interest.

4.6. Western Michigan University does not back up data stored on Qualtrics Research Core, and cannot restore, or recover, any data or documents that are deleted from these applications.

5. Recruiting Survey Participants

WMU has several guidelines and policies in place regarding the appropriate use of student, faculty and staff email addresses or goWMU announcements as a means of recruiting survey participants.

5.1. All email requests that are sent out to participants must abide by the WMU rules on use of mass email for research policy.

5.2. Access to WMU email addresses for research purposes is limited to WMU students, faculty and staff and requires approval of the Western Michigan University Institutional Review Board and the approval of the chief information officer of the University.

5.3. Except for official University messages, the sending of mass emails to students is prohibited. Official messages are those authorized by the president of the University, senior academic officer, senior business officer, senior student affairs officer, chief information officer, or by marketing and strategic communications, which serves as the clearinghouse for mass email messages. Students may be reached using a targeted goWMU announcement. To request a goWMU announcement, contact the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications at (269) 387-8400 or marcom@wmich.edu.

6. Accountability

Any person found to be in violation of these rules will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action as defined by current University policy and bargaining agreements. Violations may also result in the removal of access privileges, in accordance with the Office of Information Technology's "Computing Resources Acceptable Use Policy."

7.Related Procedures and Guidelines

7.1. Data classification

7.2. Data security responsibilities

7.3. Qualtrics Security Statement

7.4. Qualtrics HIPPA compliance and HITRUST Certification

7.5. WMU and Qualtrics Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

7.6. Qualtrics HITRUST letter of certification

7.7. Qualtrics Support

8. FAQs

8.1. Where do I get support for Qualtrics?

Answer: See Qualtrics Survey Platform for information about how to use Qualtrics and how you may contact Qualtrics for support. 

9. Related Policies:

9.1. Data Collection Through Surveys Policy

9.2. Computing Resources Acceptable Use Policy


Effective date of current versionAugust 20, 2019
Date first adoptedAugust 20, 2019
Proposed date of next reviewAugust 20, 2022