Why did we develop a special newsletter for the town residents? During the final phase of the
life safety contract negotiations between Plymouth State and the Town of Plymouth, we heard
some negative feedback. Rather than assume that this was the prevailing attitude about the
University, we hired an outside firm with a national reputation in political polling to assess
how our neighbors view us. The survey was done by phone early in the summer.
While there are certainly issues to be resolved, we were pleased to hear that nine out of 10
Plymouth residents have a favorable opinion of PSU and 75 percent rate the overall quality of
education provided by PSU as excellent or good. Plymouth residents recognize the positive
economic impact of the University with 46 percent rating job creation and the economy as the
best part of having PSU located in the town. Other attributes noted were availability of cultural
activities (21 percent) and the student population (20 percent).
In spite of a positive overall rating, survey respondents were in agreement about the top two
issues of concern, property tax issues and student behavior. Sixty-three percent of respondents
identified tax issues as a concern and 22 percent rated student behavior issues as a negative
impact of having the University located in Plymouth. We were not surprised to have these two
issues at the top of the minds of town residents, and we found the comments made to the
surveyors to be helpful.
More surprising was the percentage of town residents who told us they get their information
about PSU from the University, only one percent. This represents an information gap that we
would like to fill. You may have already received the last two issues of Plymouth Magazine, which
will continue to be distributed to residents of Plymouth. While the magazine has a very wide
audience, PSU Notebook was created especially for town residents.
So, the survey results are part of the reason for this newsletter. The other reason is that Plymouth
State University is evolving, and we want to share these changes and successes with our neighbors.
I hope you will enjoy this publication and find something of interest in each issue.
Retha Lindsey Fielding
Vice President for Institutional Advancement