Collins notes that the response rate was unusually high:
Of the 5,585 members receiving the survey, 1,954 members (35%) responded. Online survey experts consider a response rate of greater than 3% to be excellent. A response at the level achieved in the resolution survey is phenomenal.If he knows that a glitch in the survey software allowed people to vote multiple times, or that non-members were able to access the survey, he does not mention it. This surely confounds the results, which were as follows:
If the results are filtered to show only those entering "anonymous":
Collins notes that the responses fell into four main groups:
- "Thank you for doing this — I wish it had been done sooner."
- "How dare you do this — I hold completely opposite views."
- "I partially agree and partially disagree and I'd vote differently if the wording were different."
- "The SBL shouldn't play politics or pass such resolutions and should stick to biblical studies."
Collins says that "Council will have a discussion about the results and continue the conversation at the 2005 Annual Meeting." Does that mean they will have a discussion among themselves or that the conversation will be open to the membership? I hope it is the latter. I continue to be concerned and depressed at the prospect of the politicization of the SBL. This will add to, not reduce, politico-religious polarization in the US and likely fracture the Society itself.