I asked Dan Judd, a graduate student who works for me, to look into creating an electronic suggestion box for the dean of the college. This is what he came back with.
Options for creating an anonymous suggestion box for the Dean.
1) Slip note under Dean's door. Pro - Simple. Would cost less to implement than generating this report. Con - Only small notes fit. Not too anonymous in the middle of the day.
2) Put note in box outside Dean's office. Pro - Simple. Anonymity reasonable during the day. Box can be easily emptied into trash at end of day. Con - Requires ability to find the Dean's office. Suggestions weighing more a few pounds unworkable. Box can be easily emptied into trash at end of day. Will probably get more gum wrappers that suggestions.
3) Mail to an address that strips off headers and forwards to Dean. Pro - Easy to do from anywhere in the building. Big messages not a problem. Electronic messages are easy to delete. Con - Won't be able to strip .signature files from the end of messages. Requires users have access to e-mail. Electronic messages are easy to delete. Requires Dean read e-mail 4) A 'suggest' command that sends message to appropriate place. Pro - No problem with signatures. Fairly simple. Con - Requires that users remember command exists. Requires an account and the ability to create a file on Unix. Requires Dean read e-mail.
5) Printer in Dean's office for suggestions. Pro - Hard copy made of suggestions. Draws attention to itself, increasing the likelyhood suggestions may be looked at. Con - Printer must be on. Queue not anonymous during printing. Temptation to send the Kama Sutra may be too great for some.
6) Suggestion posted anonymously to public news group. Pro - Keeps people aware suggestion service exits. Suggestions more likely to be dealt with in some manner. Others can comment on suggestion along with the Dean. Con - Some suggestions too personal to be posted. Requires Dean read news. 7) Coup d'etat. Pro - Eliminates need for anonymity. Eliminates need for suggestions. Con - Difficult to automate.