Survey will gauge campus climate on diversity, equity, inclusion

October 13, 2016  //  FOUND IN: UMHS News

Later this month, the university will launch a survey of students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus to gauge the climate regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. The survey is part of the university’s five-year strategic plan for making the campus community more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

The survey will help the university create a base level of statistics for measuring the universitywide campus climate relating to diversity, equity and inclusion that can be repeated across time to measure progress toward established goals.

Rob Sellers, vice provost for diversity, equity and academic affairs — and the person designated to be the university’s new chief diversity officer — announced the survey during the Oct. 6 launch of the university’s diversity strategic plan.

“The campus climate survey is another way for us to hear directly from students, faculty and staff and have them help us establish a baseline that will allow us to better measure this important work as we move forward,” Sellers said. “We are very hopeful we will get strong participation from all aspects of the university community.”

A scientific sample of the university community will be surveyed beginning in late October through early December. Those selected as part of the survey sample will receive a personal invitation to participate in a web-based survey that will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Invitations will be sent to 3,500 students, 1,500 faculty members and 3,500 staff members spread throughout the university community. The U-M survey will be completely confidential and voluntary.

To enhance the confidentiality of this survey, the university has contracted with the Ann Arbor research firm SoundRocket to administer the survey. No one at the university will have access to any identifiable information from participants.

Survey questions were developed over the course of the past year by the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Academic Affairs in consultation with a faculty advisory committee and a student-staff advisory committee. Subject matter experts from the campus community and survey research experts from the university’s Survey Research Center also collaborated on the development of the survey.

Participating members of the university community will be offered a nominal token of appreciation or the option of donating the same amount to the Washtenaw United Way. This approach follows best practices among survey research and is designed to get the best possible participation.

Results from the sample survey this fall will be shared with the entire university in the spring of 2017. The sample survey is designed to provide universitywide data.

During 2017, all students, faculty and staff will be invited to participate in another survey open to everyone in the university community. This web-based survey will provide unit-level data to help the individual 49 units that developed strategic plans to measure those efforts over time. This data also will allow unit-to-unit comparisons of some survey results.

Results from both surveys will be shared widely with the university community.