In the spring semester of 2014 all faculty and staff had the opportunity to BE HEARD and share their perceptions and experiences through a Campus Wide Climate Survey.
The Climate Survey, a strategy borne of the University's five year Strategic Plan was intended to create a baseline of data that will help us understand how to best develop programs, training and awareness that lead to the recruitment and retention of a diverse and high quality faculty and staff.
The survey results were analyzed this summer by Dr. Sue Rankin from Rankin and Associates, the external consultant who developed the survey in conjunction with the University's Diversity Action Plan Task Force. One thousand five hundred seventy-four (1,574) faculty and staff completed the survey for a response rate of 37%. The overall results indicate high levels of comfort with the climate whereby faculty and staff reported being comfortable or very comfortable with the climate in their departments, work units or classrooms. Faculty and staff also reported positive attitudes about work life issues such as being able to use leave benefits and being valued for work provided.
In addition to knowing what the campus does well, we also wanted to know where our policies, practices and procedures did not align with our values of inclusivity, diversity and equity for all. As with any campus and with a student body of 38,000 and an employee base of approximately 4,000 faculty and staff, we knew that there would be opportunity for improvement.
As could be expected the results indicated areas where our University is not all it can and should be. Twenty-seven percent of faculty and staff reported experiencing exclusionary conduct or treatment and a small but meaningful percentage (7%) reported experiencing sexual harassment. Additionally, when some members of our campus community experienced such behavior they reported not knowing where or to whom to report the incident or they did not report the incident at all due to fear.
This obviously needs to change. Through a series of communication, education and training we are prepared to address these issues immediately.