WSU community encouraged to participate in campus climate study
December 19, 2017
Wayne State University is committed to providing an atmosphere that values diversity and inclusion, and is seeking feedback from the campus community to understand how well we are doing in our goal to provide a welcoming and inclusive campus.
On Jan. 16, all students, faculty and staff received an email requesting their participation in a survey about Wayne State’s campus climate. The survey is the first part of a comprehensive study that will measure perceptions and experiences of diversity, inclusiveness, fairness, conduct, safety, support, and opportunities for advancement and academic success on campus.
The survey is voluntary and completely confidential. The survey, which can be completed in multiple sessions, will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Participants are encouraged to answer as many questions as possible, but it is not required to respond to each question. The survey will be conducted by WSU’s Campus Climate Study Committee, a diverse group of engaged members from the campus community under the leadership of Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Marquita Chamblee.
“It’s important that everyone on campus knows that we care deeply about their personal experiences and challenges, both as an individual and as part of the broader campus community,” said Chamblee. “Reflecting on those experiences and challenges will help Wayne State improve and become an increasingly inclusive place to learn and work.”
Following a comprehensive selection process, the Campus Climate Study Committee partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Survey Research Laboratory for support in designing and distributing the survey and analyzing the response data. As an external partner, the UIC Survey Research Laboratory will enhance individual confidentiality of survey participants.
The UIC Survey Research Laboratory, which has extensive experience with higher education climate studies, will take multiple precautionary measures to protect anonymity. No personally identifiable information will be shared, and reporting will be based on overarching themes. Additionally, the survey will not be hosted on a server associated with WSU.
Wayne State’s target response rate for the survey is 100 percent. Student Disability Services (SDS) will be available to provide support to students, faculty and staff who require assistance for any reason.
“So many different groups at so many different times can feel marginalized,” Chamblee said. “Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable speaking up in that situation. This survey provides that opportunity for all voices to be heard.”
Survey responses will be analyzed in winter 2018, and a final report will be shared with the campus community in fall 2018. Data will be used to help inform the next steps of the climate survey process, which include the formation of smaller focus groups and individual interviews with members of WSU’s leadership.
“The survey results will be treated as valuable, actionable information that will help us chart the course for the future,” said Chamblee. “We’re treating this study as an opportunity to create a benchmark for how our community sees itself.”
As the university commemorates its 150th anniversary in 2018, Chamblee said such benchmarks are more important than ever.
“As we look back at where we’ve been as a university and where we’re at now, it’s crucial that we take the opportunity to critically evaluate these individual experiences. Diversity and inclusion will always play an integral role in our strategic plan, mission, values and who we are as a university,” she said. “It’s equally important that we evaluate the role diversity and inclusion play in our own individual experiences as well.”
Additional information about the Campus Climate Study can be found online. Following the official launch of the climate survey, individuals with questions about accessing the survey can contact UIC Survey Research Laboratory representative Marina Stavrakantonaki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For assistance completing the survey, please contact SDS via phone at 313-577-1851 or via videophone at 313-202-4216.
For more information about diversity and inclusion, please write Wayne State's Office of Diversity and Inclusion at email@example.com.