GVSU Campus Climate Survey


I will start by saying that we are conducting our sixth campus climate survey in our history and our 60 year, 59 year history which is a tremendous opportunity but also a tremendous I think achievement for the University, most universities. We did a survey as part of our National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in higher education – only 12% of the universities have ever conducted a climate assessment. And of that, they’ve done one and so they have not certainly had the longitudinal experiences that we have had. The previous two and this one are comprehensive, right, these will be three comprehensive surveys that are administered to all faculty and staff and students. The first three were targeted to gender issues, specifically in the first two and were rightfully important at that time. So we will launch the survey on November 14th, it’s right before the holidays. We found this to be a really good time for responses last year actually. I’ll show you the response rates just in case you forgot them as well. We’ll have a lot more information on our website which is up on the slide too, the back slash my GVSU. As the survey rolls out we’ll have more information there as well and I think you and the survey instrument will be up there in terms of a PDF as well so that you can preview the questions that will come electronically to you. What I’ll say is if you have questions or you need clarification just shout them out also while I’m chatting through this wonderful video, you know we have to always show those. We care about every experience. How do you make a difference by actually contributing, you know? And making sure our voices are heard. I think the campus climate study allows us to, not just talk about the good things but talk about the things that we’ll be challenged with. We have direct results of the climate survey for change on campus. We want to make sure that Grand Valley is a welcoming environment for all of our faculty, staff, and students. And so by taking the climate survey, we really get good, in depth, anonymous information about what’s happening on campus. One experience of a person feeling less welcome or less included on this campus matters and that’s what the campus climate survey will help us understand. We can’t get better just by thinking that we’re great. We get better by working on the things we need to work on in order to be excellent. We all want to be valued, you know, and so we ask those questions as far as okay what makes you happy or not happy. Until we know, we cannot address some things that maybe, you know, we are oblivious to what’s going on. Survey tool will strip your email from your results, making that completely anonymous so students can feel free to be as truthful so our administrators can get the most accurate results. One of the most important conditions is inclusive voices and really having every member of the community feel as though they have a place, a voice, are heard, are respected. We want a diverse and inclusive learning environment for faculty, students, and staff. This allows us to make sure that we are on target. And it can show that this place can thrive, and that people can have that feeling that ‘I belong here’. It’s not only for a few, it’s for all of us. And we’ll also report all of those findings back to the campus. We want people to know about those experiences and perceptions of this environment and be completely transparent about those findings. I think it’s important to really represent our community to have everyone participate so we know where our priorities need to be set in improving our culture, our climate, and our inclusion. All we can do is do our part to make sure that we’re creating the narrative of what change looks like and what we would like to see in order to make this a more inclusive campus. We always want to be a better place. And that’s what we hope will come from part of this survey. It’s not going to take up a lot of your time and it’s going to affect change for years to come so just do it. Yeah, I love Alex’s endpoint on just do it and you know our star Dr. Felix Ngassa in the film there as well. And me, that was from 2015 me 40 pounds heavier living in Michigan so I’m always going to put that picture up there or run more one of the two those are all options, right? So you all know that climate data is tied to our strategic plan outcome B is that GVSU is diversity inclusive and there’s a specific metric around reports around the University’s perceptions of equity and levels of equity is characteristic of institutional climate. The first time we asked this question was in 2015 so we’ll have actually a second set of data in 2019 for some longitudinal comparisons. The previous question was a question about is GVSU committed to diversity, which was collected in 2005 and 2015 and will be collected again so we have that longitudinal data that I’ll show you here in a bit. What I’m going to do right now is remind people of some of the data that we found in 2015. One to provide sort of a context of why we conduct climate assessments but also to remind people about the importance and urgency of collecting information particularly when we identify areas of disparities or areas of different experiences and perceptions by some really important groups and members of our community. We use Sue Rankin. We use her model. She was the consultant to the university we worked with in 2011. Sue Rankin, Robert Reason, Silvia Hurtado, Mitch Chang and Gloria Ladson-Billings. These are all sort of who we pulled forward to create our new instrument based on Sue Rankin’s model and the definition of climate you see up there: current behaviors, attitudes, standards and practices of employees and students at an institution. We measure climate in three areas. We think about this in three conceptual framework so experiences, how am I experiencing the campus, how are others experiencing the campus. From things as significant as experiencing a hate crime on campus to a microaggression in the classroom to just feeling uncomfortable being in certain spaces because of my identity. So those are a range of experiences that we will capture in the climate survey. We also think about perceptions as you all know. Perceptions are reality on our campus and at every institution so perceptions matter a lot when we think about the kind of community we’re trying to create and how people are perceiving our community. So this is both the perception of climate for myself in my identity communities as well as the perception of climate for other identity communities. And where we do the most interesting sort of analysis with perception data is the gaps that exist between different communities. So for example, the perception of those who identify as men about the climate for women and the perception of those who identify as women for the climate of women. If we see a gap there there’s some work that needs to be done to kind of bring communities together so that there’s some understanding and advocacy and allieship built between those communities. I’m focused a lot on institutional actions in terms of what the University should be doing, can be doing better to improve campus climate and what should we stop doing to improve campus climate. So there’s a component of the survey that asked individuals about institutional actions and our commitment to inclusion and equity and their perceptions about that as well. And then you all know that the important, important piece about climate data isn’t just to capture the experiences perceptions and thoughts about institutional actions, it’s about the inclusion equity component to it. So, we asked a number of demographic variables and where this research becomes really important is looking at disparities between experiences of groups, either within certain identity characteristics or among social identity groups and I’ll show you a little bit about that in a bit. So that’s really the heart of climate research is the different experiences, the different perceptions, and the different thoughts of institutional actions based on our communities and our social identities. Basically, we know that climate exists within a system, the University exists within a system and the climate externally impacts us internally. Lots of things impact our climate. The survey only provides one piece of the puzzle to this sort of complex environment that is Grand Valley. And we also know that climate is contextual and really a climate survey is a snapshot of time in terms of how we are thinking about our University, how we’re feeling about our University, how we are experiencing our University. For example, if we administer the climate survey on November 14th and November 15th we have a huge racial incident on our campus, the responses are going to be very different. So, this is why we sort of put into context that that climate is localized and highly impacted by social factors. Why does climate matter? So, we use the term healthy experiences. We don’t, we try not to use the term positive experiences because as a university we want people to feel uncomfortable in discussion in classrooms and we want to sort of spark debate and have healthy experiences. We want positive perceptions of our environment for our communities. What the research tells us and i’ll fly through two slides but there are lots of citations if you want to look through any of this it’ll be on our web. But what the research tells us is that when students, faculty and staff have healthy experiences and positive perceptions of our climate, there are positive academic and learning outcomes for students. There’s healthy identity development and overall well-being for students and there’s a greater productivity and a sense of value and sense of community for our employees. So, people stay longer, this impacts persistence and retention of both our employees and our staff and our students. The other piece to this also is that we know that there is sort of this direct connection with perceptions of climate and recruitment and enrollment. So as individuals go back to communities, their perceptions of our climate is certainly that narrative is being shared externally. So, we think not only about the impact that its having on our current population but the impact that it has externally as people perceive us from the outside in. So, this is the climate research that I just summarized on why it matters for students, why it matters for faculty and staff. One of the really important pieces to the climate survey is that we don’t collect a lot of population identity data on campus so you might know that we collect information on sex, we collect information on race and ethnicity, we collect information if people report it on disability status and veteran status. And those are really the only social identity factors that we collect as a population. What the survey allows us to do is to get a better picture of our community with expanded definitions of identity. So, the survey collects information on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, caregiver status, sometimes its collected in HR, sometimes it’s not, a first-generation college going status for employees, disabilities for those who don’t report it through DSR, or ADA compliance officer and veteran status for those who don’t report that as well. So, the demographic piece becomes really important because it helps us better understand our community more holistically. What you’ll remember in 2015 is that the data told us that we had a really comfortable healthy campus climate overall. 87% of all faculty, staff and students said that they were very comfortable or comfortable with the overall climate at Grand Valley compared to 70% of national averages at the same time. With the data again, it’s important to look at it to disaggregate some of those identity characteristics and 6 groups really stood out as having very different experiences with climate on almost every factor. That included our transgender, gender non-binary, gender non-conforming community. This was the first time that we actually separated out gender identity from sexual orientations, so the first time we actually captured this information was in 2015. The light blue is very comfortable and the dark blue is comfortable. Transgender population was also the first time we ask gender identity was in 2015 as well and is about 1.3% of our population identify within that community which is pretty significant when we think about the size of our institution. then you see some of the other differences and experiences with our communities of color, LGBQA communities, religious minorities the four largest on our campus: Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Hindu. Experiencing campus very differently within that population as well. Women were on sort of par with the total population much of that is due to the fact that 75% of the respondents were women so that kind of correlates with the overall of response rates as well are the overall findings as well in many ways and individuals with disabilities actually in this measure are saying that the campus is more comfortable but in other places where we asked about an accessibility they’re actually saying that the campus is less accessible. So, there’s some contradictory information there as we look at that data. So again, I’m pointing out the six categories that we did additional analysis on because we identified disparities and experiences and perceptions. Those are the ones that I just listed. They are transgender communities, LGBQA, people of color, communities with disabilities, minority religious groups and women and those who identify as women. We ask people about their personal experiences with climate. It’s a very specific question. Personal experiences with climate that you believe that had to do with some sort of identity characteristic. We saw an increase from 2011 to 2015 from 11% saying that they had a personal experience with negative climate in the past year in 2015 a jump to 14%. Again, the positive story here is that we’re doing much better than the national average but what I always say and what I know president Mantella believes and certainly at the time president Hass believed is that even if that was 1% that’s something that we need to work on and we need to figure out how we improve our climate in ways that are healthy for all of our community members. We asked about the personal experiences by identity and here again you see four categories standout. Our transgender community in particular. 40% of our transgender community had said in the last year they experienced negative climate that impacted their ability to live, work, or learn on our campus. LGBQA populations, individuals with disabilities, and in our communities of color all had greater negative experiences than the general population. A similar question about considering leaving in the past year because we know the data is tied to retention and persistence. We ask this question whether you can consider leaving within the past year due to a climate concern. We saw a decrease from 2011 to 2015 but you still see that 20% of our employees are annually thinking about leaving because of the campus climate so it’s certainly something that we need to pay attention to, while we do much better than the national average. So again, we see the same disparities with some of our communities and differences here. So again overall 18% of our employees and students of color had considered leaving in the past year due to climate concerns. One of the positive things that the survey allows us to do or two of the things the survey allows us to do is to capture areas that we’re doing really well in. So, areas of strength as well as areas of opportunity, which are also problem areas that we need to work on. The way we approached climate data is not only to highlight the negative data but also to point to and identify either departments, colleges, units that are really thriving for certain populations and what they’re doing so well that we might be able to leverage, capitalize on, share with other units as best practices so when we run additional data analysis we’re looking for some of those areas of strength across the university and going into those units to learn what they’re doing to create a more positive climate for people of color for example so we’re able to do those comparisons between units based on some of the data. This was the commitment question so from 2005-2015 certainly increased across-the-board we’re going to look and see what it says in 2019 that the university does believe that we are committed to diversity. Response rates were great in 2015. We did a lot of outreach, including lots of these forums and went to a lot of meetings and you saw the jump from 2005 to 2011 to 2015. Students when we disaggregated that by undergraduate and graduate students, graduate students were the hardest population to respond to this survey. Only about 19% of graduate students actually responded. Closer to almost 50% of our undergraduate students responded which was tremendous. So that’s some work we are doing right now to figure out how we increase graduate response rate. But overall, 42% response rate for an institution of our size is fantastic and the goal for sort of generalizability for us in this stage is 30%. So, in any of those populations we’re looking for at least 30%. We have a great advisory team, some of them are in the room. Thank you for your work. Some of the differences between 2015 and 2019 we’re using the same instrument that we used in 2011 with some slight changes. For anybody who was around in sorry we’re using the same instrument that we used in 2015 with slight changes. For anybody who was around and in 2011 that survey really, really, really long and on average took about 45 minutes to complete. Lots of qualitative open-ended questions that took until 2015 to actually finish running the analysis. So, what we decided to really focus on in 2015 was what are the questions we’re actually doing something with the data on. Let’s ask those questions. If we’re not doing anything with the data, stop asking the question. We took out all of the qualitative questions except for one at the end that allows people to just add voice to their experiences, perceptions or anything else that they’ve reported throughout the survey. In 2015, the average response rate was 11 minutes so it’s a much quicker survey that gets directly to some of the questions that you’ve seen up here but allows individuals to add context with a open-ended question if they would like to. We continue to use an expedited process because I feel like we’ve built our expertise on campus in terms of the work around climate assessment. we don’t use external consultants anymore to build the assessment but we do put in some measures and ensure that we are helping our community feel comfortable that we have some safeguards that your protection, your identity is being protected within these places. Two of the ways that we’re doing that our administration of the surveys is actually done by Qualtrics this year, they will both be sending out survey reminders, the survey invitations and they’ll be scrubbing the data from emails and IP addresses before it gets back to us. I’ll share a little bit more about this interactive dashboard that we’re starting for the first time this year. It’s all online except for accommodations contacting DSR will be the opportunity to do that. This year we’re also adding in with the help of a couple of the faculty members focus groups for some of our student populations in particular that will that will add some narrative to the climate assessment that will launch in November. As the video said this is confidential, the video said anonymous, technically it’s not anonymous, nothing is anonymous but it is confidential and your identity will be protected. we decouple with the use of Qualtrics – email addresses, IP addresses and we won’t report any data that has less than 10 responses to any of the identity characteristics. So, this prevents us from doing some analysis but not all analysis. There will only be two people on campus who have access to all of the data at an individual level and that’s myself and our Associate Vice President for Institutional Analysis, Philip Batty. Are the only two people who have all the data and the reason I say it’s confidential and not anonymous is because if you are the one Asian American faculty member in Department of Criminal Justice we know who you are, we could figure out who you are. Philip and I are protecting that and so we won’t report on any of those things. By maintaining the data pretty close we’re able to able to hold to you those protections of confidentiality. We’ll be transparent during reporting, we will report whatever we find. we say that every year and we’re going to continue to do that. I’ll share more about Qualtrics and the dashboard that were working on. There will be two aspects to this dashboard. Live dashboards that will provide live response rates so people know who are responding and where they were where they’re responding. The second piece to this will be an interactive dashboard that will allow individuals with GVSU credentials to go into a system and essentially play with the data. So, you’re interested in how undergraduate students answered this question you’ll be able to have the access to do that; you’re interested in how people of color or specific racial ethnic group answered certain questions you’ll be able to do that as well. This makes it much more user-friendly. You’re able to run college level and division level reports. There will be protections here to where any number of cross tabs you know you could get down to those less than 10 there will be protections here that will not allow that to happen. So, we’re kind of making the data more freely accessible and at the same time we’re going to still do customized reports in house. This won’t do everything for everyone so we’ll be able to do some additional analysis in house or in the Division of Inclusion and Equity for folks who are interested in certain populations or would like some data for their individual work. So, I think that I will close with some recommendations that we are continuing to work on from 2015 that you see here. We are continuing to have conversations about what a university-wide training looks like for employees. I know the Faculty Senate and we’ve discussed this also about what this might look like and so we’re having really active conversations around that. One of the recommendations about white consciousness-raising training was came up from 2015 that program has been in place now for three years which is really great. Salary and hiring process – lots of questions about equity and salary and sort of hiring process. What I’m really happy to finally be able to report is that this semester we will conduct our first salary equity internal studies since since when Kathleen? In 17 years so we have Associate Vice President of HR who is going to be doing this on a more regular basis looking at salary equity disparities based on various demographic categories and we’ll report that data out to the campus too. This was endorsed by President’s Cabinet last winter and we’ve been working over the summer to figure out what the plan would be and are just now beginning to roll that out to the campus through Human Resources and it’ll all be coming through Human Resources. In 2015, the employee ombuds was kind of just squashed with new leadership who understand the importance of navigation resources that are re-examining this as an opportunity for our campus. So, this is that conversation that is actively going on with the Provost, Pesident, and our HR VP and me as well thinking about what that might look like in our campus so we’re now re-examining best practices, re-examining practices across the state and looking to see if you know if this data tells us again that employees are asking for navigation support resources. Let’s have a plan to actually respond to that and so that’s part of the work that we’re doing here. But what cool information that I would say that we’re doing right now around the gender expression and identity – the myName process came after the 2015 survey where individuals were asking for their display name or preferred name or chosen name or given name to be able to be used in banner. That, that work happened post 2015 with some urgency and so we now have that put that system in place. The collection of additional data on sexual orientation and gender identity is actually now being worked on to where we will have employees and students will have the option to share identities around sexual orientation and gender identity likely beginning in the fall through our banner system. That’s important because it allows us to look at retention rates for students within those categories where some of the success rates and what services we might need for employees within those communities as well. And then we’re doing incentives again. I think that helped in 2015 but we’re doing financial incentives again so four $2,000 tuition awards for students and 6 research or PD grants for faculty and staff. And then we decided to continue this sort of goal that you know what to push our employees to respond to this survey maybe our students will push their faculty to respond to this survey because if our employees get 60%, we’ll add two additional tuition grants for our students and then all of that comes with a lovely lunch with our president as well so that’s the fun part. There are stuff – buttons and talking points and take as many as you want to share them with your students. We’ll be sending out some messages to department heads and to unit heads and as well as to faculty through the Provost Office encouraging time during class, encouraging time during work, ensuring that our PSS staff know that they can use work time to, to complete the survey. We will announce the survey date, survey hour during while it’s live and we hope that everybody gets on their computer and we crash all the network servers and you know everyone takes the survey at that time. But a message will go out at that hour saying they take a break, take the survey if you’d like. A question that we got before was bring everybody into the room and make them take the survey. But that is not the point. We do not want to compel people to take the survey or force people to take the survey. we certainly want people to feel like their voice is important and sharing their voice through this process is really important as well. So, while we say the goal is 100% – we won’t get there and I’m okay with that too. Thank you all.

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