Next steps for the campus climate survey

More than 7,000 individuals completed the campus climate survey conducted over a five-week period this fall. The results, which are being compiled and analyzed by Rankin and Associates consulting firm, will be presented during public campus meetings in late spring.

Questions developed with input from a broad-based campus committee evaluated the living, working and learning environment at Iowa State. The survey is intended to provide a baseline for improving the "ISU Experience," a key priority in Goal 4 of the university's strategic plan. Reg Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion, chairs the group tasked with implementing that portion of the plan.

"I think it is important to recognize and express appreciation to the over 7,000 members of the Iowa State community who participated in the climate survey," Stewart said.

Number crunching

Luck of the draw

Participants could enter a drawing for 10 gift cards ($50 each), which were awarded last week.

"It was enjoyable to deliver a bit of warmth and cheer on these cold winter days," Stewart said.

Faculty, staff and students were asked to complete the online, confidential survey. Preliminary numbers showed more than 40 percent of salaried staff participated. Approximately 12 to 14 percent of students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) and more than 30 percent of faculty participated. Overall, roughly 16 percent of the campus population completed the survey.

"While we are very pleased with the participation rates for faculty and staff, we would have liked to see higher participation rates for students," Stewart said. "That said, there is ample data for us to work with and we have a team of campus experts well-versed in both survey research and statistics to help us mine the data for information that can be useful to inform practice."

Rankin and Associates will present a summary of its findings during public meetings, likely to be scheduled in April or May. Stewart said the data will help identify issues and areas for improvement.

"There are more steps in this process," Stewart said. "The consultants, as part of their role, will help outline methods to apply the findings into tangible action steps. From there, we will collaborate with partners from all across campus to implement the recommendations. It is premature to say what exactly we will do with the data until we see the results, but the plan from the inception was to construct deliverables that can be tied directly back to survey findings."