Rankin shares results of campus climate survey

The results are in.

Students, faculty and staff members reported high levels of general satisfaction with SVSU’s campus climate during a survey conducted last November and December.

The university worked with Rankin & Associates Consulting to create, administer and analyze the campus-wide study, titled “SVSU Assessment of Climate for Learning, Living and Working.”

Sue Rankin led three presentations on the findings: Thursday, April 23, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall seminar rooms and Friday, April 24, at 9 a.m. in the Ott Auditorium in Gilbertson Hall.

“SVSU is unique as (it) is one of only 150 schools that allowed me to come do this type of work,” she said.

Rankin defined a campus’ climate as the “current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

SVSU community members completed 2,358 surveys for an overall response rate of 21 percent. Response rates by constituent group varied: 46 (or five percent of) graduate students, 1,537 (or 17 percent of) undergraduate students, 384 (or 51 percent of) faculty members, 218 (or 55 percent of) administrative professionals and 173 (or 93 percent of) staff members.

“The response rate (for individuals who identify as LGBQ and asexual or other) was high for a campus this size,” Rankin noted, in response to the 341 respondents who identified as non-heterosexual.

About 69 percent of respondents identified themselves as women, 30 percent as men and less than one percent as transgender or genderqueer or as a gender not listed.

Those with white racial identities comprised about 83 percent of respondents, whereas persons of color and multiple racial identities made up less than 15 percent of respondents.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said they were affiliated with Christianity, 24 percent have no religious affiliations, two percent have other faith-based affiliations and about four percent have multiple affiliations.

Rankin highlighted a few key findings from survey data in her presentation, illustrating opportunities for improvement

About 82 percent of respondents felt very comfortable with the campus climate. About 24 percent of respondents noted they had experienced harassment – whether by being isolated, deliberately ignored or intimidated or bullied – in the past year.

Two percent of respondents said they had experience unwanted, physical sexual contact, happening mostly during one’s first and second semesters at the SVSU.

“The main reason given for not reporting the incidents was embarrassment,” Rankin said. “They thought it was their fault or that they had no support.”

Forty-five percent of all respondents – whether students, faculty or staff members or professional administrators – noted they had considered leaving SVSU at some point in their studies or careers.

“Start providing a sense of belonging and you will increase retention rates,” Rankin said.

Among student respondents, 80 percent felt valued by faculty and other students. Of responding staff and faculty members, 83 percent felt supported by their colleagues.

Many faculty and staff members provided written commentary that elaborated on a desire for more training and professional development opportunities. Student responses indicated a need for better academic advising and mentoring relationships.

In summary, Rankin said people are generally comfortable at SVSU, but many have thought about leaving the university.

Dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences and survey co-chair Joni Boye-Beaman discussed how the results of the survey will be used.

“We will hold forums to identify three things to accomplish or actions (to take) in the next 12 to 18 months,” she said.

During the summer, the Climate Study Working Group will analyze the results more deeply. In the fall, forums will be held to develop concrete goals; actions will be made to reach those goals during the winter of 2016.

The current plan is to examine the results during the summer. Forums will be held and goals will be developed in the fall and then actions will be implemented until spring 2016 when updates on the goals will be communicated.

Copies of the executive summary, Rankin’s presentation slides and the full report are available online at svsu.edu/climatesurvey.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.