As we begin the new academic year, we are excited to announce highlights of the 2019 UVM Campus Climate Survey. The survey is one of multiple initiatives to accelerate our progress toward inclusive excellence. In the Winter of 2019, a climate survey was sent to every member of our campus community (students, faculty, and staff). Our goal from this effort has been to use the data to inform a plan of action that ensures an environment where individual differences are respected and valued by all members of the campus community.
In total, we are happy to report that 3,663 students and 2,221 faculty and staff members participated in the survey. Questions included in the 2019 survey were based, in large part, on the questions from the last university-wide campus climate survey, which was completed in 2011. This allowed us to compare the data across the two surveys. It is important to note that while participants were encouraged to answer all parts of the survey, all questions, including demographic ones, were optional.
We encourage everyone to read, think about, and discuss the survey highlights listed below, prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Over the course of the next several weeks, Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Wanda Heading-Grant and her team will share summary data and discuss results of the survey with the colleges and units. The goal of this work is to ensure the development of specific action plans to further improve the campus climate and to specifically address things we have learned from this survey.
The 2019 UVM Campus Climate Survey website offers further details about the administration of survey.
Thank you for your participation in this important work, and for your help with the work we have ahead of us.
2019 UVM Campus Climate Survey Highlights
- Overall satisfaction and a sense of inclusivity in 2019 has remained relatively unchanged from 2011 for both faculty/staff and students. 80% or more of the participants are satisfied with UVM, and 75% or more reported experiencing a sense of inclusivity here.
- Faculty/staff awareness of information regarding campus support services such as the protocol for reporting bias incidents and requesting information/accommodation regarding a disability significantly increased since 2011. Over 75% of the faculty/staff are aware of these resources. Over 69% of students are aware of information regarding campus support services and have confidence in requesting an accommodation regarding a disability. Only a third of students, however, are aware of the protocol for reporting a bias incident.
- Since 2011, faculty/staff believe progress has been made toward equity on the basis of age, disability, gender identity and expression, religion, spirituality, or philosophy, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status. There is room for improvement, however, as the range of responses regarding progress was from 43% (age) to 63% (gender identity and expression).
- With regards to discrimination and witnessing disparaging remarks, there has been mixed progress across identities. Students witnessed decreases in disparaging remarks with regards to age, disability, religion, spirituality, or philosophy, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. On the other hand, students, faculty, and staff witnessed increases in disparaging remarks and discrimination related to political affiliation.
- Going forward, UVM’s goal should be to move beyond increasing awareness about the value of diversity and focus on facilitating interactions around issues of diversity important to the campus:
- Faculty/staff (86%) and students (82%) want to learn about identity groups that are different from their own (a 6% and 4% increase, respectively, from 2011). However, a much smaller percentage of faculty/staff and students feel it is important to educate others about the identity groups to which they belong (faculty/staff = 30%; students = 42%).
- Both faculty/staff (47%) and students (50%) agree that they try to avoid conflicts when discussing identity issues, even though the majority of them (62% for faculty/staff and 77% for students) agree that conflict enriches the learning process.