University launches Spring 2016 Climate Survey on diversity and inclusion

The University of Chicago has launched a campus survey to assess the climate for students with regard to diversity and inclusion.


All faculty, students, staff, postdocs and academic appointees age 18 and older should receive an individualized link to the survey via an email from Provost Eric Isaacs.

“The climate survey offers us an opportunity to hear from varying segments of the University community about their experiences on campus,” said Cathy Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science. “The data gathered will be used to enact programs and policies which will move the University closer to its goal of being a site of higher education where every student, faculty and staff member is respected and feels like a full and equal member of this community.”

Participation in this confidential survey is optional, but each response will contribute to building an accurate representation of the campus climate for our community.

This is the second in a series of University Climate Surveys. The first survey, administered in April 2015, assessed the climate with regard to sexual misconduct and sexual assault, and influenced specific actions the University has taken to address these issues.

“These climate surveys are an integral part of the University’s ongoing commitment to foster an environment where people of every background can engage together in our fundamental mission of discovery,” said Isaacs. “We will use the survey data to identify and address issues that limit full participation by members of our community.”

The survey’s content was developed by a faculty working group chaired by Micere Keels, associate professor of comparative human development. The survey and its deployment plan was shaped by a steering committee of faculty, students and staff, chaired by Cohen. During Winter Quarter, the Provost’s Office hosted 17 public forums across campus to gather feedback and suggestions on the survey from members of the UChicago community.

“This data will also provide important metrics through which the university administration can be held accountable for progress on the dimensions of inclusion and equity,” Cohen added. “I strongly encourage everyone to complete the climate survey.”

Sarah Wake, assistant provost & director of the Office for Equal Opportunity Programs, wants faculty, students and staff to note that responding to the survey is not the same as filing a report of harassment or discrimination. “We want your feedback for the survey, but anyone who needs to make a report or learn more information about the reporting process should contact my office or a harassment complaint adviser,” said Wake. Some of the survey questions use explicit language, Wake added, which may be disturbing. A list of available resources—including confidential resources—appears throughout the survey as well as on the Provost’s website and UMatter.

The survey will be open through midnight on April 29. Once the survey is closed, the survey committee will begin compiling the data and will provide updates on the Climate Survey Project website.