The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity released its Campus Climate Survey to the Brown community for responses Tuesday morning, according to an email from Sylvia Carey-Butler, the vice president for institutional equity and diversity.
The survey, which the OIED last conducted in 2018, aims to “better understand the living, working and learning environments of students, staff and faculty at Brown in order to work toward a more just and equitable campus for all,” Sarah Stetson, an OIED data analyst and Tracy Barnes, director of institutional research, wrote in an email to The Herald.
The idea to implement the Campus Climate Survey was initially introduced in the 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which detailed the University’s approaches to expanding diversity and inclusion on campus. In the plan, the University also identified the importance of collecting systemic data through a “university-wide campus climate study” to establish a baseline for tracking issues related to diversity and inclusion.
Carey-Butler noted that OIED can use the results of the 2018 to benchmark the community’s perceptions of institutional progress over the past few years.
“Beyond administering and launching it, what’s most important is what happens afterwards,” Carey-Butler said in an interview with The Herald. OIED will be “looking at what kinds of actionable steps we might be able to implement based upon what we find.”
To conduct an analysis of this year’s survey results, the University has elected to partner with Gallup, a U.S.-based analytics company. According to Steston and Barnes, many universities choose to work with external partners to facilitate data collection to ensure confidentiality, as campus climate surveys often “cover sensitive topics.”
“Working with an outside vendor means that even OIED and (Office of Institutional Research) researchers will not be able to link responses to identifying data because the data file Gallup provides to Brown will be deidentified,” Stetson and Barnes wrote.
Currently, OIED and OIR plan to leave the Campus Climate Survey open throughout the month of April, conduct analysis of the results throughout the summer and release them to the community during fall 2023, according to Carey-Butler.
Stetson and Barnes both noted the significant role that the Campus Climate Survey plays in ensuring that the University is taking steps towards fostering a more inclusive community.
“The survey data will help campus leaders identify policies, practices and structures that need to be built and/or revised so that we can live out our values: to be a campus where all students, staff and faculty are welcomed, supported and able to thrive,” they wrote.
Aniyah Nelson is a University News editor overseeing the undergraduate student life beat. She is a junior from Cleveland, Ohio concentrating in political science and sociology. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and watching bloopers from The Office.