Resolution in Support of Campus Climate Change: Greater Inclusivity, Transparency and Access to Campus Climate Survey Results

Resolution Number: RS19-385
May, 2019
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: After an 18-month process, the release of the results of the Campus Climate Assessment Project has been hurried and not communicated well to the campus community and with inadequate opportunities for feedback. In addition, the six-month moratorium on data release calls into question the transparency of the process.
Whereas: 
The Campus Climate Assessment Project was launched in fall of 2017, with the hiring of Rankin & Associates Consulting to “assess our learning, living, and working environment, as part of a broader, sustained campus initiative to improve campus climate, equity and inclusion for all students, staff and faculty.”; and
Whereas: 
A Campus Climate Steering Committee was convened in February of 2018 with broad participation across cabinet areas; and
Whereas: 
An extensive online campus climate survey was launched in October 2018; and
Whereas: 
The survey response rate was poor (7% overall), in part because of the length and inability of faculty, staff, and students to complete it in multiple sittings; and
Whereas: 
The results of the report with respect to students and faculty are suspect as the response rates were below the 30% cutoff cited by Rankin & Associates (~5.5% of undergraduate students and ~15.5 for faculty); and
Whereas: 
The executive summary was not released until Tuesday, April 23, 2019, the day of two town halls on the report; and
Whereas: 
The scheduling of the two town halls on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 made it difficult for faculty and students with classes that day or not on campus to participate; and
Whereas: 
Campus Community Forums, intended to gather feedback on the report, were not announced in Campus Memo until the day of the first forum, and started on the same day the 481-page final report was available to the public; and
Whereas: 
Researchers interested in accessing the data from the survey were told that there is a six-month embargo on access rather than offering a more timely option for access requests to be considered in a deliberate manner that maintains respondent confidentiality; and
Whereas: 
Staff participation in the staff forums was low due in part to the need for staff to seek permission from their supervisor to leave their duties, which is difficult to obtain on short notice; and
Whereas: 
The two faculty forums were scheduled two weeks before the start of final exams the same day as the announcement of the events and on a Friday afternoon, a time in which few faculty are on campus; and
Whereas: 
The one week of Campus Community Forums have been stated to be the mechanism by which the Campus Climate Steering Committee will determine the next campus-wide action items on which to focus; and
Whereas: 
the Campus Climate Steering Committee has stated it will focus on only three action items; therefore, be it
Resolved: 
Documentation meant to inform events, such as the Campus Climate Community Forums, should be made publicly available with sufficient time to review before the event occurs. In most cases, at least one week’s notice should be the standard.; and be it further
Resolved: 
Communications regarding campus events that are meant to include all campus community members should be as far reaching as possible. In all cases, the Academic Senate and the Campus Memo published a week preceding the event should be used to advertise the event; and be it further
Resolved: 
That the Academic Senate requests that all presentation of the data begin with information about the response rates by campus group (e.g., undergraduate/graduate students, faculty, staff, managers), to promote an understanding of the challenges associated with generalizing from this relatively small self-selected sample of responses; and be it further
Resolved: 
The Academic Senate urge the Campus Climate Steering Committee to commit to more than three action items to pursue following the Campus Climate Report; and be it further
Resolved: 
The Academic Senate urges the Campus Climate Steering Committee to commit at least one action item to each of the three main populations on campus: students, faculty, & staff; and be it further
Resolved: 
That there be complete transparency around the action items, including how they were chosen and who is responsible for their implementation; and be it further
Resolved: 
That this resolution be distributed to President Leslie Wong, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Luoluo Hong, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit and the members of the Campus Climate Steering Committee.