FAQ about the Colby Campus Climate Survey

How do you describe a campus climate?

According to Sue Rankin, campus climate is “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators, and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.” In this context, campus climate influences and shapes how individuals and groups experience the environment of the community in terms of feeling more or less respected, included, and safe.

What is a campus climate survey?

A campus climate survey is an assessment tool, used to gather information about the experiences of community members. The data gathered will provide important information about how different community members feel included and excluded in the environment (or campus climate).

What is the purpose of the campus climate survey?

Its purpose is to learn whether the college is meeting its goals for creating an inclusive, equitable, and safe community for all its members. By analyzing the data gathered, we will be able to develop a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of both our achievements in and challenges to inclusive excellence.

Why is it important to take the survey?

All experiences and voices add to the campus climate. Because we all come from diverse backgrounds, how we see and interact with the world might look and feel different. Gathering information from every member of our community will help us to better understand and learn from each other the ways in which we work well together and the areas that need improvement.

Who will take this survey?

All community members, who are students and/or employees of the College, will receive an invitation to participate in the 2017 Colby Climate Survey.

What are the dates to complete the survey?

Staff and faculty can complete the survey between March 20th – April 9th

Students can complete the survey between March 26th – April 9th.

Am I required to take this survey?

No. You don’t have to participate in this survey at all, and if you do participate, you may stop at any time.

Are there any incentives for completing the survey?

Your responses will help make our Colby community even better. We will also support our Waterville community as Colby will donate $2 for every completed survey. The funds will be shared between The Humane Society and The Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen. Additionally, for students who complete it, your name will be entered into a raffle for one of 10 gift certificates for $50 to the Colby bookstore.

What is the difference between an anonymous and confidential campus climate?

In an anonymous survey, there is no way to connect you to your survey answers. Staff and faculty were given anonymous surveys. A confidential survey means that staff members from Colby’s Institutional Research office are the only people who can connect responses provided by an individual to the Colby database. The student survey is confidential. However, for this survey, your link will only be used to populate some additional demographic information about you, such as major, home state or country, or class year, for example. In both cases, if you choose to provide comments about your experiences, any personally identifying information will be deleted in reports of the survey results.

What will happen with the data from the survey?

Once the survey is completed, the results of this survey will be used to improve programs and services for students, faculty, and staff, to inform policy decisions, and to identify and prioritize strategic initiatives to advance Colby’s mission of creating an engaging, respectful, inclusive, equitable and safe campus community for all its members.

How will the community be informed of the survey results and on-going progress of initiatives based on survey results?

We will develop a webpage dedicated to Campus Climate Findings and Developments where community members will have access to survey data and can share their questions and concerns through an on-line community input form.  As our efforts continue, the website will include a summary of recommendations as well as a timeline for implementation. We will issue a preliminary report before the end of the semester and draft a more comprehensive report during summer 2017. The report will be presented in multiple forums during the fall 2017 semester.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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