Campus Climate Survey Elicits Outstanding Response

Climate survey logo

Thank you to the 13,706 members of the UMass Amherst community who completed the 2016 Campus Climate Survey, supporting efforts to build a more respectful and inclusive campus environment for all.

Enobong (Anna) Branch, faculty advisor to the chancellor for diversity and inclusive excellence, called the 41.4 percent response rate “outstanding and gratifying” and noted that the national average response for similar campus surveys is approximately 29 percent.

“I believe the response shows what we have believed all along, that all of us here at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus care about the well-being of all members of our community. We are willing to listen, and we are willing to work together for a greater good. Thank you to everyone involved in this process. We will draw upon this data to enrich and strengthen campus life,” she said.

From Nov. 14 to the survey’s close at midnight Dec. 4, a total of 41.4 percent of students, faculty and staff members completed the voluntary survey. That outstanding response included 8,327 (38.4 percent) of 21,689 undergraduate students, 1,585 (39.4 percent) of 4,023 graduate students, 2,730 (48.6 percent) of 5,623 staff members and 1,064 (60.6 percent) of 1,755 faculty.

For comparison, Branch noted that a University of Illinois system-wide climate survey in 2010 had an overall response rate of 16.2 percent. A 2013 climate survey at the University of California, Berkeley had a response rate of 24 percent.

The Office of Academic Planning and Assessment will analyze the survey data, including responses to open-ended questions, with a final report to be released sometime in 2017. Results of key aspects of the survey will be released beginning early in the spring in short, snapshot reports.

The report and survey data, along with input from four town hall forums held during the 2015-16 academic year, will be used to support and enrich the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan, which was adopted in 2015 with the goal of improving the campus climate of inclusion.