• Aerial view of campus

    Campus Climate



In November 2016, UMass Amherst conducted a Campus Climate Survey, a web-based questionnaire that asked students, staff, and faculty about:

  • Perceptions of the inclusiveness of the campus community overall
  • Experiences and interactions within classrooms, schools/colleges, workplace environments, and the surrounding community
  • Experiences and interactions shaped by social identity
  • Perceptions of the university’s response to unfair treatment
  • Changes needed to make UMass Amherst a more welcoming and inclusive place for all

We wanted to assess whether our values were reflected in the daily experience of members of the campus community in order to better understand the challenges of creating an environment that is respectful and inclusive for all.

Frequently Asked Questions    Learn More: Read the Unit Reports

A Deeper Dive

Undergraduate Students     Graduate Students    Faculty     Staff     

headshot of Chancellor Subbaswamy

Fostering an environment that protects intellectual exploration, advances mutual respect, and promotes inclusivity is critical to the mission of the university. To meet this goal, it was essential that we establish a baseline measure of our campus climate. I am deeply gratified that the response rate was 41 percent, well above the national average. It reflects an engaged campus community invested in moving forward together and ensuring our campus is committed to actively realizing its ideals.

outside of whitmore building

Background Methods

Learn about our approach to the campus climate survey design and extensive outreach to obtain survey responses from a representative cross-section of the UMass Amherst community. Each section of this abridged report features visual illustrations of quantitative results and an accompanying narrative that compares results across social identity groups.

Purple honeycomb pattern

Who We Are

Learn about the demographic composition of the undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty who comprise UMass Amherst. The campus climate survey sought to extend our knowledge by utilizing more inclusive and conceptually progressive categories (relative to federal reporting categories) to measure race/ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual identity.

College of Humanities and Fine Arts South College Building

Perceptions of Campus Climate

Learn about perceptions of the campus environment and tensions driven by social identity. We illustrate and discuss results pertaining to the overall campus climate and focus in on differences in perceptions of diversity and inclusiveness, racial climate, and the university’s level of commitment to inclusion.

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Experiences with Unfair Treatment

Learn about an experiential aspect of campus climate—unfair treatment. The campus climate survey asked individuals whether they experienced unfair treatment during the fall 2016 semester based on 11 social identity characteristics (e.g. race, gender, political view), as well as job level, status, and rank for staff and faculty.

interior view of ILC with students seated outside of the cafe area. Image has a honeycomb pattern on the corners

Classroom Climate Snapshot

Learn about students’ perceptions of their interactions in the classroom context. The undergraduate and graduate student versions of the climate survey included identical questions about classroom experiences. This section is abbreviated, featuring data visualizations only, broken down by race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, political view, and disability type.

Yellow honeycomb pattern

Workplace Climate Snapshot

Learn about staff and faculty perceptions of their immediate workplace climate. Although some employees may consider the entire campus to be their workplace, most work within smaller spheres. This section is abbreviated, featuring data visualizations only, broken down by race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, political view, and job type or rank.

Our Promise: Actionour umass campaign

The survey is only the beginning. In the coming months and years, we will work together to regularly develop dialogues, resources, and methods of evaluation to create a campus climate where all members of our community can thrive. Your survey responses confirm that we share a range of perspectives, which we celebrate as a campus. “Many Voices, Our UMass” recognizes the importance of preserving the plurality of voices, valuing difference and freedom of expression, as well as the need for respect and tolerance to sustain community.


a mosaic of hand drawn images that form the words "building bridges"

Building Bridges

Building Bridges is a campus initiative that seeks to draw on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, nationality and more. Core Building Bridges projects include art installations and two courses—'Our Immigrant Voices' and Showcasing Worker Artists at UMass.

Group of 20 smiling people standing together wearing matching shirts

Climate Ambassadors

Campus Climate Ambassadors are a group of faculty, students, and staff who engage with the UMass community in purposeful conversations about issues around campus climate. In spring 2018, they led Climate Conversations, gathering more information on perceptions of campus climate and in 2019 they facilitated the Dignity and Respect in Action: Community Conversations.

old chapel

Campus Climate Improvement Grants

Campus Climate Improvement Grants encourage faculty, staff, and students to play an active role and bring their creativity to the work of improving our campus climate. We fund projects and activities that promote understanding and learning at UMass, as well as invest in relationship-building across difference in the campus community.

image saying "building a community of dignity and respect"

Building a Community of Dignity and Respect

Now more than ever, we reaffirm UMass Amherst’s commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming living-learning-working environment for every member of our community. Together, we will actively build a community that honors differences, where interactions are thoughtful, and the humanity of everyone is seen. Join us in building a community of dignity & respect!