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.
A Deeper Dive
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: Action
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!