Systemwide Climate Survey FAQs
What is the Systemwide Climate Survey?
- The Systemwide Climate Survey is “systemwide" because it will be distributed to students, staff, faculty, and administrators at all 14 PASSHE universities and within the System Office. It is an exciting opportunity for everyone across PASSHE to use their voice and share their experiences to assess and provide strategies to improve the campus and office climates across the system.
- As a “climate survey," it will assess how different individuals and groups experience various environments at their university, including: the classroom, social events, and the surrounding community. The survey will provide evidence that helps us understand whether, how, and for whom universities and the PASSHE system are (not) promoting diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments as well as what can be done to improve these environments, both at the university and system level.
Who is distributing the Systemwide Climate Survey?
- To ensure that survey participants remain anonymous,
Viewfinder, a third-party vendor, will be distributing the Systemwide Climate Survey to all faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
- Universities will not be responsible for distributing survey links. However, universities and the System Office will promote the survey to encourage a high participation rate.
- When the survey launches on January 30, 2022, all faculty, staff, administrators, and students should expect an email from Viewfinder. Anyone not receiving this email should check their spam folder.
How did the Systemwide Climate Survey come about?
- Since August 2020, the System Office has been collaborating with stakeholders across the System to develop the State System's
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy Framework. This framework solidifies PASSHE's commitment to DEI as well as a process for ensuring that DEI goals are clearly established, and progress is measured. The framework was affirmed by the Board of Governors in April 2021.
- One of the five priorities in the State System's
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy Framework is inclusive communities. While many campuses have conducted their own climate surveys, there has never been a climate survey conducted across all of PASSHE at the same time. The Systemwide Climate Survey will allow us to see—for the first time—a snapshot of the campus climate across all 14 PASSHE universities. This will allow the PASSHE and university leadership to support and measure the impact of initiatives and promote responsive infrastructure changes within and across universities.
Why are we doing the Systemwide Climate Survey?
- One of the five priorities in the State System's
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy Framework is Inclusive Communities. The Systemwide Climate Survey is a key way that inclusivity of our university and system communities will be measured. The survey allows us to:
(a) assess current strengths and challenge with university and system climate;
(b) understand why and how those strengths and challenges exist and can be improved; and
(c) measure the impact of future campus and system-level initiatives to promote inclusive communities.
- While many campuses have conducted their own climate surveys, there has never been a Systemwide Climate Survey conducted across the State System. This will allow us to see—for the first time—trends within and across universities, which will establish a baseline for each university. This data allows the State System and university leadership to use evidence to support and measure the impact of initiatives and systemic changes within and across universities.
How will the Systemwide Climate Survey benefit our university?
- To make improvements at the university and system level that promote more inclusive environments, we first need to assess the baseline for each university. What are its strengths and opportunities for growth? Data from the Systemwide Climate Survey will establish a baseline for each university, which will be used to develop strategies and help measure improvement. Such strengths and opportunities could be related to which groups are (un)supported on campus and which campus initiatives are viewed as (in)effective. Survey responses will also be used to understand
why strengths and opportunities exist to strategize a plan for systematic improvement and accountability.
- Stakeholder groups at each university (e.g., administrators, students, staff, trustees) — with the support of the State System — will be expected to use the survey data to collaborate and strategize the types of initiatives that leverage their strengths, address their areas of growth, and align with PASSHE's
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy Framework.
How will data from the Systemwide Climate Survey be shared with and/or used by universities?
- After the survey ends, Viewfinder will provide the System Office the anonymous data and summary reports at the university and system level.
- Each university will be given its data and results from the survey. These results will show overall averages and trends and can also be disaggregated by demographics such as race and ethnicity; gender; and role (e.g., student, faculty, staff).
- The System Office expects university leadership to engage students, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders about important trends in the survey results. These results will suggest relative DEI strengths and opportunities for growth that will be the basis for strategizing and implementing future DEI initiatives.