Office of Diversity Provides Climate Assessment Update

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Last winter, 6,672 faculty, staff, and students responded to the Office of Diversity’s climate assessment survey. But what happened since?     

“We are actually in the final stages of completing the report that we hope to share with campus early this fall,” said Vice President for Institute Diversity Archie Ervin. “We were so pleased to get the response rates that we did and are eager to use the information gleaned from this survey to start a dialogue with the campus community about our next steps.”

The report is the culmination of more than two years of planning and effort, which began in July 2011, a few months after Ervin arrived at Tech. With support from Georgia Tech’s leadership, Ervin and Jonathan Gordon, director of the Office of Assessment, assembled the Climate Assessment Task Force, which was charged with developing the survey in spring of 2012. (Julie Ancis, associate vice president for Institute Diversity, joined the task force leadership in the fall of 2012.)

“The provost asked us to develop a tool that would help measure and assess Tech’s progress in terms of achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion, all elements of the strategic plan,” Ervin said. “This is the first climate survey conducted at Tech that assesses perceptions of people across campus as they relate to Tech as a community that values collegiality, collaboration, intercultural respect, and thoughtful interaction.”  

The task force worked for the rest of 2012 to identify the issues that the three surveys (one for faculty, staff, and students) should explore.

“This assessment was designed specifically for the Tech community by Tech faculty, staff, and students,” Gordon said. “It might feel like a two-year time frame to complete this project is a long time, but it’s actually typical for these types of assessments to take two years — especially when they are customized to suit the needs of the institution.”  

In February 2013, the electronic survey was sent to faculty, staff, and students. Since completion of the survey in March 2013, the Office of Assessment, working in consultation with the Office for Institute Diversity, has been busy compiling the data into a report that will synthesize the hundreds of pages of data collected. (A future Whistle article will highlight the details shared in the report.)

“An electronic version will be available to the campus community, and we will also be consulting with academic and administrative leaders regarding the outcomes that impact their respective units,” Ancis said. “Our office also plans to use the data to inform our new
and existing initiatives for the next four to five years — when we hope to conduct another assessment.”

For more information, contact Ervin.



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