In the spring of 2016, Salem State University partnered with Rankin & Associates Consulting to conduct its first ever comprehensive climate study survey. A cross-campus working group was formed and, in consultation with Rankin & Associates, was responsible for the development, implementation and interpretation of the survey and its results. The goals of this initiative were to (1) assess the state of our campus climate for all members of our community and (2) develop a plan to ensure we continue what is working well and take concrete actions to address our shortcomings.
The study was a multistage process that allowed the working group and Rankin to measure people’s personal experiences and perceptions so that the university could more thoughtfully address challenges and plan strategic initiatives to enhance the college environment. Focus groups were formed to examine institutional challenges provided by members of the campus community. The groups provided information from students, staff, faculty and administrators about their perceptions of the campus climate. Their insights and reflections helped inform the questions used in the campus wide survey to assess the state of and challenges perceived within the campus climate.
The survey was open from February 17-March 24, 2017. All Salem State community members age 18 years and older were eligible to take the survey. There was a survey specifically for students and another one for employees. Extensive efforts were made to ensure broad participation. We are grateful that so many community members made the time to share their voices. Overall, 3,086 surveys were returned for a 31 percent overall response rate. This level of response was a significant accomplishment and reaffirms that the Salem State community members are very committed to their experiences, and those of their peers, on campus. Confidentiality was vital to the success of the campus climate study and no personally identifiable information was shared in the results.
Members of the Salem State community wishing to access secondary data should submit an analysis request form outlining the goals of the analyses and the variables of interest. This process is in place to ensure that the confidentiality of participants is protected and so no data is released that would compromise that confidentiality. For further about this process, contact the office of Chunju Chen.
Under the auspices of the inclusive excellence office and university leadership, Salem State continues to implement recommendations and develop strategies for improving our campus climate.