A welcoming and inclusive campus climate is grounded in mutual respect, nurtured by dialogue, evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction, and is one of the foundations of our educational model. Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is critical.
To this end, we conducted a Campus Climate Study. The goals of the project are to: 1) identify successful initiatives, 2) uncover any challenges facing members of our community, and 3) develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.
In the video below, and in the information on the right, you can learn more about the Campus Climate Study and why it is important. Review the full Campus Climate Study Report.
Campus Climate Survey
The results of a campus climate survey conducted during spring 2014 at Grand Rapids Community College indicate that 84 percent of respondents – including faculty, staff/administrators and students – are “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the GRCC campus climate. Conversely, the results also indicate that 11 percent of respondents believe they have personally experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct.
Sue Rankin, of Rankin & Associates Consulting who conducted the survey, said the results are consistent with findings at other higher education institutions across the country, based on the work of R&A Consulting.
In similar reports conducted by Rankin & Associates, 70 percent to 80 percent of respondents found the campus climate at their institution to be “comfortable” or “very comfortable” and 20 percent to 25 percent of respondents believed they experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive and/or hostile conduct, she said. Campus climate is defined as the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators, and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.
“The purpose of this work is to gauge where we stand in accordance with our values of diversity, respect and integrity,” President Dr. Steven C. Ender said. “Knowing our strengths and where we need to focus more attention gives us actionable data to further evolve our campus climate.”
There were 3,289 GRCC community members who completed the survey, a response rate of 19 percent. Reviewing the response rate by constituent group, of the total population in each group, 17 percent of students, 26 percent of faculty, and 48 percent of staff/administrators – or 2,771 students, 204 faculty, and 314 staff/administrators – completed the survey.
“We’re pleased with the number of campus community members who took the time to help us conduct this survey,” said Eric Williams, executive director for equity and inclusion. “These results will give us a baseline on diversity and inclusion at GRCC to help us build on our strengths, better understand our challenges, and guide us as we actualize our commitment to having an inclusive campus.”
Williams added that next steps include creating community-driven actions that will help GRCC address its challenges.
A PDF of the full report is available here. Hard copies will be available in the GRCC Library and Learning Commons, and in the Student Success Center.