Why is Wayne State conducting a climate study?

Campus climate studies are an emerging best practice in higher education institutions. With diversity and inclusion serving as a critical focus area in the Wayne State University Strategic Plan, the university will benefit from implementing this best practice on our campus. Assessing the university's climate will provide the campus community an opportunity to create and maintain an environment that respects the needs of all WSU students, faculty and staff.

Who will be conducting the survey?

Wayne State's Campus Climate Study Committee is charged with overseeing the survey and other aspects of the study. This cross-section of staff and faculty selected the UIC Survey Research Laboratory to administer the survey portion of the study, analyze the data and prepare a report for the university. The committee will also conduct meetings and develop materials to support future climate-supportive initiatives.

Will there be prizes for individuals participating in the study?

All students, faculty, and staff who participate in the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes, such as bicycles, computers, TVs, headphones, JBL waterproof speakers, and up to $200 OneCard dollars. There will be approximately 50 prizes. Only one prize will be awarded to a person. The raffle winners will be selected at random by SRL after the survey is closed, and participants will be notified if they are a winner in March 2018.

How are the survey questions developed?

The UIC Survey Research Laboratory has extensive experience with conducting higher education climate studies and developed a repository of tested questions that helped guide our study design, survey and assessment process. 

To tailor the survey for Wayne State specifically, the Campus Climate Study Committee completed an extensive review of university climate survey questions and interviewed key leaders to identify and develop the most applicable questions to support the WSU community.

How will the results be used?

Wayne State will receive data (without identification) and reports that will inform the development of action steps. All WSU stakeholders faculty, staff and students will be invited to review the findings and participate in the development of post-survey action initiatives. The Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Work Group will oversee the follow-up of post-survey strategic priorities and action steps.

What is the response rate goal?

Our target response rate for the survey is 100 percent. Each response matters. Everyone's participation is valuable in providing the most beneficial feedback and results.

Is it confidential?

Confidentiality is critical to the success of our climate study, especially as it centers on sensitive and personal issues. The UIC Survey Research Laboratory will take multiple precautionary measures to enhance individual anonymity. No personally identifiable information will be shared, and the UIC Survey Research Laboratory worked to ensure that responses did not identify individuals before providing the data and reports to Wayne State.

What if I need assistance to complete the survey?

Student Disability Services (SDS) is available to students, faculty and staff seeking accommodations to complete the survey. Please contact SDS by calling 313-577-1851 or emailing studentdisability@wayne.edu. SDS is also available via videophone at 313-202-4216.

What if I don't want to answer a question?

Participation in the survey is completely voluntary. Participants do not have to answer every question and can skip questions they consider uncomfortable. Paper and pencil surveys will also be available. 

How long will the survey take to complete?

The survey is estimated to take 25 minutes to complete. 

Why was a non-Wayne State researcher selected for the project?

While reviewing efforts by other universities conducting comprehensive climate studies, several best practices were found. One was the need for external expertise in survey administration. Members of a university community could potentially feel inhibited to respond honestly to a survey administered by their own institution. The administration of a survey relating to a personal, sensitive subject such as campus climate is likely to yield higher response rates and provide more credible findings if led by an independent, outside agency.

Why is this a population survey and not a sample survey?

A random sampling might miss particular populations where numbers are very small. Since one goal of the project is inclusiveness and allowing voices to be heard, we wanted to invite every member of the campus community to participate. 

Additionally, we do not have population data on most identities. For example, Wayne State collects population data on gender and race/ethnicity, but not on disability status or sexual orientation so a sample approach could miss many groups.

Who will have access to the report?

The final report will be shared with the campus community through the Climate Study website. 


For more information about diversity and inclusion, please contact Wayne State's Office of Diversity and Inclusion by emailing diversity@wayne.edu