Clark University has embarked on a landmark project, unprecedented in its scope and unique in the University’s history.
On Oct. 2, Clark launched the Survey on Campus Culture and Community via a campus wide campaign that included emails, as well as tables set up on campus. (See photos on Flickr.)
“The aims of this research relate to core aspirations of the University, as articulated in the Academic and Financial Plan for 2016-2021, and the data collected has the potential to affect almost all areas of the institution. This survey is central to our data-driven strategy to achieve inclusive excellence and fulfill Clark’s promise of being a community where all can grow and thrive,” said Sheree Marlowe, chief officer for diversity and inclusion.
The survey is one of five core components of the Academic and Financial Plan, and the current project builds upon the 2016 Faculty Morale Survey, the Consortium on High Achievement and Success (CHAS) Campus Climate Surveys, and the 2016 Staff Survey.
All members of the Clark community are being asked to participate in the current survey. Developed in conjunction with the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), the survey aims to more fully reveal and better understand various experiences of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff and senior administrators. Several administrative offices, academic departments and student organizations are coordinating the effort in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).
The chief goals of the Clark survey initiative include to:
- Collect data on the experiences and perspectives of various campus constituents, especially those belonging to historically marginalized groups (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, religion and spirituality, class/socioeconomic status, political opinion, and citizenship status).
- Gather insights on the culture of understanding, acceptance and celebration of differences at Clark University, especially concerning areas for growth and improvement.
- Survey un-assessed or under-assessed demographics and topics to address gaps in the institution’s understanding of various communities and the issues that affect them.
- Gain an understanding of the University’s strengths in diversity, inclusion and equity and recognize ways of maintaining this momentum in growth and progress.
- Benchmark institutional data and compare Clark’s policies, strategic initiatives and outcomes to those of peer institutions to gauge Clark’s position in the landscape of diversity and inclusion in higher education.
Themal Ellawala ’17, ODI research and program coordinator, said the survey will close Dec. 8. The office expects preliminary results to be available in February and, using HERI’s analysis, to report on official findings by the end of March.
“One of the most significant aspects of this survey is its potential to address gaps in the institutional understanding of the Clark community — who we are, what our experiences are, and how the University can better support each and every one of us,” Ellawala said. “Our long-term goal is to develop this survey into a sustained research effort, thereby creating an archive of data that will inform the University’s strategic goals.”