Forums scheduled on 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.

These and further results will be shared with the public during two town hall forums Nov. 11. The first forum is being held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second from 3-4:30 p.m. in room 168 of the ATC.

“The purpose of this work is to gauge where we stand in accordance with our values of diversity, respect and integrity,” President 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 will be made available Nov. 12 here. Hard copies will be available in the GRCC Library and Learning Commons, and in the Student Success Center.

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