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UW-Superior moving ahead on Climate Survey

Posted on Oct 18, 2011

The University of Wisconsin-Superior will begin soliciting feedback from students and employees as it develops ways to build on strengths and opportunities raised in its recently completed "climate survey."

"UW-Superior and the University of Wisconsin System are very interested in creating stronger and more inclusive communities. UW-Superior is looking to learn from our recent survey results and to take measurable action to further improve our campus community for everybody," said Chancellor Renée Wachter.

Students and employees at UW-Superior were invited to take the Campus Climate Survey last February to offer their views about the state of topics such as equity, inclusion and diversity; and satisfaction with the education offered at the university. Similar surveys were conducted over the past three years at campuses throughout the University of Wisconsin System.

The climate survey completed by students and employees at UW-Superior shows 85 percent of students are satisfied with their education and 77 percent of students and employees are comfortable with the campus climate. Opportunities were identified in areas such as further improvements in climate for people based on color, gender and sexual orientation.

About 200 university employees and students turned out Friday, Oct. 14, to hear Dr. Sue Rankin, of the research firm Rankin and Associates, offer a summary of the survey results. Complete results and comments from the survey will be made available on the UW-Superior website at uwsuper.edu/shareyourvoice.

The university's next steps will be to hold a series of informal "brown bag" lunches and other activities at which students and employees can share ideas about how to build on strengths and address opportunities revealed by the survey.

"This is not a study that will sit on a shelf," said Chip Beal, a UW-Superior faculty member who was involved in the study process. "Already there are plans in the making for a series of focus events, giving voice to every person on campus as to which opportunities to address first, along with suggestions as to where we will go from here."

UW-Superior officials were pleased with the large number of people who participated in the survey and who turned out to hear about the results. About 23 percent of eligible people took the survey. More than 60 percent of those responding were students.

"Student learning is at the core of our campus mission and students learn best in an environment where they are challenged but supported at the same time," said Dean of Students Vicki Hajewski. "While the climate survey results indicate that a high percentage of our students are finding this support, they also point us to where we can improve the experience for even more students."  

Emily Borra, president of the Student Government Association at UW-Superior, said the climate survey "is an important benefit to our campus."

"I'm excited for how our campus can learn and benefit from this resource. I hope to see students taking an interest in celebrating and to help improve our campus climate," she said.

The survey included good news and revealed areas where the campus faces opportunities. Among them:

  • 85 percent of students are highly satisfied or satisfied with their education at UW-Superior.
  • 81 percent of students are happy with classroom climate.
  • 77 percent of students and employees are comfortable with the campus climate.
  • 70 percent of university employees are satisfied or highly satisfied with their jobs.

Opportunities outlined in the survey include:  

  • Slightly more than one-quarter of all respondents said they were aware of or believed they had observed harassment - mainly based on race, gender or sexual orientation -- on campus within the past two years.
  • 28 percent of people of color who responded to the survey reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, or hostile conduct that has interfered with their ability to work or learn at UW-Superior.
  • Significant numbers of people responding to the survey indicated they had experienced harassment or discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, gender or their job classification.

The survey's executive summary noted that many of the opportunities raised by the survey are found at universities around the country.    

 

News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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