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Campus Climate

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Campus Climate at CSUSM

Campus climate is defined broadly as “the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential"(Rankin, 2008). Our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (DISP) defines campus climate as “an inclusive, welcoming, campus environment where all campus members thrive and are heard and where differences are considered a collective strength.”

In Fall 2020 a climate workgroup was convened by President Ellen Neufeldt. The workgroup met over a period of five weeks in September and October 2020 to determine what instrument(s) and set of selection criteria could be used to conduct a comprehensive campus-wide survey for students, faculty, staff and administrators at CSUSM beginning Spring 2021. The full report from the workgroup is available.

To help encourage participation, we are engaging in a friendly competition between divisions regarding the response rate. To remind us that everything we do is connected to student success, the President’s Administrative Team (PAT) has agreed that divisions will contribute to the student emergency fund in proportion to each division’s respective response rate. Your participation counts and makes an impact! Observe how your division is doing with their response rate:

Viewfinder Response Rates ( Faculty, Staff, & Administrators)

*Last updated on 5/3/21

  • 22%
    Academic Affairs
  • 43%
    Finance & Administrative Services
  • 60%
    Office of the President
  • 33%
    Student Affairs
  • 90%
    University Advancement

Viewfinder FAQ's (Faculty, Staff and Administrators)

  • Why is CSUSM administering a campus-wide climate assessment?

    Survey results will inform the new CSUSM strategic plan and provide a starting point to move the university forward in the interest of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

  • What survey instrument are we using?

    The Viewfinder Survey is the instrument recommended and chosen for faculty, staff, and administrators by the fall 2020 Campus Climate Workgroup.  The full report from the workgroup and recommendations are available.

  • Why is my participation important?

    Your participation is important because we believe your input matters and makes an impact! Participation and completion of the survey from as many of our staff, faculty and administrators as possible can help accurately represent a variety of experiences across our campus. In addition, we can begin to engage in action planning based on the feedback from the survey.

  • How is the survey being administered?

    The survey is being administered by Viewfinder on behalf of CSUSM.  CSUSM staff, faculty and administrators will receive an e-mail invitation from Viewfinder titled asking you to participate in the survey. Once you click on the survey link, you will go directly to the survey and can begin to complete it. The dataset will be sent to the Institutional Planning and Analysis (IP&A) Office at CSUSM, the campus entity that will analyze and report the survey results.

  • What is the timeline?

    The survey will launch on April 13 and closes on May 4
  • Are my survey responses confidential?

    The Viewfinder survey instruments are anonymous.

    Viewfinder does not collect any identifiers when administering surveys. Only staff at Viewfinder have access to the survey software. They limit who receives the interim and final reports, and most of the data is reported as aggregated responses.

    Once the data and reports are received by IP&A, any additional reporting will not include groups less than 5 responses. IP&A also have safeguards in place to ensure that no one except those with appropriate training and permissions can access the data.

  • How much time will it take to complete the survey?

     The survey should take approximately 15-18 minutes to complete. If you are unable to complete the survey after you begin, you will have the option to save your responses and access them later by clicking on the survey link in the email.
  • Who is eligible to participate?

    All faculty, staff and administrators with active appointments are eligible to take the survey.
  • Is my participation in the survey optional?

    Participation in the assessment is voluntary. If you decide to participate, you do not have to answer any questions on this survey that you do not wish to answer. Declining to take part in this assessment carries no penalty.

  • Once the results are received, what are next steps?

    The Presidential Administrative Team (PAT), Office of Inclusive Excellence, Institutional Planning & Analysis (IPA) and the Campus Climate Steering Committee will gather feedback, identify priority areas of action, share the findings and develop an action plan.

  • What do I do If I have problems accessing the survey?

    For technical questions, additional information or problems with the survey site, please contact survey@csusm.edu.
  • I did not receive the Viewfinder survey, what should I do?

    1. Check your quarantine@messaging.microsoft.com, you may have to release the message. The initial e-mail invitation was sent on Tuesday April 13 from Viewfinder Campus Climate Surveys <info@viewfindersurveys.com>; (Viewfinder Campus Climate Surveys via mailchimpapp.net) and a reminder will be sent every Monday until May 4th when the survey closes.
    2. Also check spam, junk, and clutter folder for your message, or
    3. Add Viewfinder to your allow list

    Once you’ve added Viewfinder to your safe sender list you should receive any additional message reminders about the survey.

    4. If still are not able to access the survey contact campusclimate@csusm.edu.


 Diverse Learning Environments (DLE) FAQ's  (Students)

  • Why is CSUSM administering a campus-wide climate assessment?

    Survey results will inform the new CSUSM strategic plan and provide a starting point to move the university forward in the interest of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

  • What survey instrument are we using?

    The Campus Climate work-group, comprised of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, went through a vetting process of campus climate instruments (see full report). The campus will continue to administer the Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE)which is run by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), to students and the Viewfinder Survey was recommended for faculty, staff, and administrators. 

  • Who is HERI?

    The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) is a research group at UCLA. HERI has many years of experience conducting campus climate surveys and working with campuses across the nation to collect data. You can find more information on their website here: https://heri.ucla.edu/about-heri. 
  • What is the timeline?

    The timeline for the DLE (student survey) is March 1-March 22.
  • How is the survey being administered?

    The survey is Diverse Learning Environment (DLE) Campus Climate Survey is being administered by HERI on behalf of CSUSM. CSUSM has worked with HERI since 2015 to conduct the DLE to understand our current climate. To participate in the survey, you will receive an e-mail from President Neufeldt that includes a link to a website where you will take the survey. Your data is stored on protected and secure HERI servers to ensure people without permission cannot access your data. Once the survey closes, HERI will create a dataset that includes the data from all participants. That dataset will include your CSUSM email. 

    The dataset will be sent to the Institutional Planning and Analysis (IP&A) Office at CSUSM, the campus entity that will analyze and report the survey results. Your CSUSM email is included in the dataset so we can connect your responses with some campus-based information (on-campus residency, entry year, student groups (e.g. PASO, CAMP, etc.), Stateside/Extended Learning, categories for post-post baccalaureate students (graduate/credential/certificate), Temecula/San Marcos campus). Other data may be used if it determined to be useful for understanding campus climate and creating an action plan.

  • How will my data be used?

     Your data will be used to understand our current campus climate and to create a plan to address issues that we may be facing on campus. When data from students is used, no identifying information such as names will ever be shared, and all data will be reported in aggregate. This means that we will create reports that group data and look at patterns (for example, X% of students in X group strongly agreed with this question). To further protect confidentiality, results will not be reported for any groups where fewer than 5 students responded. The goal of reporting these results is to be able to create an action plan to make CSUSM a more inclusive and welcoming place.  

  • How will CSUSM protect my data?

    In order to receive the institutional data file, CSUSM campus representatives must certify compliance with HERI’s confidentiality agreement. The confidentiality form requires that data be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregate (all data combined) information, and not for the investigation of specific individuals. While it might be technically possible for analysts in the IP&A office to identify an individual based on their answers to the DLE Survey, the confidentiality agreement protects against this possibility. No one at CSUSM can have access the data until the confidentiality agreement is signed and everyone agrees that the data can not be used to investigate individuals on campus.  

    Once CSUSM receives the data from HERI it will be split into two different datasets (files). One dataset will be deidentified and all personal information will be removed. This file will include the most sensitive survey response questions. The second dataset will include CSUSM email as well as the rest of the data not included in the deidentified dataset.  

  • Why do we need to connect the data with your campus information?

    We need to connect your survey data with your information from campus so we can identify areas where issues arise. It is important for us to know whether students are facing problems in specific majors or in specific areas on campus so we can develop the right actions to address those problems. As you know, the experience that every student has at CSUSM is unique and the survey data will allow us to understand those unique experiences and create programs to ensure everyone feels welcome and included on campus.    
  • How does HERI protect my privacy and confidentiality?

    HERI has a process in place to ensure your data is protected using the highest standards. Your data will be kept on secure servers and only accessible by trained individuals who work with HERI. For more information about HERIs privacy and confidentiality procedures please see: https://ucla.app.box.com/v/DLE-Confidentiality-Privacy.  

  • Are my survey responses confidential?

    Your responses will be kept strictly confidential and results will only be reported in aggregate (data combined into groups) to identify patterns and themes. Results will never be used to investigate specific individuals  
  • How much time will it take to complete the survey?

    The  DLE survey is open from March 1-22 and will take 20-30 minutes to complete. 
  • Who is eligible to participate in the survey?

    All CSUSM students enrolled in a degree, credential, or certificate program.
  • How do I take the survey?

    Students will receive an email with a link to the survey beginning March 1. Faculty, staff and administrators will receive an email with a link to the Viewfinder survey in April.

  • What does confidential mean?

    Confidential means that information will be connected to your survey responses that can be used to identify you such as your CSUSM email. However, your identifying information will only be accessible by analysts in the IP&A office who will use that information to connect with campus data for reporting. The data will never be connected to you individually and we have safeguards in place to ensure that no one except those with appropriate training and permissions can access the data.  

     

  • Why am I asked provide my name and e-mail address on the survey?

    The company that administers the survey, HERI, asks participants for their name, e-mail address, and birthday so they may potentially follow with students who may be interested in participating in future studies on their college experience. You are not required to provide this information to complete the survey and this information will not be shared with CSUSM in any wayYou can choose to leave the name and e-mail address section of the survey blank and that will not affect your participation in the survey whatsoever. You can also choose to skip any questions you do not wish to answer.  

  • What will happen with the results?

    The Presidential Administrative Team (PAT), Office of Inclusive Excellence, Institutional Planning & Analysis (IPA) and the Campus Climate Steering Committee will gather feedback, identify priority areas of action, share the findings and develop an action plan.

  • What if I have problems accessing the survey site?

     For technical questions, additional information or problems with the survey site, please contact survey@csusm.edu.

 
Campus Climate Resources 

 For technical questions or problems with the survey site, please contact campusclimate@csusm.edu.

Rankin, S., & Reason, R. (2008). Transformational Tapestry Model: A comprehensive approach to transforming campus climate. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(4), 262–274. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014018