President Rao is leading a universitywide initiative focusing on diversity and inclusive excellence to advance recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented and underserved students, faculty, staff and administrators, and to foster a welcoming environment that values human differences. Last year, VCU's five-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan was approved. As part of this plan, VCU is launching the Diverse Learning Environments Survey. The survey is a national climate survey and is administered by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). The survey results allow the university to establish innovative goals, chart new pathways, review current practices, assess progress and celebrate our successes in access, diversity, equity and inclusion.
We need to hear from students as their voice will help inform the work of this initiative, including how classes are designed, what training and development is needed, what services are offered, and how to communicate more effectively.
Students should check their VCU email account on Feb. 28 for a link to the survey.
Contact Connie Peyton in the Office of Planning and Decision Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 827-0932 if you experience technical difficulties or have questions regarding the survey.
What is a climate survey?
A climate survey captures how you feel and think about a certain topic. It provides an opportunity for all voices to be heard. Results are used to understand our current strengths, identify areas of improvement and track progress. This particular climate survey is related to diversity and inclusion efforts at VCU.
Who will receive a survey?
All current students (undergraduate, graduate, first-professional and nondegree-seeking) will receive an email inviting them to take the survey.
How many other universities participate in HERI's Diverse Learning Environments survey?
Hundreds of other colleges and universities have participated in the survey.
How long will it take to complete?
About 25-35 minutes. You will be able to stop and save your responses, exit the survey and return to complete it at a later time.
Why should I take the survey? What are the incentives?
The results will help shape what VCU is doing to foster a welcoming campus and one that fosters learning and growth for everyone. Students could win one of two grand prizes for a free semester of on-campus parking or one of 100, $10 Starbucks gift cards.
Will responses be anonymous?
Yes. Individual responses will not be shared with any member of the VCU community. An aggregate of responses will be shared with the university community.
Are responses required for all questions?
No. While your responses are appreciated, we understand there may be questions you prefer not to answer.
Didn't I already take this survey two years ago?
Possibly, but it is important to take it again as we need to hear from all students. It is typical for organizations to run surveys periodically in order to understand progress made and the work ahead.
In April 2016, VCU launched two Diversity and Inclusion Climate Surveys, one for students (Diverse Learning Environments) and one for faculty and staff, to help inform our work in inclusive excellence to advance recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented and underserved students, faculty, staff and administrators, and to foster a welcoming environment that values human differences.
Please view our report back to you on what we learned from the participants in the day-long Social Justice Forums, and what we learned from the 2016 faculty and staff climate survey using the following link: Social Justice Forum Presentation-February 2017