VCU Universe

Person writing in a notebook on a table with two laptops

The Division for Inclusive Excellence established VCU Universe to monitor and report on the university's progress toward meeting its commitment to building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to engage and be successful.

What is it?

VCU Universe is the university’s assessment and evaluation platform for culture and climate. VCU Universe uses two innovative tools to assess culture and climate and reports its findings: The VCU Organizational Culture and Climate Survey (OCCS) and Climatext. Culture and climate are considered mutually influential and interactive in that people’s day-to-day feelings and perceptions about the normative aspects of our campus or organizational culture can influence theirs and our university’s success and wellbeing.

How it works

VCU Universe administers the OCCS every 18-months to university faculty and staff. OCCS is a multi-index tool to monitor and record institutional as well as unit-level progress toward diversity and inclusion goals. The multi-index tool collects employment and survey data from several sources to include VCU Human Resources, Institutional Research & Decision Support, and academic and administrative unit leaders and faculty and staff. These data produce four separate yet interrelated indices: Diversity Index (DI), Inclusion Index (IE), Engagement Index (EI) and Performance Index (PI).The indices are used as a diagnostic tool for units to identify problem and promise areas across faculty and staff demographics.

VCU Universe also administers Climatext (pronounced Cli-mat-ix), a phone application (app) to assess campus climate. Climatext is designed to randomly select faculty, staff and student every two weeks to respond to a survey prompt related to campus climate. Responses to the prompt are analyzed using a proprietary natural language system to determine degree to which student's perceive campus climate to be dissatisfying or satisfying (in aggregate). Climatext data are used to assess population vulnerability across demographic groups and to inform university stakeholders of the "campus mood".