Randomly selected students, faculty and staff at Eastern Michigan University have been invited to participate in an online survey about EMU’s campus climate.
The survey will help EMU’s Diversity Campus Climate Assessment Committee (DCCAC) identify the strengths and challenges of making Eastern a more diverse and inclusive campus.
Results of the study will be presented to President James Smith and his cabinet between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. The findings will allow administrators to review the effectiveness and awareness of programs and policies that already exist, and it will serve as a foundation for action and accountability.
The Diversity Campus Climate survey was emailed to students Oct. 22. The DCCAC encourages all students who receive a survey to respond.
“We have to do [the survey] so it’s holistic and integrated,“ DCCAC Chair Devika Dibya Choudhuri said. “We can’t hit and run.”
Eastern Michigan is not the only university to conduct a diversity assessment. Grand Valley State University will conduct its sixth climate survey next month, and Wayne State University completed its assessment last April.
Choudhari hopes to combat a common theme among other campus climate assessments.
“That’s the other thing that every other campus does,” Choudhuri said. “People do a one time diversity survey: they do a report, the external consultant leaves and they try to figure it out. And you don’t know if what you’ve done is effective.” Having a survey that is institutionalized will allow us to consistently have a conversation with the EMU community about these issues.
Diversity can be somewhat of a buzzword with students and university admissions officers alike. For the purposes of producing diversity scores, College Factual defines diversity as the most plurality. Schools that score high in diversity metrics are those with the greatest variety in ethnicity, gender, age, and geographic location of origin.
The initiative also included a series of town hall meetings and focus groups that allowed students, faculty and staff to share their experiences at EMU.
EMU Voices, another initiative organized by DCCAC, will allow students, faculty and staff to share their stories about diversity in a public setting. They will record the stories in the WEMU studio in King Hall through Nov. 5.
The DCCAC is an initiative that grew from the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. The DCCAC began organizing the “Diversity in Action” initiative in February with the goal of creating and administering a campus-wide survey with the help of an external partner. Sibson Consulting was selected to help create and administer the survey.
Choudhuri was selected as chair of the commission and works alongside co-chair Catherine Lilly of Sibson Consulting.
You can learn more about DCCAC and the Campus Climate Assessment on its website.