How is the climate survey different from other assessments that have recently been done at Kent State University such as the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) survey, Great Colleges to Work For survey, National Survey of Student Engagement, etc.?
There are three primary differences. First, this is the only assessment that focuses on university climate; while other assessments may ask occasional climate-related questions, they are not comprehensive climate assessments. Second, this assessment involves gathering input from all students, faculty and staff rather than focusing on just one or two groups. This will allow us to understand climate from various perspectives on campus. Finally, the assessment is being conducted across all of the Kent State campuses, providing a comprehensive analysis of the university.
The Climate Study Steering Committee (CSSC), which includes a cross section of Kent State University students, faculty and staff, is charged with overseeing Kent State’s climate survey. After a review of potential vendors, the committee selected Rankin & Associates Consulting to conduct the survey. Rankin & Associates reports directly to the committee. Although the CSSC will regularly update the Kent State community about its progress, the committee — in consultation with Rankin & Associates — is solely responsible for the development, implementation and interpretation of the survey and its results. Susan Rankin (Rankin & Associates Consulting) is the consultant working directly with the CSSC on this project. Rankin is an emeritus faculty member of Education Policy Studies and College Student Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University and a senior research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. She has extensive experience in institutional climate assessment and institutional climate transformation based on data-driven action and strategic planning. Rankin has conducted multilocation institutional climate studies at more than 130 institutions across the country. She developed and utilizes the Transformational Tapestry model as a research design for campus climate studies. The model is a “comprehensive, five-phase strategic model of assessment, planning and intervention. The model is designed to assist campus communities in conducting inclusive assessments of their institutional climate to better understand the challenges facing their respective communities.” (Rankin & Reason, 2008).
The consultant has administered climate assessments to more than 130 institutions across the nation and developed a repository of tested questions. To assist in contextualizing the survey for Kent State University, and to capitalize on the many assessment efforts already undertaken, the CSSC was formed and consists of faculty, staff and student representatives from various constituent groups at Kent State. The committee is responsible for developing the survey questions. The team will review selected survey questions from the consultant’s tested collection, and will also include Kent State-specific questions, which will be informed by the focus group results.
Your questions and comments are very important as we move through this process. Please share by contacting one of the Climate Study Steering Committee Co-Chairs.
- Kathryn Wilson, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
- Shay Davis Little, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President,
Division of Student Affairs
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Mailing AddressPO Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001