UMKC is committed to ensuring that the campus community feels welcome and learns, lives and works in a university environment that is committed to inclusive opportunity and excellence. UMKC last conducted a climate survey in Fall 2016, with results reported out in early 2017. The idea originated from interested students, faculty and staff who believed data from such a survey might be useful in planning for the future and improving the UMKC climate.

A climate survey also provides data to help the university achieve its current strategic plan goal to  “Foster an environment of inclusive opportunity and excellence”. Learn more about  UMKC’s vision, mission and goals.

Implementing the Survey

This year’s climate survey is being facilitated by the Climate Survey Working Group, which includes a cross section of faculty and staff. The committee has been working with the outside consultant Rankin Climate.

Rankin reports directly to the committee. The working group — in consultation with Rankin – is solely responsible for the development, implementation and interpretation of the survey and its results. The process is highly confidential and transparent. No protected data is used in the project.

Rankin has extensive experience in institutional climate assessment and institutional climate transformation based on data-driven action and strategic planning. Rankin has been working with college campuses for more than 20 years and has conducted similar assessments on more than 250 college campuses nationwide.

Rankin developed and uses 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).

Survey Best Practice

In reviewing efforts by other universities to conduct comprehensive climate studies, several best practices have been identified. One is the need for external expertise in survey administration. The administration of a survey relating to a very sensitive subject like campus climate is likely to yield higher response rates and provide more credible findings if led by an independent, outside agency. Members of a university community may feel particularly inhibited to respond honestly to a survey administered by their own institution for fear of retaliation.

The idea to conduct a university climate survey originated from interested faculty and staff who believed data from such a survey might be useful in planning for the future and improving the UMKC climate.