In 2012, the University began working toward selecting a Quality Improvement Project required as part of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. Representative groups of faculty, staff, and students considered a number of initiatives, eventually agreeing that creating a more welcoming environment for a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students was an essential task for Drake. We have constituted a team to move us toward a strategic plan for meaningful inclusivity at Drake. That team’s first step is to undertake a comprehensive climate assessment, which—aided by a nationally recognized consultant (Rankin & Associates)—began Fall 2014.
Climate on a college campus refers to the ways in which individuals and groups experience membership in the campus community—in other words, what it’s like to be you at Drake. The term encompasses the degree to which you and others feel included or excluded in all aspects of life at Drake—from interpersonal relationships and professional interactions to learning environment and informal conversations.
Drake’s climate assessment consisted of two parts. First, Rankin & Associates conducted confidential focus groups with faculty, staff, administration, and students from across campus. The feedback from these focus groups helped inform the questions asked in the campus-wide survey, which was concluded in late February 2015. The anonymous online survey gauged the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of Drake students, faculty, and staff; these factors all contribute to campus climate.
We are going to act on what we learn!
The end result will be a more welcoming and inclusive campus, with multiple benefits: