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About the U of M DEI Campus Climate Survey

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Campus Climate?

 Campus climate typically refers to the experiences of individuals and groups on campus and the quality and extent of the interactions between those groups and individuals. Two interrelated factors contribute to a welcoming climate: a sense of belonging and a sense of autonomy. A sense of belonging stems from having spaces and groups of people where one feels respected, liked, and able to contribute. A sense of autonomy comes from feeling a sense of belonging without compromising core aspects of one’s identities and experiences.Campus climate encompasses a multi-dimensional environmental perspective involving multiple groups (faculty, students, administrators, and staff) and aspects of difference, such as race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, ability status, and more. Campus climate reflects “community members’ attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and expectations around issues of race, ethnicity, and diversity.”

Hurtado, S., Griffin, K. A., Arellano, L., & Cuellar, M. (2008). Assessing the value of climate assessments: Progress and future directions. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(4), 204–221.

What is the University of Minnesota Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Campus Climate Survey?

The UMN DEI Campus Climate Survey is a web-based survey that will be administered by SoundRocket (a social science survey research firm located in Ann Arbor, Michigan) that asks faculty, staff, and students about their perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion at the institution. Specifically, it assesses:

  • Perceptions of the inclusiveness of the university community overall
  • Perceptions of individual employment and/or academic experiences
  • Perceptions of whether experiences and interactions were shaped by social identity
  • Perceptions of fair and equitable treatment

Why is the University of Minnesota conducting this survey?

MPact 2025, the UMN Systemwide Strategic Plan calls for our university to foster a welcoming community that values belonging, equity, diversity and dignity in people and ideas.  Cultivating a welcoming and inclusive campus climate is the main focus of Commitment 4.2, however, campus climate is relevant to all five of the commitments. The Cambridge Hill Partners (CHP) Systemwide DEI report recommends that UMN conduct a survey to gather robust and actionable campus climate data. 

The results of the UMN DEI Campus Climate Survey will enable us to assess whether our diversity, equity and inclusion values are reflected in the daily experience of students, faculty, and staff in order to better understand the challenges of creating an environment that is respectful and inclusive for all. Coordinating this survey in a scholarly and rigorous manner will enable us to gain insights into how various groups experience the campus climate and we will use future studies to assess longitudinal changes.

How will results be shared?

Primary reports will be generated at the system and campus levels to share results for faculty, students (undergraduate and graduate), and staff. Secondary reports will also be generated at the college level and administrative unit level. Reports will not be available at the department level. The results will be used to provide insights into how various groups experience the campus climate.

Who is eligible to participate in this survey?

All students, staff, and faculty who have been attending or employed by the University of Minnesota  as of September 1, 2022, will be invited to participate. All respondents must be at least 18 years old to complete the questionnaire.

Is participation required?

No. Participation in this survey is voluntary.

Why am I being asked to complete this survey?

For the survey data to be meaningful, we need responses from a broad and representative cross-section of the University of Minnesota community (faculty, staff, and students). This is an opportunity for all parts of the university, from faculty to dining hall staff to students and senior administrators to share their experience and help us accurately assess the DEI campus climate at the University of Minnesota. Your response to the survey is important. 

The results will be used to guide our work to foster a welcoming community that values belonging, equity, and diversity.

How will the survey be administered?

You will receive an email containing a link to the Campus Climate survey in early February 2023. If you are interrupted while taking the survey and need to close your browser, you may click on the survey link again and pick up right where you left off.


How long does the survey take?

The survey takes about 15-20 minutes to complete on average, although the exact time will vary depending on your experiences. You can choose to skip or not answer any of the questions, and you may stop your participation at any time.


Is the survey confidential?

Yes. Your answers and personal information will be kept confidential and will be analyzed only after being grouped together with those of hundreds of other students, faculty, or staff. Names will not be linked to responses, and no attempt will be made to identify any individual participant. Staff and faculty will be grouped within broad units to ensure anonymity. SoundRocket, a social science survey research firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is administering this study for the University of Minnesota and has been hired to safeguard your data.

Background institutional data, specifically race, gender, and campus will be shared with SoundRocket. This data will be  linked to your name and email address (internet ID), which will be used as a unique key to ensure that only members of our campus community are able to take the survey, and to enable the sending of personalized survey reminders. Your demographic data (race and gender) will be used to determine how the individuals who took the survey reflect the university population as whole and also each campus population. For undergraduate and graduate students only, UMN  (internet) IDs will be linked via a confidential key to enable the institution to assess the long-term perceptions of campus climate.

Once the study is completed, summaries of these data, which will not contain identifying information about you or any other individual participating in the survey, may be made available to others for related studies to improve protocols, evaluate programs, assess policies, or provide background for future research on these topics

What kinds of demographic questions are asked in the survey?

To assess perceptions of the campus climate that pertain to your social identity, a series of specific demographic questions are asked including (but not limited to): race/ethnicity, gender identity (e.g., woman, man, transgender, gender non-conforming), socioeconomic class background, sexual orientation/identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, religion or spiritual beliefs, and political opinions. You may skip any questions that you prefer not to answer.

Are there any incentives for participating?


By completing the U of M DEI Campus Climate Survey, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a chance to win several $25 gift cards.


Who is paying for this survey?

This study is being paid for by the University of Minnesota.

What if I would like to learn more or to speak with someone about this survey?

Contact [email protected] with questions.  

What if I would like to speak with someone at my institution about this survey?

If you would like to speak to someone at the University of Minnesota about this survey, please contact [email protected]

The University of Minnesota is committed to maintaining a nondiscriminatory and harassment free learning, research, and work environment. This includes, but is not limited to all policies, practices, and conditions of employment. To report discrimination and/or harassment prohibited by college policy, please contact UReport via phone at 1-866-294-8680 or online.

What kinds of questions are in the survey?

The survey includes sections that ask about 

  • Discrimination 
  • Fair and equitable treatment
  • Interactions with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Your sense of belonging
  • Your direct experiences on your campus
  • Overall health and wellness
  • Adverse effects of COVID-19