2016 Climate Survey Frequently Asked Questions

2016 Spring Climate Survey Details
  • This survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. If you cannot complete the survey at one time, you have the option to save your responses and return to the survey at a later date within the open period.
  • This survey will be open April 18 – April 29.
  • It is entirely voluntary. You can skip questions, and may exit the survey at any time.
  • Partial responses will be included once the survey closes.
  • It is also important to note that responding to the survey is not the same as filing a report of harassment or abuse. If you wish to file a report—with your name or anonymously—you may do so here.
  • Some of the survey questions use explicit language, which may be disturbing. If you wish to talk to anyone, a list of resources available to you appears throughout the survey as well as on the Provost’s website and the Campus and Student Life website.

As a token of appreciation for taking the time to complete this survey, those who complete it will be entered into a drawing for one of fifty $100 cash cards.

Although you are not required to participate in this survey, we hope that you will. The higher the participation rate, the more accurate will be the picture of our campus climate.

Why is the University conducting this survey?
There have been important discussions about race and diversity, here at the University of Chicago and around the nation. The diversity and inclusion issues we face as a society are significant, with multiple, deep, historical roots that reach into the present. They are important for every institution to address, including universities. For our University, inclusion has an additional fundamental significance because of our commitment to a culture of rigorous and open inquiry, which demands a rich mix of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. It is crucial that we continue to cultivate a campus climate that welcomes talented faculty, students, and staff of all backgrounds, and that we reject bias, discrimination, and harassment that can threaten that culture and the individuals within it.
Is this the same as filing a report of discrimination or harassment?
It is important to note that responding to the survey is not the same as filing a report of harassment or abuse. If you wish to file a report—with your name or anonymously—you may do so here.
Who is creating and implementing this survey?
A steering committee including University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff, chaired by Cathy Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science, is guiding the development and implementation of the 2016 Climate Survey. Committee members will utilize input gathered from our campus community through public forums and other vehicles for feedback.
Who has had input into this survey?
Since January 2016, the committee hosted 17 public forums throughout the campus to gather feedback and input given by members of the UChicago community. University of Chicago faculty, academic appointees, postdocs, students, and staff are invited to participate in the survey.
Is the survey confidential or anonymous?
Your response is confidential, but not anonymous. Your survey answers will also be linked to some demographic and institutional data from University systems, to aid subpopulation analysis. After you complete the survey, your data will be connected with the following demographic and institutional variables from University systems:

  • All respondents:
    • Sex in system of record (Male/Female)
    • Race/ethnicity in system of record
    • U.S. citizenship and residence status
  • Students only:
    • Program of study
    • Year in program
    • On-campus/off-campus residence status
  • Faculty only:
    • Department of primary appointment
    • Type of academic appointment (rank/track)
    • Tenure status
  • Staff:
    • Department
    • Job category (at a high level, e.g., “managerial”, “financial”, “maintenance” etc.)

Once this process of linking data is complete, data will be stored without identifiers. However, combinations of demographic variables may make it possible to identify some respondents. In order to minimize the risk of disclosure, only the following research team members, all of whom have signed confidentiality agreements, have access to the full dataset:

  • Micere Keels, Associate Professor, Comparative Human Development
  • Ronald Thisted, Professor, Public Health Sciences and Statistics, and Vice Provost
  • Will Greenland, Director of Institutional Analysis

Whenever results from the survey are reported outside this group, this will be done in such a way as to ensure that individual respondents cannot be identified. In particular, statistical tables will suppress cell sizes smaller than five, and open ended comments will be edited as necessary before being included in reports to prevent respondent identification.

Please note that open-ended comments will not be connected with your identity, which means that the research team will not be able to respond to threats of harm to self or others. A link to support services appears throughout the survey and is also available here along with additional information.

What will the University do with the results?
Once the survey is closed, the survey committee will begin the work of compiling the data and will provide updates on the Climate Survey Project website. The survey is intended to provide essential information to guide the University’s efforts on these issues.
Will the survey results be shared with the campus community?
Yes, the University will release survey findings in the aggregate to the University community via a series of reports that will be publicly available on a University website. More will be shared in the future about the timeline for the analysis of the survey.

General Frequently Asked Questions

What are some important numbers I should know?

University Police

  • From a campus phone: 123
  • From any phone: 773.702.8181

Safety and Emergency Resources

  • Dean-on-Call: 773.834.Help
  • Sexual Assault Dean-on-Call: 773.834.Help
  • Bias Response Team: 773.834.Help

Medical Resources

  • Student Health Service (SHS): 773.702.4156
  • Nurse Advice Line
    (after SHS business hours): 773.702.1915
  • Medical Center Hospital ER: 773.702.6250

Counseling/Mental Health Resources

  • Student Counseling Service (SCS): 773.702.9800
  • SCS Staff-Member-on-Call: 773.702.3625

Additional Resources

  • Jeremy Inabinet:  773.834.5531
    Associate Dean of Students
    in the University for Disciplinary Affairs
  • Bridget Collier:  773.702.5671
    Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs
    Title IX Coordinator for the University
What is a climate survey?
A climate survey is a method for assessing the beliefs, behaviors, attitudes and experiences of a group of people in a particular organization or environment. These surveys are a means of evaluating the extent to which individuals can participate freely and fully as a member of the organization or environment while feeling safe, respected and valued.
How do universities use climate surveys?
Climate surveys can help universities identify populations that feel marginalized or unsupported by the institution, and inform efforts around training, awareness and deployment of resources to ensure that all community members can participate freely and fully in the activities of the institution.
Who participates in climate surveys?
The individuals invited to respond to climate surveys will depend on the specific goals of the institution and the survey methodology that is deemed best suited to meeting those goals. Generally speaking, in order to glean data on prevailing attitudes and beliefs within the organization it is important to obtain a sample of responses that represent all existing sub-groups so that the results provide an accurate picture of what it is like to live, work and study within that environment.