Confidentiality is vital to the success of campus climate research, particularly because sensitive and personal topics are discussed. Although the survey can't guarantee complete anonymity because of the nature of multiple demographic questions, the climate study team will take multiple precautionary measures to ensure individual confidentiality and the de-identification of data. No data already protected through regulation or policy (e.g., Social Security number, campus identification number, medical information) is obtained through the survey. In the event of any publication or presentation resulting from the assessment, no personally identifiable information will be shared.
Confidentiality of participants will be maintained to the highest degree permitted by the technology used (e.g., IP addresses will be stripped when the survey is submitted). In addition, the university will not report any group data for groups of fewer than five individuals because those small cell sizes may be small enough to compromise confidentiality. Instead, the university will combine the groups or take other measures to eliminate any potential for demographic information to be identifiable. Identifiable information submitted in qualitative comments will be redacted.
Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, and participants do not have to answer any question — except the first positioning question (staff, faculty, student) — and can skip any other questions they consider to be uncomfortable. Paper and pencil surveys are also available and will be sent directly to participants upon request.
Information in the introductory section of the survey will describe the way confidentiality will be guaranteed.