Climate study


Marquette is participating in a campus climate survey to support the theme of Enhancement of Organizational Effectiveness from the university's Strategic Plan, which was approved the Board of Trustees in May 2013. The university similarly seeks to make itself a learning organization that embraces diversity and asks its employees to commit to a culture of respectful collaboration, personal wellness and continuous improvement to grow Marquette's reputation as one of the country's premier employers in higher education. Over the years, many members of the Marquette University community have expressed the desire to better understand the campus climate. Today, campus climate studies have become standard practices for understanding organizational and intergroup dynamics inside colleges and universities.

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What is the campus climate study?

The climate study is a way to measure the climate of diversity and inclusiveness on Marquette's campus with regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, religious affiliation, veteran status, etc. Dr. Susan Rankin of Rankin & Associates Consulting, which is serving as the outside consultant for Marquette's climate survey, defines university climate as "the current attitudes, behaviors, standards, and practices of employees and students of an institution."

Learn more about the campus climate study (PDF) and the process behind it.

Who is conducting the climate study?

The Climate Study Working Group, which includes a cross section of students, faculty and staff, is charged with conducting Marquette's climate survey. After a review of potential vendors, the committee selected Rankin & Associates Consulting to conduct the survey. Rankin & Associates reports directly to the committee. Although the CSWG will regularly update the Marquette community about its progress, the committee — in consultation with Rankin & Associates — is solely responsible for the development, implementation, and interpretation of the survey and its results. Rankin is the consultant working directly with the CSWG on this project.

Rankin is an emeritus faculty member of education policy studies and college student affairs at Pennsylvania State University and a senior research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. She has extensive experience in institutional climate assessment and institutional climate transformation based on data-driven action and strategic planning. Rankin has conducted multilocation institutional climate studies at more than 120 institutions across the country. She 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).

What are the next steps after the climate study?

Embarking on this campus-wide assessment is further evidence of Marquette's commitment to ensuring that all members of the community live in an environment that nurtures a culture of inclusiveness and respect. The primary purpose of the project is to assess the climate within Marquette, including how members of the community feel about topics related to inclusion and work-life issues. At a minimum, the results will add empirical data to the current knowledge base and provide more information on the experiences and perceptions for several sub-populations within the Marquette community. However, assessments and reports are not enough. A projected plan to develop action initiatives and subsequent implementation of those actions is critical. To that end, a process that is community driven will be implemented to develop the action initiatives.

Professor and student

More Information

For question or special needs please contact William Welburn, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion or 414.288.8028.

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