Purpose of Climate Surveys

Climate Survey: Definition, Need and Purpose

Provided by the MSU Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. 

Campus climate is defined as “the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.”* Studies have concluded that how students experience their campus environment impacts both learning and developmental outcomes, and discriminatory environments have a negative effect on student learning.  Studies also support the role that a diverse student body and faculty has on enhancing learning outcomes.  With respect to faculty and staff, workplace studies demonstrate that a healthy working environment enhances the personal and professional development for those in the campus workplace.  Faculty and staff who encounter discrimination and prejudice have negative job and career attitudes, and decreased health and wellbeing. 

Campus climate assessments are intended to support the efforts of the institution to create and sustain a diverse, respectful, inclusive community, and improve the working, living, and learning environment for students, faculty and staff. Campus climate studies provide a baseline of data that helps the institution better understand how members of the campus community relate to one another on a daily basis, and allows the institution to determine what is working and what is not.

*The definition of campus climate was provided by Dr. Sue Rankin, a scholar and lead consultant on a number of higher education campus climate studies.