August 1, 2019
Dear Campus Community,
San José State University is committed to academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. One of the many desired outcomes of Transformation 2030 is to “[f]oster an inclusive environment and infrastructure where diverse populations can flourish.” In order to fulfill our mission, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has invited an outside consulting group, Rankin & Associates Consulting to come to our campus to facilitate a campus climate study during the 2019-2020 academic year. Susan Rankin and her colleagues at Rankin & Associates [R&A] started this process when they came to campus this summer for a day of work with our SJSU Campus Climate Study Working Committee [CCSWC] of 25 individuals from the ranks of staff, faculty, and students. This working group will provide their perspectives, and analysis to help R&A tailor a campus climate survey to the issues that are relevant to our campus communities.
The CCSWC will be working with R&A to populate 22 focus groups in October 2019 which will be facilitated and analyzed for themes and findings by R&A. Those findings will be brought to the CCSWC for analysis and selection of recommended campus climate survey questions (for the actual on-line survey to be administered during the Spring semester 2020). R&A will work closely with our Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics to seek IRB approval for the campus climate survey. R&A will also work with our Strategic Communication team to help us develop a marketing plan to generate excitement to support a survey completion participation rate of over 30% for undergraduates, graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
R&A was chosen through a competitive RFP process earlier during the spring semester of 2019. R&A met several important criteria that we believe are important for the process and findings to have a high level of integrity and credibility. They are as follows:
- strong theoretical background based in higher education studies research literature on diversity, inclusion, and equity in tertiary education institutions; these frameworks assume that the effects and impacts of inequity are systemic rather than disconnected data points.
- ownership of data by SJSU protected by IRB processes for future work and analysis;
- survey administration that would maximize anonymity and confidentiality (survey is housed and accessed through a web-based portal provided by R&A);
- findings and report are to be released and presented by R&A to the entire SJSU community at the same time including the Cabinet and President.
We are excited and ready for the hard work ahead to carry out this large campus wide initiative of the “belong@SJSU” Campus Climate Study. The findings from the survey will drive the next step of developing plans and assessments for divisions and units across the campus to improve campus climate so that all students, staff, and faculty can grow and thrive.
Dr. Kathleen Wong(Lau)
Chief Diversity officer, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Office of the President
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