The Diversity and Inclusion Office is working on an audit to measure diversity and inclusion on campus. They have teamed up with IBIS Consulting to create a Diversity and Inclusion Climate Survey that all students, faculty and staff on campus are invited to complete.
“IBIS gave [the survey] to us and we tweaked it,” said Patty Terryn, Administrative Assistant for the Diversity and Inclusion Office. “We customized it for Ferris. The group of people who came together to work on the whole audit process was the same group that interviewed the consultants. They split off into three groups: a group that worked on the faculty survey, a group that worked on the student survey and a group that worked on the staff survey.”
Each of the three surveys attempts to gauge the current social climate at Ferris through asking individuals to provide their opinions and rate the level of representation on campus among those of different ethnic or racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, sex and gender identities, as well as how accepting and welcoming the university is towards minority groups. The survey also asks for the individual’s own demographic information. All responses will be kept strictly confidential and will only be seen by IBIS Consultation, who will analyze the results to create a report for the Diversity and Inclusion Office.
“We wanted the demographics [of each survey] to be the same,” Terryn said, “so if you wanted to look at how white people responded [to a given question], we could compare it, and how students answer the question compared to faculty, how staff answered it compared to students.”
“They’re basically asking if Ferris is a good place to work, if it promotes inclusion, if you’re comfortable working here, if you think other people are comfortable working here,” said Fran Rosen, Collection Development and Acquisitions Librarian and Faculty-in-Residence in the Diversity and Inclusion Office. “Some of their data analysis that [IBIS] is going to do is, say, the majority white men think that Ferris is an extraordinarily welcoming place, but gay women think it’s not. It kind of gives you a sense of the work that needs to be done so that the faculty really see the issues and then will work on finding ways to move forward.”
Before the survey was sent out, the Diversity and Inclusion Office met with various individuals and organizations around campus for interviews and focus groups. Those consulted included President Eisler, Black Greek Council, the Office of Multi-cultural Student Services, Student Government, D-SAGA, Deans from around campus and more. The input from these meetings combined with the results of the survey will be used to help the Diversity and Inclusion Office form a new action plan. Their current plan has been in place since 2008. Information on the Diversity and Inclusion Office and its current Diversity Plan can be found by visiting the university website and clicking the link “Diversity & Inclusion Office.”
“I feel that Ferris has made really significant steps forward in being a diverse and particularly an inclusive university, an inclusive environment, and a welcoming environment for all different kinds of people,” Rosen said, “and I want to see that become even more the case. I want a new Diversity Plan that is based on the most valid and extensive information, because that way it will be better connected to the reality of what needs to change.”
On Monday, March 16th all students, faculty and staff should have received an email from IBIS Consulting providing a link to take the Diversity and Inclusion Climate survey. The survey will be available until April 3.
As an incentive, anyone who completes the survey will be eligible to win prizes, which include an iPad Mini, wireless Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and FSU paraphernalia. 3 winners from each of the 3 survey groups will be selected at random to receive a prize.
“I think that [the survey] is important, because we need the people of the university to tell us what we need to work on and what the university needs to focus on,” Terryn said. “It needs to come not just ‘from the top down,’ but ‘from the bottom up.’ It needs to come from what the people are seeing out there, because we can’t be everywhere. We, the Diversity Office, can’t be in the classrooms and see what’s going on. We need the students to tell us what their views are, we need the faculty, we need the staff, we need everybody to tell us what’s going on out there.”