January 30, 2014



University Climate Survey update

By Ruth Dyer and Tom Vontz

The University Climate Survey Committee, jointly appointed last fall by Provost and Senior Vice President Mason, Faculty Senate President Julia Keen and Classified Senate President Janice Taggart, has completed the first item in its charge, that of selecting an outside consultant to guide the implementation of our university climate survey.

The committee contacted colleagues at other universities, used the Internet to gather information on the leading consultants providing climate survey services, and reviewed three draft proposals. After review of all of the materials and an interview with the top candidate identified by the committee, the unanimous choice of the committee was Susan Rankin, Rankin and Associates. Rankin has worked with more than 100 universities on climate surveys and comes highly recommended. A contract has recently been finalized with Rankin, and on Jan. 16 the committee had its first meeting with her. The committee members have expressed very positive comments about the guidance already provided by Rankin, and the committee is excited to have the opportunity to work with her on this project.

After our first teleconference with Rankin, the committee recommended to Provost and Senior Vice President Mason, Faculty Senate President Keen and Classified Senate President Taggart that the scope of the survey be expanded to include students. That recommendation was approved, and we have added an undergraduate student, Hope Faflick, and a graduate student, Amanda Fairbanks, to the committee to provide student representation.

In the Jan. 16 meeting with Rankin, she shared a PowerPoint presentation containing information about the overall process we will be using for this project, and we have placed her presentation on the University Climate Survey website so the entire campus can have access to it.     

The committee has begun its work with Rankin to identify a set of focus groups to help inform the content of the survey questions, and a selected number of individuals will be invited to participate in these focus groups, which will be held later this spring. The final survey will be made available electronically to every faculty member, staff member and student, so that everyone will have the opportunity to provide input. 

This spring the committee will be meeting with Rankin approximately every two weeks via teleconference to continue its work in developing the survey itself. The goal is to have the survey fully developed and ready to implement in fall 2014.

We are very excited about this project as an important tool to help us move forward in building the university environment envisioned in K-State 2025 that promotes success for all. We look forward to sharing more information with you as we move forward.

Ruth Dyer and Tom Vontz

Co-Chairs, University Climate Survey Committee