Release of Campus Climate Survey Results – Reaffirming Our Commitment to Diversity

Letter from Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and Interim Vice Chancellor – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Carol Padden

Dear UC San Diego Campus Community:

Today the University of California Office of the President presented to the Board of Regents the results of the system-wide climate survey conducted in 2013 by Rankin & Associates. We encourage you to review the results of UC San Diego’s survey and to become engaged in the discussions about our efforts to improve the campus climate.

The system-wide survey was commissioned by former UC President Mark Yudof after the occurrence of several racially motivated incidents on and off campuses involving UC community members. The incidents – including “Compton Cookout” in San Diego – galvanized the UC system and our UC San Diego community, and cemented our resolve to address climate issues and enrich the diversity of our campuses.

The survey results for our campus may be found online at diversity.ucsd.edu. Among the UC San Diego survey findings:

  • 77% of respondents say they are “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the campus climate, while 8% say they are “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable.”
  • 8% of respondents reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive and/or hostile behavior that interfered with their ability to work or learn, while 15% had similar negative experiences that did not interfere with work or learning.
  • Most negative experiences on campus were feelings of isolation and exclusion, derogatory comments, intimidation and staring. Overwhelmingly, peers were identified as the source of negative treatment.
  • 67% of students and faculty feel “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the climate in their classes, while 7% feel “uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable.”

We recognize that more analysis of the data is needed to delve deeper into the issues of “microclimates” at UC San Diego. It is vital that all voices are heard and that the larger number of those who are comfortable with the campus climate do not overwhelm the voices of smaller populations who are not comfortable. We are planning listening sessions and focus groups to meet with students, faculty and staff to talk about the survey results and determine deficiencies that need to be addressed head-on.

We also recognize there are yet more issues that may not have been covered in the survey that need to be addressed, such as family-leave policies and hiring practices. As we further analyze the results, we will engage with our campus members to be sure we are implementing changes and initiatives that attend to all areas of campus climate, and foster a culture of respect and inclusion.

The survey results are a tool we will use as we continue our work to improve campus climate. Along with data from other campus surveys such as Staff@Work and the UC Undergraduate Experiences Survey, the results of this climate survey help us to understand how our campus members relate to one another. Coupled with initiatives we have put into place in the four years since racial incidents in February 2010 the climate survey results will sharpen our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of work and learning. The results also provide opportunities for us to evaluate what works and to make corrections in our ongoing efforts.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to our mission. They are a fundamental aspect of our strategic plan – as one of our overarching goals and as core values that are integrated into all that we do. We are committed to using the information gathered in this survey to improve our campus environment, and to working with our campus community to provide an inclusive, positive climate for all members of our community.