Planning council to gauge campus climate through survey

Elizabeth Saubestre, Staff Writer

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The College Planning Council discussed and revised the upcoming campus climate survey at its meeting on Tuesday.

The online 80-question survey to be sent to the school’s employees will explore various equity issues on campus and was designed by an “expert consultant,” costing the college $7,600.

“What’s on the forefront of our concern is equity, diversity, and inclusion issues,” said Z Reisz, director of institutional assessment, research, and planning.

The council expects the survey to be sent out Monday to around 1,300 employees, including adjunct faculty. It will be used to examine their feelings on current equity issues.

The responses will then be used to track the school’s progress in areas of equity and provide an understanding of how the college can improve the current climate.

An issue raised was that the survey was only offered in one language, prompting the council to begin deliberations on including more before it is sent out.

“I think we have an obligation to do that,” said Interim Superintendent-President Helen Benjamin. “It’s on equity and inclusion.”

Benjamin said the council will be asking all managers to give their staff time to complete the survey, estimating it around 30 minutes. Laptops and computers will also be available during these periods.

The council made these accommodations in an attempt to reach an above 80% response rate, though some members expressed doubt that this would be the case.

“Maybe we should have little stickers that say ‘I took the survey,’” Academic Senate Vice President Laurie Vasquez said.

The council also considered updating its strategic directions and goals, which have not been updated since 2013.

“Every two and a half years, I think you have to go back and update it,” Benjamin said. “For [the council] it’s been six years.”

The council cited funding changes, the elimination of remedial math and English courses and enrollment decline as the main issues not being addressed in its goals.

Council members also briefly discussed the lack of inclusion of equity issues within the goals and agreed it should be included.

The council will reconvene April 30, before the climate survey has closed.

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