Full Report

 
Campus Climate Survey Task Force
 

Edythe Abdullah, Special Advisor to the President

President's Office

 

Katie Chenard, Assistant Director

Adam W. Herbert University Center 

 

Cheryl Gonzalez, Director 

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity 

 

Janet Hurlock-Dick, Adjunct Professor

College of Education and Human Services

 

John Kemppainen, Director

Academic Advising, College of Education and Human Services

 

Sophie Maxis, Assistant Professor

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management 

 

Judy Rodriguez, Chair/Professor

Nutrition and Dietetics 

 

Oupa Seane, Director

Intercultural Center for PEACE

 

Tarah Trueblood, Director

InterFaith Center

 

Thomas Van Schoor, Dean of Students

Student and International Affairs   

 

JeffriAnne Wilder, Associate Professor 

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

 

Fen Yu, Assistant Director

Institutional Research 

 
Overview

Diversity and inclusiveness in higher education has become one of many pressing priorities for universities and colleges. Changing demographics, workforce diversity, the rise in universities hiring chief diversity officers and establishing programs and initiatives to develop and attract highly qualified under-represented (African American, Hispanic and Native American) faculty and students bolsters the argument for the need and emerging priority. Higher education is attempting to ensure that there is a diverse representation of race, gender, age, disability and sexual orientation, especially among faculty, students and administrators. We know that to be successful in today’s global society, our graduates must be adept at working with people of diverse races, identities, cultures and ideals. Therefore, learning environments should ensure that their students master professional and interpersonal skills for a global society.

The University of North Florida’s commitment to diversity in our student body, faculty, staff and academic teaching, learning and research has been a strongly held value since the institution’s inception in 1972. As the university has grown from an upper-division, regional institution to a full degree-granting institution, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, diversity has remained a significant underpinning of academic standards and commitment to its students and the community. As evidenced by UNF’s mission statement, values and strategic goals, diversity is one of the university’s top five priorities.

In late 2013, the university’s administration sensed a need to conduct a survey on race and ethnicity. In prior years, surveys were conducted on sexual orientation and gender identity, student campus life, faculty and staff campus life, and religious climate. However, it has been several years since a survey was conducted on race, gathering information about the perspectives of staff, faculty and students.

The UNF Climate Survey on Race and Ethnicity was released to staff and faculty, including Other Personnel Services (OPS) and adjunct faculty, March 2014 and yielded a 42 percent response rate. Unfortunately, due to the large number of surveys distributed to students during the time of this survey’s release, the university decided to wait until October, 2014 to release the student version.

This abbreviated report is issued to the university community and a more in-depth comparative report will be published after the student survey results are collected. In this report, the contrasting views of staff and faculty, by sub-groups, is shared. The major categories compared are all employees, under-represented minority faculty and staff, Asian faculty and staff, and White faculty and staff.  Additionally, adjunct faculty responses are broadly reviewed.  

The compared sub-groups noted above are compared to determine if experiences of different races and ethnicities are remarkable. Minorities, in general, have a different experience in an environment in which they are not the majority. Asians/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are more likely to experience feelings of isolation and marginalization in those environments. Under-represented minorities (URM) are African Americans and Hispanics. These individuals have the same experiences as all minorities but their encounter in the academe is exacerbated because their numbers are so small.

The following charts are breakdowns of the current UNF faculty and staff diversity mix. (See Charts A and B)
Chart A:  Race Breakdown – Faculty
Chart A - Race Breakdown - Faculty
 
Chart B:  Race Breakdown - Staff
Chart B - Race Breakdown - Staff
 

Survey Development and Dissemination 

 
A Campus Climate Survey Task Force was convened of various stakeholders in the institution. Their role was to assist in the review of other universities’ surveys, communicate issues they felt were important to explore with their constituent groups, provide personal and professional counsel on the university’s climate, assist in identifying and moderating pre-development focus groups, and provide input into the creation of the final survey. The task force was essential to the survey’s development. Members of the survey task force are listed on the cover page of this report. I thank the task force for their hard work and support of the process.
Before the survey’s release, the task force convened seven focus group meetings with 56 staff, faculty and students. Questions were posed to elicit responses that might lead us to ask cogent and relevant questions in the survey. It also acted as qualitative data regarding personal experiences and perceptions about the university.
To ensure a significant response rate, vice presidents’ staff meetings and the Faculty Association were visited to promote the survey and encourage participation. Additionally, emails were sent to  University Support Personnel Association (USPA) and Administrative and Professional Association (A&P) staff by their association presidents to encourage participation. It was essential that the survey reflect a wide view of all employees’ points of view and these visits and communications were intended to ensure a robust response. As evidenced by the number of responses, this method was quite effective with staff and faculty, despite the lack of incentives or prizes.
The survey allowed employees to answer questions based on their status as faculty or staff. Note that all questions did not have to be answered by all respondents. Therefore, some charts may not reflect the entire number of respondents as 100 percent of the total responses. Additionally, a few questions allowed multiple responses by one respondent.
Participant Characteristics
UNF’s Climate Survey on Race and Ethnicity received a significant response. Forty-two percent of the staff and faculty completed the survey. As indicated before, the survey will be distributed to students in the fall 2014 term. This report offers a limited overview of the survey, focusing on faculty and staff, by major categories.
Respondents
The total number of completed surveys was 1,146. Of the completed surveys, 31 percent (n = 351) was from faculty and 69 percent (n = 795) was from staff. Staff respondents were primarily A&P, at 47.2 percent (n = 371), and support staff at 39.3 percent (n = 309). OPS employees followed in the number of responses at 6.9 percent (n = 54), A&P executive at 4.5 percent (n = 35) and others at 2.2 percent (n = 17). Within the faculty ranks, associate professors led the response rate at 24.1 percent (n = 84). Assistant professor and adjunct faculty responses were both at 17.8 percent (n = 62/62). Full professors followed at 16.7 percent (n = 58), instructors at 10.9 percent (n = 38), librarians at 3.4 percent (n = 12) and lecturers at 1.1 percent (n = 4). Responses indicating a status of other within faculty were 8 percent (n = 28). (See Charts C and D) 
Chart C: Faculty Respondents
Chart C - Faculty Respondents

Chart D: Staff Respondents
Chart D - Staff Respondents
Females made up 60 percent of the respondents and other gender identities were less than 1 percent, combined. Hispanic employees were 6 percent (n = 62) of the respondents. Asians were 5 percent (n = 54) of the respondents. Blacks comprised 15 percent (n = 144) of the respondents to the survey and American Indian/Alaska Native represented 1 percent (n = 11).   
There was a relatively even distribution of responses based on years of service to the university. There was a fairly even distribution of participants based on number of years of service from three to five years of service through categories to 11 to 20 years of service. There was a large decline in respondents with 21 to 30 years and 30 years or more of service. Employees whose service was three or less years represented 26.1 percent (n = 288) of the respondents, employees with three to five years represented 18.1 percent (n = 200), six to ten years 23.8 percent (n = 262), 11 to 20 years of service 21.3 percent (n = 235), and 21 to 30 years eight percent (n = 88). Respondents with more than 30 years of service were 2.7 percent (n = 30) of the respondents.
Surprisingly, adjuncts hired within the last three years were more likely to respond to the survey. Of the 62 adjunct faculty respondents, 23 have worked for the institution three or less years and four, 30 years or more. It is important to note that 25.7 percent (n = 278) of the respondents are UNF alumni, inferring that graduates of the university enjoy their experience here and decide to stay. One might also infer that UNF loves to hire their graduates. Either way it’s a win/win for all.
The response numbers and percentages from the university’s colleges are as shown in Chart E.
 
Chart E: Survey Respondents by Division/College 
Chart E - Survey Respondents by DivisionCollege 
 
Findings 
 
Closed and open-ended questions, as well as Likert scale questions, were posed to the university community. These questions covered a wide range of topics and accounted for more than 40 questions. Some answers provided exceptional news regarding the university’s healthy diverse climate. Other answers suggested that we may want to delve into deeper analysis and initiate actions. However, more definitive considerations regarding further analysis, recommended actions or acclamations of diversity and inclusion successes may be more appropriate once the student survey is completed fall 2014. Likert scale mean rating and categories are represented along the following continuum.

 

 

Strongly Disagree

1

Disagree

2

Neutral

3

Agree

4

Strongly Agree

5


Employees were given five opportunities to make comments about their mean responses. More than 570 comments were received. While this was a survey on race and ethnicity, the survey comments generated more comments about issues that may not be race or ethnically related. Sample comments are provided with the review of each questions’ responses. A list of all comments can be provided upon request.   
  • Job Satisfaction
Approximately three out of four respondents, 77.7 percent (n=850) of UNF employees, are satisfied to very satisfied with their positions at the university. This is in sync with comments made by staff and faculty in the focus groups. Fifty percent (n=542) of employees were satisfied to very satisfied with their career advancement. Adjunct faculty, however, were more dissatisfied with their career advancement than any group.
Applying a five-point Likert scale mean analysis, the job satisfaction rate of employee sub-groups looks like this for White URM and Asian faculty and staff. (See Chart F)
Chart F: Job Satisfaction Means
  All White Faculty White Staff URM Faculty URM Staff Asian Faculty Asian Staff
Job Satisfaction

4.02

Agree

4.03

Agree

4.07

Agree

4.04

Agree

3.96

Agree

4.32

Agree

3.82

Agree

Career Advancement

3.41

Neutral

3.58

Neutral

3.39

Neutral

3.51

Neutral

3.20

Neutral

3.73

Neutral

3.37

Neutral

 

These responses imply that faculty and staff are satisfied (4 out of 5 pts.) with their jobs, with under-represented minority and Asian staff indicating the least satisfaction. On average, most faculty and staff are neutral regarding their career advancement (3 out of 5 pts.). Again, under-represented minority and Asian staff indicate the least satisfaction with their career advancement. 
  • Hiring Practices
Employees were asked, “Have you observed unfair, unjust or perceived discriminatory hiring practices at UNF (e.g., pool diversity, supervisor bias, search committee bias, job offer)?” Nearly four out of five or 78.6 percent (n = 827) of employees responded no to the question. Twenty-one percent (n = 225) of employees answered yes. The no responses (number and percent) of the sub-groups were: White staff 68 percent (n = 352), White faculty 82 percent (n = 199), URM staff 77 percent (n = 123), URM faculty 67 percent (n = 31), Asian staff 82 percent (n = 23), Asian faculty 75 percent (n = 21) and adjunct faculty 88 percent (n = 50).
When asked the follow-up question, “What do you believe the unfair, unjust or discriminatory hiring practice was based upon?” and given a list of choices, other was the most frequently selected reason. Employees selecting this wrote comments with the highest frequency related to 1) relationships with colleagues and superiors, 2) race and ethnicity, and 3) gender identity and sexual orientation. As it relates to the question choices provided, race had the second highest frequency, followed by education credentials, ethnicity and institutional status. Chart G reflects the answers to choices provided. 
Chart G: Perceived Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Chart G - Perceived Discriminatory Hiring Practices
A Legend for the choices for Charts G-J may be found at the end of the report.
The responses by racial sub-groups were very similar, although not always in the same order. A report by sub-groups is available on request.
Employees were offered the opportunity to make comments about this question. The following are a snapshot of employee comments.
  • “too much emphasis placed on hiring a minority”
  • “bias against having diverse applicant pool”
  • “unfair search practices; hiring manager already determined who to hire before search started” 
  • “lack of gender diversity” 
  • Employment Practices
Employees were asked, “Have you observed unfair, unjust or discriminatory employment practices at UNF, up to and including dismissal?” A resounding 84.3 percent (n = 885) responded no to this question, while 15.7 percent (n = 165) employees answered yes. The no responses (number and percent) of the sub-groups were White staff 87 percent (n = 459), White faculty 85 percent (n = 208), URM staff 79 percent (n = 130), URM faculty 87 percent (n = 40), Asian staff 83 percent (n = 24), Asian faculty 86 percent (n = 24), and adjunct faculty 93 percent (n = 53).
When asked the follow-up question, “What do you believe the unfair, unjust or discriminatory employment practice was based upon?” and given a list of choices to select, other was the most frequently selected reason. Employees selecting this wrote comments with the highest frequency related to 1) relationships between supervisors and colleagues, 2) gender identity and sexual orientation, 3) race, and 4) ethnicity, respectively. As it relates to the choices provided, race had the second highest frequency, followed by institutional status, educational credentials, ethnicity, physical characteristics and socioeconomic status. Chart H reflects the answers to choices provided.
Chart H: Perceived Discriminatory Employment Practices 

Chart H - Perceived Discriminatory Employment Practices
The responses by racial sub-groups were very similar, although not always in the same order. Additional reasons were physical characteristics and country of origin. A report by sub-groups is available on request.  
Employees were offered the opportunity to make comments about this question. The following is a snapshot of employee comments.
  • “large department has high turnover rate due to ethnicity, educational credentials and lack of diversity”
  • “diverse faculty and non-English speakers are often isolated; administrators lack sufficient intercultural skills and knowledge of their own biases to consider these issues”
  • “younger employees are given more opportunity, favoritism, training and money”
  • “women judged more harshly than men at time of tenure decisions”

On the whole, it is reaffirming that the majority of respondents have not observed unfair discriminatory hiring or employment practices.

  • Tenure and Promotions
Employees were asked, “Have you observed unfair, unjust or discriminatory tenure/promotion practices at UNF?” Four out of five employees responded no to this question. In fact, 81.9 percent (n = 856) responded no to this question and 18.1 percent (n = 189) of employees answered yes. The no responses (number and percent) of the sub-groups were White staff 87 percent (n = 457), White faculty 79 percent (n = 192), URM staff 78 percent (n = 129), URM faculty 76 percent (n = 35), Asian staff 93 percent (n = 27), Asian faculty 71 percent (n = 20) and adjunct faculty 93 percent (n = 53). 
When asked the follow up question, “What do you believe the unfair, unjust or discriminatory tenure/promotion practice was based upon?” and provided choices, other was the most frequently selected reason. Employees selecting other wrote comments with the highest frequency related to 1) relationships between colleagues and superiors, 2) gender identity and sexual orientation, and 3) race. As it relates to the choices given, race had the second highest frequency, followed by institutional status, educational credentials and ethnicity respectively. Chart I reflects the answers to choices.  

Chart I: Perceived Discriminatory Promotion/Tenure Practices  

Chart I - Perceived Discriminatory PromotionTenure Practices

The responses by racial sub-groups were very similar, although not always in the same order. Additional top reasons reported by sub-groups were institutional status, English language proficiency and country of origin. A report by sub-groups is available on request. 
Employees were offered the opportunity to make comments about this question. The following is a snapshot of employee comments.
  • “faculty and staff  members are unaware of their own social locations, including the areas in which they enjoy privilege; because university leaders are unaware of their own complex identities and privileges, the institution is unaware of its biases; without awareness, the institution perpetuates systematic prejudice; there is a very low level of cultural competency in Jacksonville, as compared to other parts of the country; UNF has not taken the lead in our region, in terms of advancing diversity and inclusion, although one of its values is diversity; without awareness and intentionality, the “system” merely replicates itself, including its biases”
  • "numerous junior faculty promoted, despite weak academic records; tendency is to promote rather that to be circumspect in reviewing application for promotion and tenure” 
  • “people of the Black race have the upper hand over whites”
  • “politics speaks louder than performance”
  • Instances of Marginalization
Employees were asked, “Within the last two years, have you experiences instances of marginalization (e.g., sense of exclusion or feeling left out) at UNF?” One in four responding employees reported feeling marginalized within the last two years. While 75.1 percent (n = 784) responded no to this question, 24.9 percent (n = 260) employees answered yes. The yes response rates (number and percent by group) of the sub-groups were White staff 20 percent (n = 105), White faculty 27 percent (n = 65), URM staff 26 percent (n = 43), URM faculty 39 percent (n = 18), Asian staff 17 percent (n = 5) and Asian faculty 35 percent (n = 10).
When asked the follow-up question, “To what characteristic do you attribute this marginalization?” and provided choices to select, other was the most frequently selected reason. Employees selecting other wrote comments with the highest frequency related to 1) relationships with colleagues and superiors (n = 28), 2) gender identity and sexual orientation (n = 23), 3) age (n = 7), and 4) race (n = 6) as distant third and fourth comments, respectively. As it relates to the question choices provided, institutional status had the second highest frequency, followed by race, educational credentials, ethnicity and physical characteristics. Chart J reflects the answers to choices provided. 
Chart J: Perceived Reasons for Marginalization 
Chart J - Perceived Reasons for Marginalization
  • Values, Relationships and the Academic Environment
Employees were asked to rate 33 statements regarding their perceptions of the university’s values, employee relationships and academic environment. These statements allowed each employee to rate their perceptions on a five-point Likert scale. An employee could rate their perceptions using one the following responses.              
Strongly Agree 5 points
Agree 4 points
Neutral 3 points
Disagree

2 points

Strongly Disagree                1 point
Not Applicable 0 points
The responses were aggregated to calculate the mean rating for each question for each sub-groups compared in this report. The university’s employees’ mean ratings of the institution’s and their personal values, employee relationships and academic environment were positive. Most mean responses to statements ranged in the neutral to agree categories. Some mean responses lie solidly in the disagree category
The following is an analysis of the mean responses highlighting the highest ratings and lowest rating within the following categories: all employees, White faculty, White staff, URM faculty, URM staff, Asian faculty and Asian staff. Adjunct faculty are discussed in a separate section. 
Questions whose mean ratings reflect a difference of 0.50 or greater, between one or more sub-groups, are also graphically depicted following the narrative. It is felt that a 0.50 difference is great enough to reflect a remarkable difference in the perceptions of employee sub-groups. 
6a. Staff diversity contributes to the overall prestige of the University.
The highest mean rating for this statement was from Asian staff who generated a 4.46. The lowest mean rating was from URM faculty at 3.99. Overall, the mean rating for all employees was 4.00. Therefore, most employees agree that diversity impacts the university’s prestige.
6b. Diversity is integral to the mission and success of the University.
All employees agree with this statement, generating a 4.16 mean rating. The highest mean score was generated by Asian faculty, rating “diversity is integral to the mission and success of the university” as 4.54. The lowest mean rating was 4.16 from White staff, matching the university-wide mean rating.  These scores clearly indicate a commitment to diversity within the university community.
6c. I feel valued and respected by the staff, faculty and students.
The highest mean ratings were from Asian and White faculty, with mean ratings of 4.07 and 4.06, respectively – all agree ratings. URM staff mean responses yielded a high neutral mean rating of 3.73, and it was the lowest of the sub-group responses. The all employees mean score of 3.86 was close to an agree rating from all employees.
6d. I feel comfortable and included in all my interactions with UNF colleagues.
Overall, employees’ mean rating of 3.84, indicating a somewhat positive feeling of comfort and inclusion with other colleague. The all employees’ mean score responses were in the high neutral range. The highest mean score of 3.96 was generated by White faculty. The lowest mean score, 3.72, was from URM staff.
6e. The campus climate exhibits sensitivity to cultural difference.
Among employees, the highest mean score was generated by White staff at 4.06, indicating they agreed with the statement about the university’s “sensitivity to cultural differences.” The lowest mean score was generated by URM faculty at 3.59, indicating a degree of neutrality regarding this statement. Overall, employees generated a mean score of 3.84, nearly agreeing with the statement.
6f. I am comfortable sharing my thoughts, ideas and feelings.
With regard to comfort in sharing thoughts and feeling, White faculty mean score was 3.88, while Asian faculty generated the lowest mean score for all employee groups of 3.52 – all neutral ratings. The mean rating of 3.71 was generated by all employees, again in the high neutral category.
6g. Faculty/staff express disagreements in a respectful manner.
Employees appear to be somewhat positive regarding an atmosphere of respectful disagreements. This statement consistently generated mid neutral mean scores across all compared employee sub-groups. The overall mean score was 3.60. The highest mean score was generated by White faculty at 3.72 and the lowest by Asian faculty of 3.50.
7a. I feel free to discuss racial and ethnic differences with my co-workers. 
White staff reported they feel more comfortable discussing racial and ethnic differences with a co-worker than Asian faculty. White staff generated a 3.71 mean rating, a relatively positive neutral category. Asian faculty’s mean rating was more neutral at 3.18. (See Chart K)
Chart K: Survey Question 7a 
Chart K - Survey Question 7a
The mean ratings for this question show a 0.53 difference between the mean ratings from White and Asian faculty. More analysis of the perception may be needed.
7b. I feel free to discuss racial and ethnic issues with my supervisor.
White faculty appear to feel more comfortable with discussing racial and ethnic issues, with a mean rating of 3.91 (almost an agree). Asian faculty and URM staff appear to feel more neutral, generating a mean rating of 3.52. In general, employees feel relatively comfortable, generating a mean rating of 3.72.
7c. I feel supported and empowered.
Across all sub-groups, the mean ratings in this section was neutral. White faculty generated a mean rating of 3.71. URM faculty generated a mean rating of 3.24. All employees’ responses yielded a 3.58 rating.
7d. Diverse curriculum content and transformative learning opportunities (TLOs) that reflect the contributions, research, thoughts and impacts of racial and ethnic groups are critical to great teaching and learning.  
This question, and the following two, are specifically related to curriculum issues. Focusing on faculty responses only, URM faculty believed, stronger than any other group, that diverse curriculum was critical to teaching and learning. Their mean rating was 4.57, moving toward a strongly agree response. Asian faculty agreed with this statement with a high neutral rating of 3.85. However, there is a difference of 0.72 in the two ratings, indicating that URM faculty have a greater commitment to diverse curriculum than any other sub-group of faculty. (See Chart L)
Chart L: Survey Question 7d 
Chart L - Survey Question 7d
There is a large mean difference of 0.72 between URM and Asian faculty’s perception about this question.
7e. I find it easy to integrate the contributions of other racial or ethnic groups into my curricula.
URM faculty were the most positive about this statement. Their responses yielded the highest mean score for this statement at 4.20, while Asian faculty generated the lowest mean score of 3.73. Overall, faculty agree with this statement, generating an overall mean score of 4.01. This questions relates specifically to a strategic goal statement and, therefore might be one that should generate a strongly agree rating. 
7f. I am supported when I attempt to add diverse content to the curricula of my department or program.
White faculty agree that they are supported when attempting to add diverse content to curricula, generating a 4.09 mean rating. The lowest rating for this question was 3.89 generated by URM faculty, possibly indicating some difficulties perceived by URM faculty. Overall, all faculty generated a 4.03 agree mean rating.  
10a. I am expected to represent the point of view of my identity (e.g. race or ethnicity) by my colleagues.
URM faculty generated a 3.14 neutral rating. On the other end of the spectrum, White faculty disagreed with this statement, with a mean score of 2.42. The difference in mean ratings is relatively large at 0.72. URM faculty, as well as Asian faculty at a 3.12 mean, appear to perceive some level of the burden to represent the point of view of their race. (See Chart M)
Chart M: Survey Question 10a 
Chart K - Survey Question 7a
The difference between the mean ratings for White faculty and URM faculty was 0.72. Additional exploration of the reasons for this difference should be explored.
10b. The expectations of me by colleagues are lower than for other faculty/staff.
Faculty and staff appeared to feel challenged and accountable in their jobs. All employees, in general, disagree with this statement, with a reported mean score of 2.05. Asian staff disagree the least, with a rating 2.45 while White faculty disagree the most, with a 1.89 mean score.
10c. I feel consistently under scrutiny by my colleagues.
White staff do not feel that they are under scrutiny by colleagues, generating a disagreed mean of 2.06. However, Asian staff appear to disagree less with the statement about scrutiny, with a mean rating that was almost neutral of 2.74. A 0.68 difference is large enough to warrant some exploration of the reason for the difference. (See Chart N)
Chart N: Survey Question 10c 
Chart N - Survey Question 10c
There is a 0.68 difference between the mean ratings from White faculty and Asian staff. An exploration of the reason for this difference is warranted. 
10d. My colleagues value and respect my research/professional interests.
With regard to colleagues valuing and respecting another employee’s research/professional interest, an overall mean rating of 3.69 can be attributed to all employees. The highest mean rating was generated by Asian faculty at 3.79 and the lowest by URM staff at 3.48. There is a generate sense of neutrality regarding this statement.
10e. I feel pressured to change my research interests to make tenure.
Faculty leaned toward disagreeing, as it relates to pressure, to change research interest to make tenure. Their overall responses generated a mean rating of 2.38, or disagree. URM faculty tended to disagree somewhat less with responses that yielded a 2.31 rating, while Asian faculty disagree resoundingly with a 1.86 mean rating.
10f. In order to be perceived as legitimate I have to work harder than I believe my colleagues do.
A mean score of 2.66 was generated by all employees, indicating that many disagree with this statement, while some were neutral. The highest and lowest mean ratings illustrate this dichotomy. The URM faculty mean score was neutral at 3.16. The White staff generated a 2.42 mean rating, disagreeing.
10g. There are higher expectations for me than other faculty/staff.   
White faculty reported that they do not believe there are higher expectations for them than other employees, generating a disagree mean rating of 2.42. Asian staff seemed to be neutral about this statement, generating a 3.04 mean rating. However, the difference in the two ratings indicates a remarkable variation in the perceptions about high expectations. (See Chart O) 
Chart O: Survey Question 10g 
Chart O - Survey Question 10g
10h. I believe I only receive rewards and recognition based on working harder than others.
Asian staff seemed to believe, more than Asian faculty, that the awards and recognitions they received were based in working harder than other. Asian faculty seemed to disagree somewhat having generated a 2.63. Asian staff, on the other hand were neutral about this statement at 3.10 mean. The perception difference was 0.60 of the mean which leads one to wonder if this is related to the types of rewards and recognitions available to faculty versus staff or something more meaningful. (See Chart P)
Chart P: Survey Question 10h 
Chart P - Survey Question 10h
The difference between the mean rating from Asian staff and Asian faculty needs to be explored. A 0.60 difference in the ratings is noted.
10i. Expected interactions with colleagues in my work unit are based on many unwritten rules.
URM faculty were close to neutral about the perception of unwritten rules for interaction between colleagues, with a mean rating of 2.95. Overall, employees’ responses seem to be slightly less neutral about this statement, yielding a mean rating of 2.87 in the high disagree category, but almost neutral. The lowest mean rating by sub-group analysis was 2.77, from White staff.  
10j. Salary determinations are fair. 
Asian faculty generated a neutral mean rating, although low neutral at 3.08, perspective regarding the fairness of salary determinations. This might indicate a more or less sense of acceptance of the way salary determinations are made. URM and White faculty disagree that salary determinations are fair, generating mean ratings of 2.54 and 2.53 respectively. (See Chart Q)
Chart Q: Survey Question 10j 
Chart Q - Survey Question 10j
The means difference of 0.54 between Asian faculty and URM staff may require more exploration and discussions.
10k. Salary determinations are clear.
Asian staff are neutral regarding the clarity of salary determinations. On the other hand, URM staff moderately disagree with the assertion that salary determinations are clear. In fact, across the board, most sub-groups fell into the disagree category to some degree with this statement, except Asian faculty and staff. (See Chart R)
Chart R: Survey Question 10k 
Chart R - Survey Question 10k
This question also generated a difference in mean ratings that warrants additional discussion. The mean difference between Asian staff and URM staff, as well as White staff at 2.72 was 0.53 and 0.52, respectively. 
11a. Tenure and promotion procedure is fair. 
This question sought to determine if faculty and staff felt they could achieve tenure and/or promotions. Overall, there was a low sense of neutrality around this question, with all employees generating a mean score of 3.03. The highest sense of fairness was experienced by Asian staff at 3.40 mean rating and the lowest sense of fairness was from URM staff at a 2.86 mean within the disagree category nearing neutral.
11b. Tenure and promotion procedure is clear.
The response to this question, across all categories, was neutral or very close to it. The highest mean rating was from Asian faculty at 3.37 and the lowest mean of 2.88 from URM staff. In general, all employees generated a nearly neutral mean rating of 2.96.
11c. The University’s administration adequately reflects the diversity of the faculty and staff.
URM faculty disagreed with the statement that the university administration reflects the diversity in faculty and staff, with a mean rating was 2.57. However, Asian staff perception of the university’s administration reflecting diversity neared a high neutral perspective (mean rating) of 3.64. This question generated the largest perception difference between sub-group employees. (See Chart S)
Chart S: Survey Question 11c 
Chart S - Survey Question 11c
There is a wide variation between the URM and Asian mean ratings. The mean difference is 1.07, the largest mean difference in the survey. More exploration of reasons for this percept is warranted.
11d. The University understands the value of a diverse faculty and staff. 
White staff appear to believe the university understands the value of a diverse faculty and staff. They generated the highest mean rating of 3.84, a high neutral, almost an agree rating. Conversely, the URM faculty perception was less positive about the university’s understand of the value generating a 3.18 rating, in the neutral category. (See Chart T)
Chart T: Survey Question 11d 
Chart T - Survey Question 11d
The 0.69 difference in mean ratings between URM faculty and White staff may need further discussion. 
11e. The University acts effectively to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff. 
URM faculty moderately disagree with the statement that the university acts effectively to recruit and retain diverse employees. Their mean rating was 2.72. Asian staff’s perception about this statement was more positive yielding a mean rating of 3.69. While the mean ratings, regarding perceptions about acting effectively to recruit diverse faculty and staff, were mostly neutral or slightly disagreeing, there were some big variations. All employees mean rating was 3.33. Asian staff’s mean rating was 3.69 and the mean rating from URM faculty was 2.72. (See Chart U)
Chart U: Survey Question 11e 
Chart U - Survey Question 11e
This question generated the second highest mean ratings difference between two sub-groups. The difference in sub-group ratings for URM faculty and Asian staff was 0.97 indicating a need for more discussion. 
11f. Decision makers support my career advancement.
Career advancement appears to be a concern of all employees. Across the board, compared sub-groups gave neutral mean ratings regarding decision makers supporting career advancement. The mean rating for all employees was 3.32. The highest mean rating was from Asian staff and White faculty at 3.46 and the lowest from URM staff at 3.11.
11g. My compensation is equitable to my peers with similar levels of experience.
Employees perceptions about compensation are very similar. Generally, mean ratings regarding equitable compensation were below neutral. All employees’ mean rating was 2.83. The highest mean rating was 3.10 from Asian staff, to the lowest mean of 2.68 from White faculty. 
11h. I have adequate equipment and supplies to perform my work.
Employees feel good about the adequacy of equipment and supplies needed to perform their work. Overall, employees mean rating was 3.72, in the high neutral category. Within the sub-groups, the highest mean rating was 3.90 from Asian staff and the lowest from White faculty at 3.51.
11i. I have adequate access to research and teaching support, as compared to other colleagues.
All faculty responded to the statement somewhat positively, yielding a midpoint neutral rating of 3.54. The highest mean rating of 3.64 among faculty was from Asian faculty and the lowest of 3.54 from White faculty. 
  • Adjunct Faculty
Sixty-two adjunct faculty submitted responses to the survey. This number represents about 22 percent of the number of adjunct faculty working fall 2013. Their responses were 17.8 percent of the responses to the survey.
 
In general, adjunct faculty perceived the university race and ethnicity climate positively. Adjunct faculty responses were on par with all employees mean responses, however, mean responses tended to be slightly more positive than for all employees. Moreover, when employees tended to disagree with a statement, adjunct faculty tended to disagree more. 
 
For example, when asked if diversity contributes to the university’s prestige, all employees mean rating was 4.00, while adjunct faculty mean rating was 4.28. Additionally, when asked about diverse curriculum content, employee mean ratings were 4.03, while the adjunct faculty mean rating was 4.42. When employees disagreed, adjunct faculty disagreed more strongly. When asked if they felt under constant scrutiny by colleagues, the employee mean rating was 2.25, while adjunct faculty mean rating was 1.69. When asked if there were higher expectations for them versus other employees, university employees mean response was 2.65, while adjunct faculty mean rating was 2.04. Finally, when asked about feeling marginalized, 25 percent of employees felt instances of marginalization and 29 percent of adjunct faculty felt marginalized. This percentage difference is expected but not quite as large as one might expect from adjunct faculty.
As stated above, the mean ratings were very positive. However, of the 15 comments received from adjunct faculty, most were about feeling marginalized (10 out of 15). The most cogent comment was, “adjunct faculty are not treated like true faculty; they are not allowed to be members of the Faculty Association, not invited to faculty meetings and are often left off of communications to faculty; and adjunct faculty are paid very little and it is hard not to feel marginalized.”
  • Racially or Ethnically Offensive Conduct
 
Employees were asked what forms of racially or ethnically offensive conduct have they observed or personally experienced. More than one response was allowed. The most frequent responses were offensive remarks, followed by racial/ethnic profiling and ignored or excluded, respectively.
  • Disparaging Remarks
Employees were asked if they have ever heard a faculty member, staff or student make a disparaging remark. More than one in four, 296, representing 28.5 percent of the responding employees, reported yes. We do not know over what period of time these disparaging remarks were witnessed or experienced. What we do know is that employees who have witnessed, or personally experienced the remark(s) reported that the remark(s) came most frequently from students, followed by staff and finally, faculty. The student survey may bring additional clarity to this finding.
  • Employee Recommendations
Employees were asked if they would like to elaborate on any of their multiple choice responses or provide a recommendation on how UNF can improve its institutional climate, as it relates to race and ethnicity? The following comments are a snapshot of what employees said. All comments can be provided upon request. 
  • “all UNF departments should work together to support ending all forms of oppression (race, class, gender, sexual orientation) and examine and discuss the power structures that cause discrimination; this could involve more co‑sponsorships of events and mandatory cultural competency training”
  • “so many students have passive racist attitudes, that when one teaches about race, it is fairly inevitable a racist comment is made by a student who does not view the statement as racist; UNF faculty is (are) so white that students are not exposed to different minority groups in positions of authority where race is not an issue”
  • “UNF, as a whole, fosters a very supportive climate; however, there are a few supervisors who still foster a “good ol’ boy” environment; some may need training while others may need something more”
  • “Diversity is important but should not be used solely to hire people; we should hire the best person for the job; diversity is greatly valued at UNF and most staff and students are aware of it and support it”
  • “I am proud to be on staff at UNF and the enormous efforts by President Delaney to unite the students and faculty”
  • “UNF fails, not in racial diversity, but in diversity of experience; many have not worked in the private sector or outside UNF and most of the dysfunction is a result of lack of diverse experience"  
  • Faculty and Staff Focus Group Comments

Three faculty and staff focus groups were convened. The following comments were recorded from the focus groups sessions. These statements and stories add more qualitative information regarding the perceptions of faculty and staff.

 

Faculty Focus Group

  • “Need to be careful about remarks like, need to hire more African American faculty, which may have the underlying meaning of: The best is not African American, preferential hiring and token hiring.”
  • “Sometimes, faculty of a certain race is constantly invited as a representative for his/her race in meetings/committees.”
  • “I feel racial issue still exists. I speak a few different language but all with accent. I stayed at UNF for a long time, but often encounters people asking when he is going back home. I’m fine with it, now.” 

 A&P Focus Group

  • “I think a lot about people’s perceptions. At the LGBT Center, the space is primarily populated by white, gay men; although I know that other sexes/genders/ethnicities identify as LGBT individuals, they aren’t coming. I’ve talked to Black, gay men, and they say that the events don’t speak to their personal experience. Students have multiple identities – race, gender, sexual orientation and religious. The broader LGBT community is split this way as well, subgroups within groups. I want to find a way to help these students find places to feel comfortable within their multiple identities.”
  • “I take the shuttle almost every day, by choice, to be around the students. Listening to them gives me a good feeling of who they are. I talk to them and have met really cool ones from all different backgrounds. For the most part it seems positive, but you hear stuff sometimes….”
  • “It’s easy for us because we came here to talk about it; but we have to contextualize our own identities. I have White privilege so I can’t say that everyone else feels comfortable. From talks with students, it takes a while to draw them out, but I know they aren’t all comfortable.”
  • “Two main things: First, communication. If we don’t talk to each other we fall apart. Secondly, we need to market what we are doing consistently, putting out there what we do well and acknowledging where we need improvement.”

USPA Focus Group

  • “As a White woman, to talk about facing any kind of discrimination, well, I haven't.... but I have witnessed it. It's not just people of color, but people of different cultures... those who look different or who may not be accepted in the way they should be.  This is the place to do something about it for people of different backgrounds and orientations; where it is more tolerated here than in corporate places I have worked in.  There is a hierarchy ... there are those who are accepted and there are those who are tolerated. I commend this group for wanting to promote diversity among all the others and choosing to do something about it.”
  • “The trend of people of color not in faculty is disturbing. Why? Is there a smaller pool of minority candidates?  Is there a glut of White Ph.Ds.?  If we are a warm and welcoming university, that should be evident and seen. Where can the campus differentiate? We can’t compete with UF or FAMU. The only thing to offer is a beautiful campus.”
  • “I believe the university is doing a good initial job. To make sure diversity and inclusiveness continues.”
  • “I offer services like Myers-Briggs Index courses, and we get to talk about race and creed within those confines and reach across boundaries. In a previous life, I was always the middle-aged, White guy but had to talk to African-American students about processes. I always come from the perspective of, this is the rule rather than bringing race into it. From my experience, UNF is one of the better places to help students with diverse backgrounds.”
Observations
 
The findings of the UNF Climate Survey on Race and Ethnicity clearly illustrate the university community’s recognition of the value of diversity and inclusion. Employee responses regarding this recognition are evident by the no responses to the discriminatory practices questions and the agree and high neutral mean ratings regarding the mission and climate of the university. However, the trend of agree and neutral ratings begins to decline when employees are asked questions about how they perceive treatment toward them, a racial or ethnic group. In other words, employees believe that diversity is important but did not always agree that the climate reflected diversity and inclusion with regard to their experiences. 
 
The greatest mean differences by sub-group related to questions about equity in treatment and the university fully reflecting its commitment to diversity initiatives. There are some areas of concern that should be explored in greater depth and may present opportunities for enhancing university initiatives and shifting sub-group perceptions. One such example is the findings regarding instances of marginalization. Another example is the wide variation between the belief that diversity within the university is important, yet some sub-groups perceive that the university does not effectively recruit and retain diverse employees. Moreover, some employees feel the burden of representing their race’s point of view and salary determinations are not fair or clear. There appear to be opportunities for enhancing our practices and the university climate. 
 
While the survey was designed to examine the race and ethnicity climate, other findings regarding diverse groups emerged. Concerns regarding treatment based on gender and sexual orientation, status and relationships within the institution and age became evident through comments and survey choices on reason for perceived discrimination. There were numerous comments about the importance of hiring the best qualified applicants versus diverse hires. However, at no point did any respondent advocate diversity hires for the sake of diversity. 
 
Next Steps
 
The UNF Campus Climate Survey Task Force will review these findings and submit them to the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI) for review. After review, the CODI will submit recommendations to the president. The Climate Survey Task Force will release the student survey and compare and combine it with the faculty and staff survey. The student survey will be released in early October, completing the collection of input from the entire university community.  At that time, additional findings will be issued and a comprehensive report published and submitted to the CODI and the university community.
 

Edythe M. Abdullah, J.D.

Special Advisor to the President

September, 2014

 

Chart Legend:

  • Educational credentials
  • English language proficiency/accentRace
  • Ethnicity
  • Country of origin
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Physical characteristics
  • Institutional status (USPA, A&P, Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Executive Administration)
  • Immigration status
  • Other (please specify)