2013-2014 Climate Survey on Race and Ethnicity (Faculty and Staff)
Campus Climate Survey Task Force
Abdullah, Special Advisor to the President
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
Thomas Van Schoor, Dean of Students
Student and International Affairs
JeffriAnne Wilder, Associate Professor
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Yu, Assistant Director
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 evidenced by UNF’s mission statement,
values and strategic goals, diversity is one of the university’s top five
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. This abbreviated report is issued to the university
community. 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, are 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
The compared sub-groups
noted above are compared to determine if the experiences of different races 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 encounters in the academe are
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 B: Race Breakdown - Staff
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.
Before the survey’s
release, the task force hosted seven focus group meetings, with 56 participants
of staff, faculty and students. Questions were posed to elicit responses that
might lead us to ask cogent and relevant questions in the survey. 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.
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.
UNF’s Climate Survey
on Race and Ethnicity received a significant employee response. Forty-two
percent of the staff and faculty completed the survey. 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 USPA 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
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) and Blacks comprised 15 percent (n = 144).
American Indian/Alaska Native represented 1 percent (n = 11) of the
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. Additionally, employees were given five opportunities
to make comments about their mean responses. More than 570 comments were
out of four respondents, or 77.7 (n=850) percent of UNF employees, are
satisfied to very satisfied with their positions at the university. Fifty percent (n=542) of employees were
satisfied to very satisfied with their career advancement.
Nearly four out of
five, or 78.6 percent (n = 827) of employees, responded no to the question, “Have you observed
unfair, unjust or perceived discriminatory hiring practices at UNF (e.g., pool
diversity, supervisor bias, search committee bias, job offer)?”
A resounding 84.3 percent
(n = 885) responded no to, “Have you
observed unfair, unjust or discriminatory employment practices at UNF, up to
and including dismissal?”
out of five employees responded no to, “Have you observed unfair, unjust or
discriminatory tenure/promotion practices at UNF?” In fact, 81.9 percent (n = 856) responded no to this question.
- Instances of Marginalization
in four employees reported feeling marginalized within the last two years in
response to this question: “Within the last two years, have you experiences
instances of marginalization (e.g., sense of exclusion or feeling left out) at
- Values, Relationships and
the Academic Environment
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 his or her perceptions on a five-point Likert scale.
The responses were aggregated to calculate the mean rating for each question
for each sub-group compared in this report. Along a continuum, the mean ratings
and categories are as follows.
employees agreed with the importance of diversity in the university. Overall
the employee mean rating was in the agree
mean category. However, the mean ratings declined as individuals were asked how
the climate of diversity and inclusion, as it relates to race and ethnicity was
experienced by them personally. 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.
questions yielded the widest variance between mean ratings by sub-groups. Questions
whose mean ratings reflect a difference of 0.50 or greater between one or more
subgroups (White faculty, White staff, URM faculty, URM staff, Asian faculty
and Asian staff) are noted in this executive summary.
- 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, very close to the agree mean category. Asian faculty’s
mean rating was more neutral at 3.18.
- Diverse curriculum content and
transformational learning opportunities (TLOs) that reflect the contributions,
research, thoughts and impacts of racial and ethnic groups are critical to great teaching and learning.
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.
Asian faculty nearly agreed with this
statement with a high neutral rating
of 3.85. However, there is a large mean difference of 0.72 between URM and
Asian faculty’s perception about this question.
- 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.
- 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 reasons for the
- There are higher expectations for
me than other faculty/staff.
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 are neutral
about this statement, generating a 3.04 mean rating. However, the 0.62 difference
in the two ratings indicates a variation in the perceptions about high
- 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 on 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. 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.
- Salary determinations are fair.
generated a neutral mean rating,
although low neutral, 3.08 perspective
regarding the fairness of salary determinations. This might indicate an acceptance
of the way salary determinations are made. URM and White faculty disagreed that salary determinations are
fair, generating mean ratings of 2.54 and 2.53 respectively. The mean
perception difference was 0.54.
- Salary determinations are clear.
Asian staff are neutral regarding the clarity of salary
determinations, generating a 3.24 mean rating. On the other hand, URM staff
moderately disagreed at 2.71with the
assertion that salary determinations are clear. In fact, across the board all
sub-groups disagreed to some degree
with this statement, except staff.
- 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 of
2.57. However, Asian’s perception of the university’s administration reflecting
diversity neared a high neutral mean
rating of 3.64. This question generated the largest perception difference
between sub-group employees. The mean difference was 1.07.
- The University understands the
value of a diverse faculty and staff.
White staff reported
that the university understands the value of a diverse faculty and staff. They
generated the highest mean rating of 3.84, almost an agree rating. Conversely, the URM faculty perception was less
positive about the university understanding the value, generating a 3.18
rating. There is a 0.69 difference in mean ratings between URM faculty and
- The University acts effectively
to recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff.
moderately disagreed 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 or high neutral. This question generated the
second highest difference in sub-group perceptions of 0.97.
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.
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
M. Abdullah, J.D.
Advisor to the President
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