• The university is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all members of our community feel respected, supported, and valued. The purpose of the Institutes Culture Survey is to gather information from CU Boulder Research Institutes members about their workplace environments.
  • We will use the results from this survey to better understand the existing culture at each Research Institute and to identify both strengths and areas of concern in order to make recommendations for creating and sustaining a just, equitable, and inclusive culture in these campus communities.

  • In October 2023, Institute members will be invited to participate in the survey.

  • Data & Analytics will administer the survey. This group administers a number of surveys on a regular schedule and client-requested surveys on special topics or for special populations on an ad hoc basis. Data & Analytics follows best practices in survey and data security standards.

  • We know that individuals must have assurance that their responses are confidential and secure if we are to receive accurate and candid feedback. Survey participants' privacy is of utmost importance to us, and strict internal safeguards are in place to ensure that privacy.
  • No one outside of Data & Analytics has access to survey respondents’ identities or to files that may connect names or email addresses with answers to survey questions.
  • Members of the AIM team will manage the survey email distribution list, wherein it is recorded who has and has not completed the survey questionnaire.
  • Once a participant submits their survey, the identifying information that permitted the database manager to keep track of who did and did not respond to the survey is automatically deleted. In other words, each case in the final data file is an anonymous case. In addition, the data file is encrypted and stored in a secure, encrypted drive which only AIM staff can access.
  • Questionnaire responses will be aggregated for statistical analysis and reporting. We will aggregate the data to groups of 10 or more responses in order to maintain the anonymity of survey participants. If any demographic group or combination of group characteristics has fewer than 10 individuals, those data will not be reported. AIM will not provide any findings that would risk making someone identifiable due to the uniqueness of their demographic characteristics, years at CU, job category, Institute unit, or a combination of those factors. Your anonymity is our first duty of care and will be protected in all reports resulting from this survey. We are committed to ensuring that individuals can provide candid feedback with confidence. Anything else is counter-productive to the effort.
  • Please contact Z Reisz, Director of AIM, at ODA-Surveys@colorado.edu for more information regarding steps taken to ensure anonymity and confidentiality.

  • Data & Analytics currently safeguards any sensitive employment and student data it accesses by using state-of-the-art data security protocols. The survey platform, Qualtrics, meets Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaire (VSAQ) data standards. Data are encrypted in transit and at rest. Read more about Qualtrics security. Once the survey has closed, data will also be encrypted in transit to Data & Analytics. The full database of anonymized responses will then be held by Data & Analytics in encrypted form on their secure server. The de-identified data will be stored to allow investigation of trends by comparison with future surveys.
  • Please contact Z Reisz, Director of AIM, at ODA-Surveys@colorado.edu for more information about data security.

  • The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) and Data & Analytics, along with many campus partners worked together to develop and refine the survey; over 5000 CU Boulder students, staff, and faculty participated in the three-year pilot testing phase of development.
  • The survey includes questions that are drawn from surveys used at other colleges, universities, and scientific institutes. We also developed new questions to assess our campus community environments, for instance items asking about experiences of behaviors that negatively impact the workplace, classroom, and living environments.

  • The Institutes Culture Survey is designed to consolidate our campus “climate” surveying efforts in order to support programs, departments, colleges, divisions, institutes, and the campus at-large in comprehensively measuring our campus culture at all levels and among all constituents.

  • A unique survey link will be sent to your CU Boulder email address. The link will take you to the online survey in Qualtrics, a state-of-the-art survey platform used by the campus.

  • The survey will take about 10-20 minutes—the time needed to complete the survey varies due to certain answers to some questions prompting follow-up. Those who have more to share may take a little longer. If you need to leave the survey before completing your answers, Qualtrics will save your place, and you can pick up where you left off by clicking the same link that came with the email that invited you to participate in the survey.

  • Yes, it is. The survey will be administered through Qualtrics, an online survey platform. CU’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has tested Qualtrics’ compatibility with screen readers extensively. Only question types that have been tested and shown to be accessible are used in the Campus & Workplace Culture Survey. Learn more about screen reader compatibility.

  • Every effort will be made to ensure that it is possible to take the survey on a mobile platform. However, it is more difficult to review and complete the survey on a smartphone. It is highly recommended that you complete the survey on a computer.

  • The questions address the culture of the workplace as well as experiences of negative treatement and protected-class harassment and discrimination. There are also demographic questions because we know that members of different groups may be having different experiences in the workplace. Demographic questions have been developed in collaboration with campus experts to be both sensitive and useful. Results for demographic groups will not be shared if there are fewer than 10 members in the group. We will not present data that is broken out in a way that could inadvertently identify individuals.
  • The majority of questions are asked on a 6-point disagree-agree scale.

  • We do not ask any open-ended questions on this survey. From past experience, we know that some people will report behaviors that will make it necessary to break the confidentiality agreement because of the seriousness of what they disclose. Examples from the past include survey respondents telling us about illegal behavior like sexual assault or research/fiscal misconduct committed by someone in their department and this has triggered an investigation. Throughout the survey, there is information on how to officially report problematic behavior or reach confidential resources, along with links that can take people directly to those offices.

  • In our testing to date, the response rates across units has ranged from 50-100%. We hope to replicate this robust response in order to make the most of the survey findings.

  • Due to the strict confidentiality of survey responses, the results of this survey will not benefit anyone personally. However, we hope that Institute members will benefit as recommendations arising from this study are adopted by the campus and at the institute, program, or unit levels.
  • Ultimately, this work will direct CU Boulder’s efforts to create more inclusive environments for all students and employees—specifically, environments that attract more diverse and talented people to join our community and that increase student and employee retention. This survey is also intended to benefit the wider community by providing the data needed to take steps to improve the academic and workplace cultures on our campus and to measure our progress going forward.

  • Staff members in Assessment, Insights, and Measurement (AIM) will perform both descriptive and in-depth analyses and will generate a report with findings and recommendations for amplifying areas of strength and addressing problems and concerns.

  • The information you disclose in this survey will not initiate a formal process of investigation into situations involving protected-class discrimination or harassment, as it does not constitute an official report to the university.
  • The university is committed to providing an inclusive environment where all individuals can achieve their academic and professional aspirations free from discrimination and harassment based upon protected-class identities. Identities that are covered by CU policy are race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation, and political philosophy.
  • To formally report an incident of protected-class discrimination or harassment, please call the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127; email cureport@colorado.edu; or use the online reporting form. If you are reporting about something that happened directly to you, there is the option to report anonymously using the online reporting form. However, responsible employees reporting for someone else may not report anonymously.
  • Anonymous reports related to concerns about campus academic, research, or business integrity or environmental health and safety can be submitted at the CU Boulder EthicsPoint website.

  • You do not need to make a formal report to the university in order to receive confidential support.
  • The Ombuds Office assists all members of the CU Boulder campus to informally and impartially resolve complaints or disputes with other individuals, offices, or departments within the university. They are independent of any department or office (visit their website for more information or call 303-492-5077).
  • The Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) is a confidential resource available for members of the CU Boulder community who have had disruptive or traumatic experiences related to sexual misconduct, discrimination, or harassment (visit their website for more information or call 303-492-8855).
  • The Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers counseling and programs for university faculty and staff. All FSAP staff are trained as generalist counselors and are equipped to deal with a wide range of personal and work-related issues (visit their website for more information or call 303-492-3020).