Published: Oct. 28, 2021

campus culture survey

The Campus Culture Survey is underway, and staff, faculty and students still have time to share their experiences by completing the survey before it closes on Nov. 21.

The survey seeks to better understand the experiences of staff, faculty and students, including the extent to which all feel respected and valued at CU Boulder. The survey team will analyze how those experiences may differ based on aspects of personal identity.

Staff, faculty and students who participate in the survey will be able to provide anonymous feedback about community connections and support and experiences of hostile treatment, harassment, and discrimination; students will also be able to provide anonymous feedback about sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, stalking and intimate partner abuse.

Robert Stubbs, director of institutional research in the Office of Data Analytics (ODA), said the university is taking careful steps to protect the anonymity of survey participants and to protect the integrity of data collected through the survey.

“Participant anonymity is our first duty of care,” Stubbs said. “We are committed to ensuring that individuals can provide candid feedback with confidence––anything else is counterproductive to this effort.”

Steps to protect the private data of staff, faculty and students include severing identifying information from survey responses; storing anonymized responses in a secure and encrypted location; sharing only anonymized aggregated results; and limiting those anonymized aggregated results to survey items with 10 or more responses.

Since launching the week of Oct. 18, members of the campus community have asked how the university is able to protect their anonymity if they opt in to receive an incentive or qualify for a prize lottery for completing the survey.

In response, Julie Volckens, director of assessment in the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), explained that the survey software functionality that allows the campus to email survey invitations and reminders is completely separate from the software functionality that collects and stores survey responses.

“The two functions are not connected,” she said. “The email addresses of individuals who take the survey are stored in a separate spreadsheet from their survey responses, which allows us to maintain the anonymity of the survey data while also being able to incentivize survey participants.”

More details about the survey and data privacy can be accessed by visiting the survey’s FAQs webpage.