Overall participation in the 2021 Campus Culture Survey was strong, and campus administrators called the initiative a success thanks to high participation rates among students, faculty, staff and collaboration across the campus.
The campus administered the survey between mid-October and late-November for all students, faculty and staff for the first time in university history.
“With more than 15,000 CU Boulder community members participating in the survey, we have more than enough data to construct a rich picture of how students, faculty and staff experience the campus’s culture,” said Julie Volckens, director of assessment for the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
According to the Office of Data Analytics, which administered the survey in partnership with OIEC, final data indicate that 71% of staff, 55% of faculty, 43% of graduate students and 25% of undergraduate students completed the survey.
In response to the participation rates, CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano said, “I want to thank all of the students and employees who took the time to complete the survey and provide invaluable feedback about their experiences.
“Once survey results become available, academic and administrative units will use this information to build better programs and expand their support for students, faculty and staff to ensure their success on our campus,” the chancellor said.
Survey participants answered questions about their sense of connection and community, feeling valued and respected, and experiences of discrimination, hostile treatment and protected-class harassment, including sexual harassment. Students also responded to questions about sexual misconduct since coming to CU Boulder.
Volckens said an analysis of the data would begin now, a process expected to take several months given the magnitude of the survey. The campus will receive primary results in April and May with additional analysis to follow afterward, she added.
ODA attributes the high survey participation rates to coordinated efforts by campus partners, continuous messaging, personal outreach and tabling on campus to get the word out about the importance of survey participation.
“Administering a survey like this requires collaboration on multiple levels and with many partners,” said Amy Biesterfeld Nakatani, ODA’s director for assessment, measurement and insights. “We are grateful that so many members of our campus community recognized the importance of participating in this year’s survey.”
Campus administrators noted another highly positive outcome of the initiative: CU Boulder students contributed more than $25,000 to Feed the Stampede and the Graduate Student Emergency Aid Fund by donating their survey incentives.
Students who participated in the survey were eligible to receive a $7 Buff OneCard incentive or could donate the dollars to the student funds. Many chose to help fellow students who might be experiencing food insecurity or other financial challenges.
About 29% of undergraduates who participated in the survey chose to donate their survey incentives, raising $15,652 to support fellow students, and 44% of graduate students donated $9,485, according to ODA.
“We were heartened by the generosity of our undergraduate and graduate students,” Volckens said.
For questions about the survey, please visit the campus culture survey frequently asked questions webpage or email the campus culture survey team.