When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, what are campus community needs?

January 12, 2022

UM-Dearborn's DEI Climate Survey for the campus community launches Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Students taking a stroll of campus during orientation

UM-Dearborn needs your help to know what campus is doing right when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion and to become aware of areas where more attention is needed.

The campus is partnering with SoundRocket — an independent, third-party, research and survey methodology company — to administer a diversity, equity and inclusion climate survey to the campus community.

“We are committed to building and nurturing an inclusive and equitable environment and this climate survey will help us better understand our landscape and make informed decisions moving forward,” said Chancellor Domenico Grasso. “The past few years have been challenging and things have changed since the last survey in 2017. We want to hear from you. You are an important part of the UM-Dearborn community and we want to make sure you feel comfortable, welcome and respected here.”

Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office Director and Title IX Coordinator Pamela Heatlie said the survey will help campus focus on ways to serve the campus community in the most inclusive and meaningful way possible.

“We do a lot right on this campus when it comes to being welcoming and being respectful and I know we have great educational programs,” she said. “But we can always do better. The only way to know if what you are doing is effective or efficient is if you ask. Asking is also how you learn that there may be issues you aren’t even aware of.”

This survey, which will be sent to U-M email addresses on Jan. 19, is a follow-up to campus’ 2016-17 DEI climate survey and will ask UM-Dearborn students and university employees about their perspectives, opinions and experiences related to diversity, equity and inclusion at UM-Dearborn. When it comes to answering questions, people are welcome to skip questions they are uncomfortable answering.

The survey will take respondents approximately 15 minutes to complete. Responses will be confidential and collected by SoundRocket. No one from the university will have access to individual responses or any identifying information.

Participation is strongly encouraged so that everybody’s voice can be heard, Heatlie said.  In order to protect confidentiality, the university will not receive survey data when too few responses are received.  

For example, Heatlie said if fewer than 10 survey respondents belong to a certain group, like in a certain faith or ethnicity, the information about that group’s experiences on campus won’t be provided to the university since it’s not sufficiently anonymous. The more individuals who take the survey, the more information can be shared back with campus.“Everyone is important. But with a low number it becomes easy to identify people. We recognize that we are asking people for personal information, so we want to ensure anonymity,” she said.

Heatlie said the results, which will be available to the campus in Fall 2022 or prior, will give refreshed data for campus to learn about the campus' population and needs. This will give UM-Dearborn data to evaluate and improve programming and practices on a systemic level. The report will be shared with the campus community.

Questions about the UM-Dearborn Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Climate Survey? Learn more about privacy and confidentiality at this SoundRocket webpage or reach out to the ECRT office.