Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 26, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Editorial: College should improve the campus climate survey

There is no doubt that the Ithaca College Campus Acceptance, Inclusion and Fairness Survey, which attempted to measure the campus climate about diversity and inclusion by drawing on the opinions of students, faculty and staff, needs improvement. Therefore, a bill passed by the Student Government Association on Feb. 16 that recommends changes and improvements to the survey, including the outsourcing of the survey, should be taken seriously by the administration. The fact that the SGA took a strong stance shows that there were issues with how the survey was handled.

An external consultant should conduct all future campus-climate surveys. This is a sensible decision worth the cost because it provides transparency and gives more weight to the data analysis and the results. It is difficult for an internal survey to have as in-depth an analysis as that which an outside perspective can provide due to the inherent bias.

Although it may be tricky to have the external surveys conducted every two years, the administration should push to have the survey completed as often as is feasible. Another issue was the turnaround time for the results. It took 2 1/2 years for the results of the latest survey to come out. This is unacceptable. This information is important and must be treated as such, and must be released in a timely fashion rather than kept hidden for over two years. Doing otherwise would send the message that the concerns of the campus population are not being prioritized.