DEI All Student Campus Climate Survey Effort

December 6, 2017


What is the All Student Climate Survey?
The University of Michigan is committed to the creation of scientifically valid metrics for monitoring the campus climate over time. To this end, starting on October 30, we’ll be launching the All Student Campus Climate Survey effort, which aims to gauge the climate regarding diversity, equity and inclusion among students on the Ann Arbor campus.

The web-based survey will help schools, colleges and units create a baseline for measuring climate in their local environments that can be repeated across time to measure progress toward established goals. It will also provide insight into key climate issues that warrant a deeper level of assessment.

When does the survey open and who can participate?
The All Student Climate Survey will be open from October 30 – December 8, 2017, and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. All students across the university are strongly encouraged to participate. The survey findings will provide critical information for assessing climate and will inform future DEI-related initiatives in every school, college and academic unit.

Is the survey confidential?
Yes. The U-M survey is completely confidential and voluntary. To ensure confidentiality, the survey is being managed and hosted by SoundRocket, a survey research firm based in Ann Arbor that specializes in large-scale institutional data collection and has particular expertise in web-based surveys. SoundRocket is a fully independent entity that is not affiliated with the U-M through owners, staff or board members. A contract between the U-M and SoundRocket specifically requires this level of confidentiality.

SoundRocket incorporates and enforces stringent privacy, confidentiality and ethical research practices in all research activities and goes beyond minimum requirements. SoundRocket ensures that respondent confidentiality is protected through a multifaceted approach that includes ongoing training (including employees, clients, subcontractors and other collaborators); robust data systems (using industry standard network security, logical access controls, monitoring and support); secure physical spaces (all SoundRocket property has physical barriers to access); and strict policies around data protections (including media handling, survey procedures, data transfers and ongoing risk identification).

All U-M faculty, staff, and student identifiable data will be destroyed by SoundRocket on contract termination, or sooner if requested by U-M and no further scope of work requires its use. SoundRocket is also bound by a survivability clause that includes confidentiality beyond termination of the contract. You can view their f ull privacy and confidentiality policy at

What will the survey ask about?
The survey includes questions that provide students the opportunity to share their perspectives, opinions and experiences associated with diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, as well as questions about demographic and background characteristics.

How were the questions created?
Survey questions were developed over the course of the past year by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in consultation with a faculty advisory committee and a student/staff advisory committee. Subject matter experts from the campus community and survey research experts from the university’s Survey Research Center also collaborated on the development of the survey.

When will the results be available and how will they be used?
The survey findings will be available by Spring 2018 and will provide unit-level reports to help schools, colleges and other academic units that developed DEI strategic plans to measure those efforts over time. Note: the availability of reports will be predicated on a high enough response rate within each unit to protect respondent confidentiality.

How is this different from the climate survey last fall?
Starting in October 2016, the university surveyed a scientific sample of the campus community, including 3,500 students, 1,500 faculty members and 3,500 staff members across the university. The All Student Campus Climate Survey effort differs from the sampling effort because it is open to all students (undergraduate and graduate) at the university. These surveys will provide schools, colleges and other academic units with information about their local climates, whereas the earlier sampling effort provided university-level data.

As a reminder, no one at the university will have access to any identifying information, and every measure possible has been taken to ensure respondent confidentiality.