Campus Climate Report


About a year ago, the University of California launched an ambitious systemwide survey to assess the institutional climate of the university. Nearly one-third of us at UC Santa Cruz took the time to fill out the survey. Overall, I am heartened by our results, a few highlights of which I'll share today. The full report is available online.

Fully 83 percent of the UCSC respondents said they were "comfortable" or "very comfortable" with the overall climate on campus (of the remainder, only 5 percent said they felt "uncomfortable" or "very uncomfortable"; 12 percent were "neutral"). Similarly, 78 percent were comfortable or very comfortable with their department or work unit. Those numbers suggest to me that we are doing quite a good job building a diverse, tolerant, and respectful community on campus.

Regarding classroom climate, 75 percent of undergraduates and 79 percent of graduate and professional students said they were comfortable or very comfortable with the climate in their classes. Nearly 90 percent of faculty and post-doctoral scholars said the same thing.

The student experience is also strong: A solid majority of undergraduates—72 percent—said they were satisfied with their academic experience at UCSC, while 77 percent of graduate/professional students were satisfied.

Other notable findings among faculty and staff include strongly positive attitudes about the importance of a diverse faculty and work-life issues, including professional development opportunities and flexible work schedules. All of this is good news.

However, other results clearly indicate areas for improvement: 23 percent of respondents said they had experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct; seven percent of respondents said the conduct interfered with their ability to work or learn. Four percent of respondents overall reported unwanted sexual contact at UCSC within the last five years; of the 246 respondents who reported this, 219 were undergraduate students. I am concerned about these findings, which indicate areas for action.

I've been assured that our results are consistent with survey findings at colleges and universities across the country, which is comforting—to a point. I want to thank everyone whose work toward promoting a healthy campus climate has gotten us this far. You have helped create an overall campus climate that supports most of the people who work and study here. And now I want to challenge all of us to do more.

I think I speak for many when I say that we at UC Santa Cruz proudly hold ourselves to a higher standard, particularly regarding issues of diversity, equity, and social justice.

As such, I have asked the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion to review the study and identify key issues that need our attention and follow-up. The council will take the lead on an action plan with a goal of implementation by late 2014.

Thank you in advance for your continued help making UCSC a campus that exceeds the norm. 

George R. Blumenthal



To view the entire report for UC Santa Cruz, please click on the following link:

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