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In order to provide ongoing data that can be used to measure and support diversity, inclusion and belonging on CT State campuses and systemwide, key indicators must be provided to drive the implementation of campus-belonging plans. All faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in the inaugural campus climate survey for CT State Community College. The goal of this survey is to introduce each campus’s DEI Campus Climate Unit and DEI/Equity team to campus stakeholders as a source of support and information. The following FAQ provides an introduction to key components of the survey and the process of conducting it at CT State. 

What does a climate survey assessment measure?

Campus climate assessments in higher education measure the extent to which all students, faculty, staff and visitors–regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability–feel welcomed, valued and supported in their work, studies or research.

Why conduct a climate survey now?

As we close out our first year as an institution, there is no better time to pause and reflect. This specific campus survey has two purposes:

  1. To set a baseline that helps us understand how our students, faculty and staff are feeling about our institution.
  2. To provide data for campuses and CT State as a whole, to develop action plans and processes that enhance a sense of belonging among our students, faculty and staff.
How is campus climate addressed at CT State institutions?

The campus DEI/Equity teams provide information to and advise the Campus Climate Unit (CCU) on the status of local diversity, equity and civil rights. The CCU at CT State provides centralized advocacy, coordination, direction and representation in areas related to diversity, equity and civil rights. The unit works with different sources on campus to foster communication across all 12 campuses. Find your local campus DEI/Equity coordinator. 

Where does the survey originate from?

It is administered by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). More information about HERI can be found on their website at

What will the campus climate survey look into?

A healthy or positive campus climate survey is necessary to understand and improve the overall experience of the CT State community. The quality of interactions between numerous groups, such as students and faculty, can facilitate the beneficial shaping of the campuses. Conducting a campus climate survey at CT State originated from students, faculty and staff who expressed interest in learning how to improve the overall climate and experiences of attending CT State. Regular climate surveys are also mandated by the state to accurately provide data on the occurrences and responses to sexual misconduct. At CT State, we believe a truly equitable campus is free of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Who is involved with researching campus climate?

Measuring and monitoring the climate of a given campus requires a collaborative effort that can be engaged in a variety of ways by various stakeholders. At CT State, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) works with campus DEI coordinators and their local teams to offer a range of regular events, education and training, and cultural experiences. They also identify opportunities for collaboration, expose gaps in inclusion and equity, and receive and distribute resources from the Campus Climate Unit and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

How will the results of the climate study be evaluated?

The data from each question received after the survey is completed will be carefully analyzed. We will review the answers to each question and compare them among all participants.

Who are the target participants for the survey?

All students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in this survey. All members of the CT State system deserve a place where they can feel safe spending their days (and even evenings), a place they can feel proud to work and study, whether they are students, faculty or staff. The surveys were chosen to capture data from each unique stakeholder group.

What is the timeline for this survey?

You can expect to begin receiving messages about the survey during the first week of April. The survey will be administered on April 8 and remain open throughout the month. All HERI surveys nationwide must be closed by the end of April to benefit from the insights of national data against which to judge norms, allowing us to conduct benchmarking against similar institutions and compare our results with our peers. Systemwide results will be delivered to CT State in the summer (preliminary results will arrive in May and be finalized in July). They will then be distributed to each campus so that the Campus Equity Teams can develop a diversity action plan, which is slated to roll out in the fall.

How will the survey results impact CT State campuses?

The survey results will give a good indication of how well students, faculty and staff across CT State campuses feel included. These results can help us find better ways to respond to the needs that were reported/shared.

Why does my voice matter?

Without the students, faculty and staff taking the time to complete the climate survey, no true change can happen. All participants in this survey are truly appreciated and one response can make a difference.

Where can I find the survey once it’s distributed?

The survey can be found via an email that all CT State students, faculty and staff have received. Each person will receive a personal link to take the survey. You can search for the survey with the title CT State Climate Survey.

Who can I go to for questions on this matter?

This survey is a great opportunity for community members to engage in dialogue on what equity, diversity and inclusion truly are and how much impact they have on college campuses. For specific details on the climate survey being conducted or issues you run into while taking the survey, you may contact your campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion coordinator.

How can I spread the word?

Spreading the word is important as it helps individuals participating in the survey to be ready when the survey arrives as well as understand how crucial they are for any changes happening at the college. The best way to spread the word is by speaking to other students, faculty and staff about the survey and referring them to this FAQ page.

Will there be a committee that will implement these changes once the results are in?

Yes, along with CT State leadership, the DEI Equity Team will work with local campus DEI committees to assist with implementing intervention recommendations after the data has been studied/reviewed.

Will this survey have to be taken in a school setting, or can it be taken on an individual's own time?

We understand how important a participant’s time is and that many participants have outside factors that they need to focus on while at work or school, so this survey can be taken at any time through the link provided in the school email portal.

Will other climate surveys be conducted throughout the years or is this the only one?

Climate surveys are extremely important for the college's overall growth so yes, other climate surveys will be conducted in the future. However, this first survey will be where your voice matters right now, so taking the time to be a part of it is important.

Who do I speak to on issues I currently have?

If there are current issues you feel need to be addressed on your campus before, during or after the survey takes place, please speak with your Guided Pathway advisor or a faculty or staff that you trust. They can point you to different important resources on your campus that can help with the specific problems you may experience. Systemwide, the CT State DEI office includes the Campus Climate Units as well as the Office of Equity & Civil RightsDisability and Accessibility Support and Title IX. We work closely with campus CARE Teams and deans to address a wide variety of concerns. Contact any of us or another advisor/faculty/staff you trust.

Who will review the survey results?

Each campus has a DEI/Equity coordinator who serves as advisor and liaison to the CT State DEI office. They also coordinate committees that will review and direct action for student action plans. They will review and make recommendations to the CEO on faculty and staff numbers. Dr Khristian Kemp-Delisser, Director of Campus Climate and Dr Sara Nightingale (Eastern CT State University) will work with the campus equity teams to develop action plans.

Each campus CEO will work with members of the CT State Faculty Senate to commission a group on each campus to review and respond to the results of the faculty and staff surveys. We have also contracted with ATD ( to offer help with data analysis and plan development.

Will the committee see responses with the token that links responses with individuals or campuses?

No. No metadata, IP addresses, or other identifiable information will be shared with CT State or the CSCU. This ensures the highest level of data protection and confidentiality for the respondents. At the beginning of the planning process, campus DEI committees will receive final reports, including qualitative comments, from the vendor (HERI).

Campus DEI coordinators/committees will have “real-time” access to the response rates. They are best positioned to monitor completion rates and then propose strategies to encourage survey completion.

Who serves on the DEI/Equity teams?

The main committees reviewing student data will be the campus DEI/Equity committees. Each campus has its own charter, structure and membership. This project provides a unique opportunity to bring attention to the work of these teams and a chance to join them if you are so inspired.

How does the survey fit in with the rest of the overall work of the DEI office?

This effort to gather a baseline of data for our DEI/Equity committees follows the work that began in the fall of 2023. A number of interventions have been completed thus far to enable this step.

A summary of those previous steps:





Strengthening Campus and State DEI Committees

  • Identify major stakeholders
  • Identify campus coordinators and committees
  • Training in areas such as data literacy, board/committee development, DEI processes and procedures
  • Development of formal charters for each committee

Fall 2023–Ongoing


Selection and launch of Campus Climate surveys

  • Create and launch RFP
  • Create a representative committee (12 campuses) for the selection of survey instrument
  • Create a communications plan to encourage high response rate to the survey

Fall 2023–April 2024


Create data review and campus climate plan development process

  • Work with stakeholders (e.g. Cabinet, CEOs, Faculty Senate and campus DEI committees to develop a process for data review which coordinators to campus and CT state-level intervention plans

March 2023–August  2024

Note: Final survey reports will be provided by the vendors to CT State in July 2024. 

Note: DEI office will ask multiple stakeholders to help inform and guide effort

Campus climate plan process

  • Data review by committees
  • Additional contextual data is gathered by committees (e.g. the committees may do focus groups to better understand why something is showing in the survey data results)
  • Committees identify areas for change and write plans to strengthen positive areas and address areas of concern

Fall 2024

Note: Final plans will be submitted to DEI Office by winter break 2024-25.  DEI Office will monitor and support progress of the 14 plans (Campus level, and CT State level)

CT State and CEOs are presented with a plan for implementation

  • Plans are recommended until CEOs, Office of DEI and Cabinet approve them
  • Once approved, they are locked in for 1.5 years

January 2024

Note: Office of DEI monitor and evaluation begins. Office of DEi also provides support to local campus committees working on the plan’s implementation

Evaluation results are provided to Cabinet for review and action

  • Final progress report submitted to cabinet

Spring 2025


Process repeats


Spring 2025


I’ve worked as an adjunct for many years. Why did I not receive a survey?

CT State provided the names and email for every “active status” student, faculty and staff member under contract/registered for the Spring 2024 semester to the third party administering the survey. The decision to use a third party to dispense the survey and handle the data produced stems from faculty/staff/students expressing distrust or dissolution with the merger process. The climate survey attempts to measure one’s feeling of belonging at CT State.

 We recognize that there is still great potential for our campus plans to benefit from the data shared by our community. Every voice really does matter and we have already acknowledged those plans would need to include internal “checks and balances,” including additional focus groups targeting folks who we know may have been underrepresented and who’s experience we would like to unpack or explore further in a more qualitative way that preserves depth and context as opposed to the high-level composite or thematic answers that one produces from a quantitative survey.

How is the confidentiality of my responses assured?

CT State uses a variety of methods to ensure that research conducted on or on behalf of our campus communities will protect our faculty, students and staff.

These methods include:

  • There is only one way to participate in this survey: You must click on the link that was uniquely created for you. Please do not share or pass along a link that someone else received. The unique link makes your answers confidential, not anonymous.
  • A small amount of trusted CT State agents within IT, Human resources, and DEI can identify the names and emails of the individuals we provided to HERI. Only names and emails were provided, which are considered “directory information.”
  • The contract between HERI and CT State was thoroughly reviewed and approved by the CT Attorney General’s Office. HERI was required to agree to the strictest standards to keep your data secure and to only allow qualified and relevant campus affiliates or HERI researchers to access the data. Additionally, the CT State IRB Director has approved the use of the tool and methods.
  • All new employees to the system must receive training on workplace ethics around data treatment and recognizing bias.
  • POST-SURVEY: HERI will provide reports of the data, including comparisons and recommendations that apply across the system and on campuses. These reports will only share responses and perceptions that have been scrubbed of identifying information. Additionally, the answers to written short answer responses are not immediately released to CT State; they are sequestered as HERI conducts its analysis of the quantifiable data. When the qualitative data is released, it will have been stripped of specific names or identifiable information.