Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey

In the Spring 2019 semester, Missouri State University administered the 29-question Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Diversity and Equity Climate Survey.  This survey was administered to students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Climate Survey Results​​​​​​​

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Executive Summary 2019 Climate Survey

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This is a guide to the 39-question Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey administered in spring 2019 to students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Missouri State’s results are compared to a group of 52 large and small institutions of higher education (n=36,194).

The 2,723 individuals who responded to the survey make up 9% of undergraduates, 18% of graduate students, 40% of faculty, and 37% of staff and administrators on the Springfield campus.

Response Rates (n = 2,723)

Respondent Group

Number (n)

Undergraduates

1,321

Graduate

264

Faculty

434

Staff/Administrators

704

Overall Diversity and Equity: Above Comparison Institutions

The first two indicators gauge the respondents' satisfaction with the campus climate for diversity and equity (Table 1) and the extent to which they believe that Missouri State University supports diversity and equity (Figures 1 and 2). Because these two indicators measure experiences and interactions that promote campus climate, we show each of these as positive scores on a 5-point scale in the graphs below.

Missouri State respondents reported higher satisfaction on questions related to overall campus climate for diversity and equity (Table 1) than large and small comparison institutions (Figure 1).

Figure 1.  Higher Satisfaction on Campus Climate

Campus Climate for Diversity and Equity; 1 = very dissatisfied, 5 = very satisfied; Missouri State University = 3.8, Large Comparison Institutions = 3.7, Small Comparison Institutions = 3.5. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Table 1. Campus Climate Questions in Which Missouri State Performed Higher Than Comparison Institutions

Overall campus climate

Sense of belonging or community at MSU

Feel campus environment is free from tensions related to individual or group differences

Feel retention of historically marginalized students, faculty, and staff is an institutional priority

Campus experience/environment regarding diversity at MSU

Feel all community members experience a sense of belonging or community

Feel recruitment of historically marginalized students, faculty, and staff is an institutional priority

Feel senior leadership demonstrates a commitment to diversity and equity on this campus

Missouri State respondents reported higher agreement on their belief that Missouri State supports diversity and equity compared to large and small institutions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Missouri State More Strongly Agrees that the University Supports Diversity and Equity

Support for Diversity and Equity; 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree; Missouri State University = 3.6, Large Comparison Institutions = 3.5, Small Comparison Institutions = 3.2.

Overall diversity and equity at Missouri State shows higher positive perceptions than comparison institutions. Within Missouri State, some demographic groups have less positive views and perceptions of campus and institutional support. Those groups are non-binary individuals, U.S. persons of color, LGB+ individuals, and liberal individuals (Table 2 and 3).

Table 2. Campus Climate Satisfaction by Race and/or Ethnicity and Role

Race and/or Ethnicity and Role

MSU (n)

MSU Mean

Large Institutions Mean

Small Institutions Mean

All Students

U.S. White

1,080

3.90

3.81

3.59

U.S. Persons of Color

336

3.44

3.70

3.27

International

140

4.04

3.94

3.43

All Employees

U.S. White

897

3.87

3.64

3.60

U.S. Persons of Color

187

3.61

3.48

3.37

International

16

3.84

4.16

3.53

Table 3.1. Campus Climate Satisfaction by Role and Gender

 Role and Gender and Role

MSU (n)

MSU Mean

Large Institutions Mean

Small Institutions Mean

All Students

Men

481

3.83

3.83

3.56

Women

1,045

3.83

3.74

3.46

Non-binary

37

3.36

3.47

3.09

All Employees

Men

429

3.80

3.69

3.65

Women

673

3.86

3.54

3.50

Non-binary

8

2.22

3.00

3.01

Table 3.2. Campus Climate Satisfaction by Role and Sexual Orientation

 Role and Sexual Orientation

MSU (n)

MSU Mean

Large Institutions Mean

Small Institutions Mean

All Students

Heterosexual

1,219

3.88

3.80

3.57

LGB+

333

3.59

3.63

3.25

All Employees

Heterosexual

968

3.86

3.62

3.59

LGB+

136

3.51

3.41

3.34

  • People who took the survey reported that Diversity and Equity activities increased positive attitudes toward diversity and equity. Missouri State participation is higher than comparison groups; attitudes reported are more positive for all groups.
  • Staff/administration reported participating more in “impactful diversity and equity activities” (community service, performances or art exhibits related to diversity, discussions, training, activities) than large and small comparison institutions.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate students reported more community service participation than other groups at MSU and compared to large and small institutions.

Views of Campus Climate by Groups

  • When analyzed by race/ethnicity, U.S. white students, men and women, international individuals, heterosexual individuals, and conservative individuals have more positive views of campus climate (Table 2 and 3).
  • Non-binary individuals, U.S. persons of color, LGB+ individuals, and liberal individuals have less positive views of campus climate (Table 2 and 3).
  • Table 2 and Table 3 report broad groups: race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. The survey includes 16 options for race/ethnicity and 8 options for sexual orientation (data tables are available for breakdowns).

"Have You Been Discriminated Against or Harassed?”

  • People at Missouri State reported experiencing less discrimination or harassment than large and small institutions (Figure 3).
  • 20% of Missouri State students and employees reported having experienced discrimination or harassment. Large institutions reported 21% and small institutions reported 24% (Figure 3).
  • 317 out of 1,578 Students answered “yes” to the question. 
  • 228 out of 1,129 Employees answered “yes.”

Figure 3. Percent Experiencing Discrimination or Harassment

Discrimination or Harassment; Percentage of People Experiencing Discrimination or Harassment; Missouri State University = 20%, Large Comparison Institutions = 21%, Small Comparison Institutions = 24%

“How often have you been discriminated or harassed and what were the reasons?”

  • Of the 545 who answered “yes,” they then answered a follow-up question asking how often discrimination and harassment occurred and the reason.
  • The reasons—whether they reported Rarely, Sometimes, Often, or Very Often, are as follows beginning with the highest count: political affiliation, physical appearance, gender or gender identity, age or generation, religious background, racial and/or ethnic identity, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, some other aspect of my identity, disability, or immigration status (Table 4).
Table 4. How often have you been discriminated against or harassed on the MSU campus, at an off-campus residence, or at an off-campus program/event affiliated with MSU (Students n=317; Employees n=228)?

Reason For Discrimination

Rarely

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Totals

S

E

S

E

S

E

S

E

Political affiliation/views

41

40

77

57

36

21

31

15

318

Physical appearance

60

33

75

60

34

9

24

12

307

Gender or gender identity

49

23

59

62

46

19

22

16

296

Age or generation

58

35

53

67

17

25

20

9

284

Religious background

48

41

50

36

25

10

14

11

235

Racial and/or ethnic identity

23

18

59

32

34

9

27

16

218

Socioeconomic background

45

37

43

25

11

10

9

5

185

Sexual Orientation

31

16

47

20

19

8

15

3

159

Some other aspect of my identity

14

11

11

22

9

11

9

10

97

Disability

23

13

19

16

6

3

7

5

92

I am an immigrant

15

4

16

9

6

3

5

6

64

Key: S=Students; E=Employees

“How Often Have You Heard Someone Make an Insensitive or Disparaging Remark?”

  • Missouri State students and employees heard slightly more (2.2) insensitive or disparaging remarks than small and large institutions, on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being Never and 5 being Very Often (Figure 4).
  • Missouri State students and employees heard the insensitive or disparaging remarks in the local community more than comparison institutions. Missouri State was 33% compared to 7% of respondents at Large and Small institutions.
  • A follow-up item asked the reason for the top items by count—whether they reported Rarely, Sometimes, Often, or Very Often, are as follows beginning with the highest count: political affiliation/views, gender or gender identity, religious background, sexual orientation, age or generation, racial and/or ethnic identity, non-native English speaker, immigrant status, socioeconomic background, disability (Table 5).

​​​​​​​Figure 4. Hearing Insensitive or Disparaging Remarks

Insensitive or Disparaging Remarks; 1 = Never, 5 = Very Often; Missouri State University = 2.2, Large Comparison Institutions = 2, Small Comparison Institutions = 2.1.​​​​​​​

Table 5. Frequency and Type of Insensitive or Disparaging Remarks Heard

Target of Disparaging Remark

Rarely

Sometimes

Often

Very Often

Totals

S

E

S

E

S

E

S

E

Political affiliation/views

331

251

417

361

323

212

199

107

2,201

Religious background

445

381

411

279

157

69

56

27

1,825

Gender or gender identity

387

365

409

260

188

82

89

27

1,807

Sexual Orientation

431

378

400

247

163

63

77

24

1,783

Racial and/or ethnic identity

459

371

382

242

136

61

76

27

1,754

Age or generation

441

354

338

281

144

88

65

42

1,753

Non-native English speaker

459

356

372

260

116

83

48

28

1,722

Immigrant Status

435

326

343

222

134

56

50

27

1,593

Socioeconomic background

494

381

292

190

96

54

51

19

1,577

Disability

462

344

236

156

71

29

33

12

1,343

Key: S=Students; E=Employees